NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


Anne White

Anne White

Cecil and Ida Green Associate Professor in Nuclear Engineering

617-253-0627 (fax)

Plasma Science & Fusion Center
MIT Alcator C-Mod



Ph.D. – Physics, University of California, Los Angeles (2008)
M.S. – Physics, University of California, Los Angeles (2004)
B.S. – Physics and Applied Mathematics, University of Arizona, Tucson (2003)

Honors and Awards

  • Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Professor, MIT, 2014
  • American Physical Society Katherine E. Weimer Award, 2014
  • Fusion Power Associates Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award, 2014
  • Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, MIT, 2014
  • PAI Outstanding Faculty Award (MIT student chapter of the American Nuclear Society, 2013
  • Norman C. Rasmussen Career Development Professor, MIT, 2012–2014
  • Department of Energy Early Career Award,  2011–2016
  • Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award, 2009
  • US Department of Energy Fusion Energy Postdoctoral Research Program Fellow, 2008–2009
  • UCLA Graduate Division Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2007–2008
  • US Department of Energy ORISE Fusion Energy Science (FES) Fellowship, 2004–2007

Professional Societies

  • American Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP)
  • American Nuclear Society (ANS)


Small fluctuations in tokamak plasmas lead to turbulence, and turbulent eddies can very effectively transport heat from the hot core across confining magnetic field lines out to the cooler plasma edge. Predicting this phenomenon of turbulent-transport is essential for the development of fusion reactors. In order to improve predictive capability by testing and validating models of turbulent-transport, detailed measurements of fluctuations in high-performance, reactor relevant tokamak plasmas are required. Diagnostic techniques that allow for simultaneous measurements of fluctuations in plasma density, temperature, and flows in the core and edge of tokamaks and stellarators are presently being developed. In our group, we develop and use radiometers (electron cyclotron emission systems) for temperature fluctuations in tokamaks, reflectometers and interferometers for density fluctuations, as well as coupled radiometer/reflectometer instruments that allow for simultaneous measurement of temperature and density turbulence. With these new measurement capabilities we will improve our understanding of how turbulence is suppressed and how the turbulent-transport of particles, energy and momentum can be separated from one another. The new data from these measurements allow for stringent tests of turbulent-transport models. Presently, we are interested in determining what kinds of turbulent modes are dominant in different regions of operating space; specifically comparing small scale electron turbulence with larger scale ion turbulence, as part of ‘multi-channel transel validation efforts’. Close collaboration between experiment, theory and simulation is a key aspect of this work.


Selected Publications

  1. A. J. Creely, N. T. Howard, P. Rodriguez-Fernandez, N. Cao, A. E. Hubbard, J. W. Hughes, J. E. Rice, A. E. White,J. Candy, G. M. Staebler, G. D. Conway, S. J. Freethy, and C. Sung, Validation of nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations of L- and I-mode plasmas on Alcator C-Mod, Physics of Plasmas 24, 056104 (2017)
  2. Z. Zhu, A. E. White, T. A. Carter, S. G. Baek, and J. L. Terry, Chaotic edge density fluctuations in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, Physics of Plasmas 24, 042301 (2017)
  3. N. T. Howard, C. Holland, A. E. White, M. Greenwald, J. Candy, A. J. Creely, Multi-scale gyrokinetic simulations: Comparison with experiment and implications for predicting turbulence and transport, Physics of Plasmas 23, 056109 (2016)
  4. C. Sung, A. E. White, D. R. Mikkelsen, M. Greenwald, C.Holland, N. T. Howard, R. Churchill, C. Theiler and Alcator C-Mod Team, Quantitative comparison of electron temperature fluctuations to nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations in C-Mod Ohmic L-mode discharges, Phys. Plasmas 23, 042303 (2016)
  5. N.T. Howard, C. Holland, A.E. White, M. Greenwald and J. Candy, Multi-scale gyrokinetic simulation of tokamak plasmas: enhanced heat loss due to cross-scale coupling of plasma turbulence, Nuclear Fusion 56 014004 (2016)
  6. A.J. Creely, A.E. White, E.M. Edlund, N.T. Howard and A.E. Hubbard, Perturbative thermal diffusivity from partial sawtooth crashes in Alcator C-Mod, Nuclear Fusion 56 036003 (2016)
  7. J. Ruiz Ruiz, Y. Ren, W. Guttenfelder, A. E. White, S. M. Kaye, B. P. Leblanc, E. Mazzucato, K. C. Lee, C. W. Domier, D. R. Smith and H. Yuh, Stabilization of electron-scale turbulence by electron density gradient in national spherical torus experiment, Phys. Plasmas 22, 122501 (2015)
  8. A. E. White, N. T. Howard, A. J. Creely, M. A. Chilenski, M. Greenwald, A. E. Hubbard, J. W. Hughes, E. Marmar, J. E. Rice, J. M. Sierchio, C. Sung, J. R. Walk, D. G. Whyte, D. R. Mikkelsen, E. M. Edlund, C. Kung, C. Holland, J. Candy, C. C. Petty, M. L. Reinke and C. Theiler, Nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations of the I-mode high confinement regime and comparisons with experiment, Phys. Plasmas 22, 056109 (2015)
  9. S.P. Smith, C.C. Petty, A.E. White, C. Holland, R. Bravenec, M.E. Austin, L. Zeng and O. Meneghini, Electron temperature critical gradient and transport stiffness in DIII-D, Nuclear Fusion 55 083011 (2015)
  10. J.E. Rice, M.L. Reinke, C. Gao, N.T. Howard, M.A. Chilenski, L. Delgado-Aparicio, R.S. Granetz, M.J. Greenwald, A.E. Hubbard, J.W. Hughes, J.H. Irby, Y. Lin, E.S. Marmar, R.T. Mumgaard, S.D. Scott, J.L. Terry, J.R. Walk, A.E. White, D.G. Whyte, S.M. Wolfe and S.J. Wukitch, Core impurity transport in Alcator C-Mod L-, I- and H-mode plasmas, Nuclear Fusion 55 033014 (2015)


22.67 Principles of Plasma Diagnostics
22.012 Seminar in Fusion & Plasma Physics
22.071j/6.071j Electronics, Signals, & Measurement
6.651/8.613/22.611 Intro to Plasma Physics I
8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves (Recitations)


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