Samuel A. Cohen

Lecturer with the Rank of Professor
Director, Program in Plasma Science and Technology
Email Address:

B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1968

Ph.D., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1973


Research Interests

  • The physics of field-reversed configuration plasmas, with emphasis on fusion issues, e.g. aneutronic fuels, confinement, heating, non-linear dynamics, and stability
  • Advanced plasma thrusters for propulsion of spacecraft to remote planets and beyond

Awards & Honors

  • Sigma Xi
  • RLE Fellow
  • Goodwin Medal for Distinguished Teaching
  • Fellow, American Physical Society


  • AST 562 Laboratory in Plasma Physics
Publications List: 
  • Chiu, G. S. & Cohen, S. A. Experimental Observations of Steep Temperature Steps in Dense Magnetized Plasmas. Phys. Rev. Lett. 76 , 1248-1251 (1996).
  • Cohen, S. A. et al . Formation of Collisionless High- β  Plasmas by Odd-Parity Rotating Magnetic Fields. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98 , 145002 (2007).
  • Cohen, S. A. & Milroy, R. D. Maintaining the closed magnetic-field-line topology of a field-reversed configuration with the addition of static transverse magnetic fields.Phys Plasmas 7, 2539-2545 (2000).
  • Cohen, S. A. et al. Ion acceleration in plasmas emerging from a helicon-heated magnetic-mirror device. Phys Plasmas 10, 2593-2598 (2003).
  • Cohen, S. A. & Glasser, A. H. Ion Heating in the Field-Reversed Configuration by Rotating Magnetic Fields near the Ion-Cyclotron Resonance. Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 5114-5117 (2000). 
  • Goeckner, M. J., Bennett, T. K. & Cohen, S. A. A source of hyperthermal neutrals for materials processing. Appl. Phys. Lett. 71, 980-982 (1997). 
  • Landsman, A. S., Cohen, S. A. & Glasser, A. H. Onset and Saturation of Ion Heating by Odd-Parity Rotating Magnetic Fields in a Field-Reversed Configuration. Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 015002 (2006). 
  • Sefkow, A. B. & Cohen, S. A. Particle-in-cell modeling of magnetized argon plasma flow through small mechanical apertures. Phys Plasmas 16, 053501 (2009).