Professor Cary Forest



  • skype: (cbforest)

  • assistant: Dale Schutte


Office Hours

  • 2 pm, Wednesday
    (please confirm by email)

Current Course


Forest’s research program in experimental plasma physics is on the border between nuclear fusion research and the new discipline of laboratory plasma astrophysics. This includes research on liquid metal dynamos and MHD turbulence; research on MHD instabilities in line-tied plasmas and their stabilization by moving metal walls; studies of heat, current transport, and noninductive currents in tokamaks and RFPs, and most recently a major new initiative on flow-dominated, rather than magnetically dominated plasmas. During his time at Wisconsin, Forest’s group has brought into operation four new major experiments, including the Madison Dynamo Experiment (sodium), the Rotating Wall Machine, the Plasma Couette Experiment, and most recently, and the Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment. He is currently assembling a fifth experiment to study astrophysical Jets and expanding the mission of the MPDX to investigate collisionless magnetic reconnection. The liquid metal dynamo experiment was the first dynamo experiment to definitively identify the role that turbulence plays in transporting current (effectively enhancing the resistivity of the turbulent media), a discovery which led to his student, Erik Spence (2008), winning the outstanding thesis award of the American Physical Society. Another of Forest’s students, Carlos Paz-Soldan just received the same award in 2013 for experimentally studying how moving walls stabilize magnetic instabilities. More recently, he invented a possible avenue for creating a plasma-based experiment for studying astrophysical dynamos, and demonstrated the key principle for stirring unmagnetized plasma in a prototype experiment. He currently directs the NSF funded Center for Magnetic Self-Organization and is the Principle Investigator of the Madison Plasmas Dynamo Experiment.  


I am currently the director for

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