Prof. Ian H. Hutchinson
Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT.
B.A. (Natural Sciences: Physics), Cambridge University (1972)
Ph.D. (Engineering Physics), Australian National University (1976)
Ian H. Hutchinson (born 1951) is Professor of Nuclear Science and
Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His primary research interest is plasma physics, especially the
magnetic confinement of plasmas (ionized gases): seeking to enable
fusion reactions, the energy source of the stars, to be used for
practical energy production. He and his MIT team designed, built and
operate the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, an international experimental
facility whose magnetically confined plasmas, with temperatures
reaching beyond 50 million degrees Celsius, are prototypical of a
future fusion reactor.
Following undergraduate education at the University of Cambridge,
his graduate studies, as a Commonwealth Scholar at the Australian
National University, involved experiments on one
of the earliest tokamaks to operate outside the Soviet Union.
After ground-breaking research (1976-9) on MIT's earliest major
tokamak experiment, he worked on a different confinement
configuration, the Reversed Field Pinch, with the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority,
where he made landmark measurements of magnetic turbulence
structure showing that it could explain the energy transport. He
returned to MIT in 1983 as a member of the Nuclear Engineering
department faculty. He directed the Alcator project from 1987 to
2003, and served as Head of the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and
Engineering from 2003 to 2009.
His personal scientific contributions span many areas of plasma
physics, including the first direct measurement of anomalous
resistivity during MHD disruptions and of hollow current profiles
during current rise, the first observations of polarized tokamak
electron cyclotron radiation and development of diagnostics of thermal
and nonthermal electron distributions based on it, fundamental theory
of Mach probes to measure plasma flow, comprehensive computational and
analytic studies of the interaction of flowing plasmas with embedded
objects, and observations of spontaneous tokamak plasma rotation.
In addition to 200 journal articles on a variety of plasma phenomena,
Dr. Hutchinson is widely known for his standard textbook on measuring
plasmas: Principles of Plasma Diagnostics (2002), and more recently
A Student's Guide to Numerical Methods (2015), both published by
Cambridge University Press. He has served on numerous national fusion
review panels, and on the editorial board of Physics of Fluids B,
Physical Review E, and the New Journal of Physics, He was
editor in chief of the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled
Fusion (2000-4). He was the 2008 Chairman of the Division of Plasma
Physics of the American Physical Society. His present personal
research interests include plasma momentum transport, plasma
radiation, interactions of flowing plasmas with solid objects and dust
particles, and tokamak boundary phenomena. He is a fellow of the
American Physical Society and of the Institute of Physics.
Hutchinson is also the author of the computer program TtH a TeX to
HTML translator, widely used for web-publishing of mathematics. He has
written and spoken widely on the relationship between science and the
Christian faith, and is the author of the 2011 book Monopolizing
Knowledge: A scientist refutes religion-denying reason-destroying
scientism. He is an enthusiastic fly-fisherman, squash player, and
File translated from
On 3 Apr 2015, 13:41.