Miklos Porkolab

Miklos Porkolab

Professor of Physics





PhD, Applied Physics, Stanford University (1967)
BASc, Engineering Physics, University of British Columbia (1963)

Awards and Prizes

Professor Porkolab is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1984 he was awarded the Excellence in Plasma Physics Research Award (now Dawson Award) of the American Physical Society, in 2007 the Karoly Simony Memorial Plaque and Prize of the Hungarian Nuclear Society, in 2009 the James Clerk Maxwell Prize of the American Physical Society, in 2010 the Fusion Power Associates Distinguished Career Award, and in 2013 the Hannes Alfvén Prize of the European Physical Society. In 2016 he was elected an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.


  1. Experimental studies of plasma turbulence and transport, using Phase Contrast Imaging (PCI) on C-Mod, DIII-D and Wendelstein - 7X;
  2. ICRF Heating, especially measuring mode conversion to IBW and ICW, using Phase Contrast Imaging; comparison with full wave code models (TORIC, AORSA) ;
  3. Parametric decay instabilities during Lowe Hybrid Current drive (C-Mod and East) and expected during Helicon Wave current drive (DIII-D);
  4. Advanced tokamak research, including sustainment, profile control and stability


N. Tsujii, M. Porkolab, P.T. Bonoli, E M Edlund, P.C. Ennever, Y. Lin, J. C. Wright, S.J. Wukitch, E.F. Jaeger, D. L. Green and R. W. Harvey, “Validation of full wave simulations for mode conversion of waves in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies with phase contrast imaging in Alcator C-mod”, Phys. Plasmas 22, 082502 (2015)

P. Ennever, M. Porkolab, J. Candy, G. Staebler, M.L. Reinke, J.E. Rice, J. C. Rost, D. Ernst, C. Fiore, J. Hughes, J. Terry, and the Alcator C-mod Team, “The Effects of Dilution on turbulence and transport in C-Mod ohmic plasmas and comparisons with gyrokinetic simulations”, Phys. Plasmas 22, 072507 (2015)

M. Porkolab, J. Dorris, P. Ennever et al., “Transport and turbulence studies in the linear ohmic confinement regime in Alcator C-Mod,” Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 54 124029 (2012)

J.C. Rost, L. Lin, and M. Porkolab, “Development of synthetic phase contrast imaging diagnostic,” Phys. Plasmas 17 062506 (2010)

E.M. Edlund, M. Porkolab, G.J. Kramer, L. Lin, Y. Lin, and S.J. Wukitch, Observation of reversed shear Alfven eigenmodes between sawtooth crashes in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102 165003 (2009)

L. Lin, M. Porkolab, E.M. Edlund, J.C. Rost, C.L. Fiore, M. Greenwald, Y. Lin, D.R. Mikkelsen, N. Tsujii and S.J. Wukitch, “Studies of turbulence and transport in Alcator C-Mod H-mode plasmas with phase contrast imaging and comparisons with GYRO,” Phys. Plasmas 16 012502 (2009)

L. Lin, M. Porkolab, E.M. Edlund, J.C. Rost, M. Greenwald, N. Tsujii, J. Candy, R.E. Waltz and D.R. Mikkelsen, “Studies of turbulence and transport in Alcator C-Mod ohmic plasmas with phase contrast imaging and comparisons with gyrokinetic simulations,” Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 51 065006 (2009)

E. Nelson-Melby, M. Porkolab, P.T. Bonoli, Y. Lin, A. Mazurenko, and S.J. Wukitch, “Experimental observations of mode converted ion cyclotron waves in a tokamak plasma by phase contrast imaging”, Phys. Rev.Lett. 90 (2003) 155004

A. Mazurenko, M. Porkolab, D. Mossessian, J.A. Snipes, X.Q. Xu, W.M. Nevins, “Experimental and theoretical study of quasi-coherent fluctuations in enhanced d_alpha plasmas in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak,” Phys. Rev. Lett, 89 No. 22, 225004-1 (2002)


8.624 Plasma Waves

Comprehensive theory of electromagnetic wave propagation in cold, magnetized plasmas: The CMA diagram. Accessibility to the interior of inhomogeneous plasmas. Launching of electron cyclotron, lower hybrid, and ion cyclotron waves in magnetically confined plasma. Theory of energy density and power flow by plasma waves. Theory of electromagnetic wave propagation in a hot, magnetized plasma. Absorption processes in hot plasma, and introduction to rf plasma heating. ICRH, ECRH, Landau damping and transit-time magnetic pumping (TTMP). WKB theory in inhomogeneous plasma, mode conversion, connection formulae, Budden tunneling. The theory of wave propagation in toroidal plasmas, and applications to lower hybrid and ion cyclotron wave propagation. Quasi-linear theory and applications to rf current drive in toroidal plasma. Experimental applications to laboratory and tokamak plasmas, including antenna concepts and design.
Alternate years; last offered Spring 2015.

8.07 Electricity and magnetism

Recitation section, Fall 2015.

Talks & Media

Worldwide Progress Nuclear Fusion Energy, Spring 2013