Nathaniel J. Fisch

Director of Graduate Studies for the Program in Plasma Physics
Professor of Astrophysical Sciences
Email Address:

B.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972

M.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1975

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1978


Research Interests

  • Plasma physics with applications to nuclear fusion
  • Lasers
  • Propulsion
  • Waste remediation
  • Astrophysics

Awards & Honors

  • Hannes Alfvén Prize, European Physical Society, 2015
  • Weston Visiting Professorship, Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute, 2013
  • James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics, 2005
  • EO Lawrence Award, 2004
  • Gold Medal, United States Department of Energy, 2004
  • Fellow of NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, 2003
  • Bronze Medal, US Department of Energy, Outstanding Mentor in Undergraduate Research Programs, 2002
  • American Physical Society Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics, 1992
  • Fellow of American Physical Society, 1987
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 1985
  • MIT National Scholar, 1968-1972


  • AST 551 General Plasma Physics I
Publications List: 
  • Q. Jia, Y. Shi, H. Qin, and N. J. Fisch, Kinetic Simulations of Laser Parametric Amplification in Magnetized Plasmas, Physics of Plasmas 24, 093103 (September, 2017).
  • M. R. Edwards, J. M. Mikhailova, and N. J. Fisch, Plasma-Based X-Ray Amplification with Stimulated Brillouin Scattering, Physical Review E 96, 023209 (August, 2017).
  • M. J. Hay, J. Schiff, and N. J. Fisch, On extreme points of the diffusion polytope, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 473, 225–236 (May, 2017).
  • I. E. Ochs, R. Gueroult, N. J. Fisch, and S. J. Zweben, Collisional considerations in axial-collection plasma mass filters, Physics of Plasma 24, 043503 (April, 2017).
  • K. Qu, I. Barth, and N. J. Fisch, Plasma Wave Seed for Raman Amplifiers, Physical Review Letters 118, 164801 (April, 2017).
  • S. Davidovits and N. J. Fisch, A lower bound on adiabatic heating of compressed turbulence for simulation and model validation, The Astrophysical Journal 838, 118 (April, 2017).
  • J. M Rax, R. Gueroult, and N. J. Fisch, Efficiency of Wave-Driven Rigid Body Rotation Toroidal Confinement, Physics of Plasma 24, 032504 (March, 2017).
  • R. Gueroult, Y. Ohsawa, and N. J. Fisch, Role of magnetosonic solitons in perpendicular collisionless shock reformation, Physical Review Letters 118, 125101 (March, 2017).
  • Y. Shi, H. Qin, and N. J. Fisch, Laser Pulse Compression using Magnetized Plasmas, Physical Review E 95, 023211 (February, 2017).
  • V. I. Geyko and N. J. Fisch, Compressibility and heat capacity of rotating plasma, Physics of Plasmas 24, 022113 (February, 2017).
  • V. R. Munirov and N. J. Fisch, Radiative transfer dynamo effect, Physical Review E 95, 013205 (January, 2017).