Troy Carter

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Plasma Science and Technology Institute

4-909 Physics & Astronomy Building (PAB)
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547


Troy Carter is a Professor of Physics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prof. Carter is the Director of the Basic Plasma Science Facility (BaPSF), a national user facility for plasma science supported by DOE and NSF. He is also the Director of the Plasma Science at Technology Institute (PSTI), an organized research unit at UCLA. His research focuses on enabling carbon-free electricity generation via nuclear fusion specifically via magnetically confined plasmas. His work focuses on studying and mitigating instabilities, turbulence and transport in magnetically confined plasmas. He was a recipient of the 2002 APS DPP Excellence in Plasma Physics Research Award and is a Fellow of the APS. Prof. Carter received BS degrees in Physics and Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1995 and a PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University in 2001.

To learn more about recent research and publications, visit my Google Scholar page.

To learn about current projects and group members, visit:

Basic Plasma Science Facility

UCLA Plasma Diagnostics Group

Former graduate students

  1. Shawn Tang (2021, postdoc, General Atomics)
    Thesis: Controlled Stabilization of Alfven Eigenmodes in DIII-D and Validation of Theory and Simulations
  2. Giovanni Rossi (2021, Entreprenuer, Actual Education)
    Thesis: Electromagnetic Turbulence and Transport in Increased Beta LAPD Plasmas
  3. Jeffrey Robertson (2020, Senior Software Engineer, Impira)
    Thesis: Shear Alfven Waves in Two-Ion Plasmas
  4. Tom Neiser (2019, Research Scientist,General Atomics)
    Thesis: Gyrokinetic simulations of turbulence in the near-edge of fusion plasmas
  5. Lazlo Bardoczi (2017, Research Scientist, General Atomics)
    Thesis: Multi-Field/-Scale Interaction of Neoclassical Tearing Modes with Turbulence and Impact on Plasma Confinement
  6. Brett Friedman (2013, Research Scientist, LLNL)
    Thesis: Simulation Analysis of Zero Mean Flow Edge Turbulence in LAPD
  7. David Schaffner (2013, Assoc. Professor, Bryn Mawr College)
    Thesis: Study of Flow, Turbulence and Transport on the Large Plasma Device
  8. Jie Zhang (2013, Product Engineer, LAM Research)
    Thesis: Study of internal magnetic field via polarimetry in fusion plasmas
  9. Jon Hillesheim (2012, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, UK)
    Thesis: Studies of turbulence and flows in the DIII-D tokamak
  10. David Auerbach (2011, Data Scientist, Stitch Fix)
    Thesis: Resonant Drive and Nonlinear Suppression of Gradient-Driven Instabilities via Interaction with Shear Alfven Waves
  11. Travis Yates (2010, NRG Energy)
    Thesis: Laser-Based Measurements of Magnetic Fluctuation-Induced Particle Transport and Nonlinear Mode Interactions in the Madison Symmetric Torus Reversed-Field Pinch
  12. Warren Lybarger (2009, Aerospace Corporation)
    Thesis: Enabling Coherent Control of Trapped-ions with Economical Multi-laser Frequency Stabilization Technology
  13. David Pace (2008, Deputy Director, DIII-D, General Atomics)
    Thesis: Spontaneous thermal waves and exponential spectra associated with a filamentary pressure structure in a magnetized plasma
  14. Anne White (2008, Professor and Dept. Head, MIT)
    Thesis: Experimental study of electron temperature fluctuations in the DIII-D tokamak
  15. Brian Brugman (2007, Vice President, AllianceBernstein)
    Thesis: An Investigation of the Nonlinear Interaction of Alfven Waves
  16. Former postdocs

    Pavel Popovich (Limat Capital, Zurich), Brett Friedman (LLNL), Seth Dorfman (SSI).