Harry Fetsch

Advisor: Y. Raitses
Email Address: 

Current Project: Characterizing dielectric barrier discharges for disinfection

Harry graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 2020 with a degree in physics, a humanities concentration in government, and the proud self-identification of "pretengineer." He volunteered in, and later helped to organize, STEM outreach programs for local students, and as a junior and senior tutored for 'frosh' and sophomore physics classes. He became interested in plasma physics when he joined an engineering lab with the project of building a RF plasma source for synthesizing graphene. He shamelessly acknowledges being first drawn to the lab as a chance to play with bright, colorful gases/plasmas in an open-ended project. In summer 2019, he participated in the SULI program at PPPL, working for Rob Goldston on robotics for monitoring nuclear enrichment, where he learned that plasma research also involves exciting scientific problems! How convenient!

For what was absolutely, definitely the latter reason--interesting science with benefits to humanity and not just the shiny objects--Harry enrolled in the Program in Plasma Physics in 2020. As a first-year project he is working with Yevgeny Raitses and Sophia Gershman on experimentally characterizing dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs) for their applications in sterilizing surfaces, and on spectroscopic analysis of products from plasma reactors. On a more theoretical side, he is interested in statistical mechanics and the wide variety of scientific questions and technological applications that are related to the unique non-equilibrium properties of plasmas.