Rick Moyer

Prinicpal Investigator, DIID; Research Scientist; Senior Lecturer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept.

Dr. Moyer's research is focused on understanding the physics of several instabilities that are critically important for ITER and other next-step tokamaks, with the goal of developing actuators to suppress or mitigate the consequences of these events. He studies the plasma stability and transport processes that control the edge and boundary of high performance, magnetically confined plasmas, including: plasma turbulence and fluctuation-driven transport, plasma rotation and radial electric field shear, L-mode to H-mode confinement transitions, turbulence suppression and transport barriers, edge localized modes (ELMs), and control of ELMs via resonant magnetic perturbations or pellet pacing. Together with Dr. T.E. Evans (General Atomics), he pioneered the use of edge resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) in 2003 to mitigate or suppress ELMs in H-mode tokamak plasmas [T.E. Evans, R.A. Moyer, P.R. Thomas, et al., "Suppression of large edge-localized modes in high confinement DIII-D plasmas with a stochastic magnetic boundary," Physical Review Letters 92 (23) 235003 (2004); T.E. Evans, R.A. Moyer, K.H. Burrell, et al., "Edge stability and transport control with resonant magnetic perturbations in collisionless tokamak plasmas," Nature Physics 2 (6) 419-423 (2006)]. Dr. Moyer also studies the physics of disruptions and runaway electron production in tokamaks, and is helping to develop techniques to mitigate the damage due to these events in future fusion energy devices. Dr. Moyer also has a long-standing interest in K12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) outreach going back to his time as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1979). He has taught the physics of energy use and sustainability at the University of San Diego, and is currently focused on improving the diversity of the STEM workforce through outreach events aimed at encouraging traditionally under-represented groups to consider STEM careers.

Rick Moyer received his Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. As Institute Scientist and Senior Development Engineer in the Institute for Plasma and Fusion Research at the University of California, Los Angeles, he was the U.S. on-site leader for the ALT-II toroidal belt pump limiter collaboration at the TEXTOR tokamak,  Jülich Research Center, Germany. In 1990, he began  his research collaboration at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, San Diego CA. In 1994, Rick joined the Fusion Energy Research Program at the University of California, San Diego as an Associate Research Scientist. In 1999, Rick was promoted to Research Scientist and joined the Center for Energy Research at UC, San Diego. Today, he continues to collaborate in plasma physics and fusion energy research at the DIII-D tokamak, and coordinates a K12 science education outreach program that has been active in San Diego since 1995.