Home address:

1116 Bluff View Road


TN 37919


1969 - 1973 PH.D. Physics (London University). Thesis Title: The motion of a theta pinch in a perturbing magnetic field

1966 - 1969 B.Sc. Physics (London University), first class honors


2009 - 2017 Director, Institue for High Energt Density Science, UT Austin

2008 - 2017 Consultant, Vector Resources

2006 – 2008 On assignment, scientific advisor to NNSA

2002 –2006 Chief Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate

2001 – 2002 Senior Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate

1998 – 2001 Senior Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; ICF/NIF Diagnostic Leader and NIF Associate Project Manager

1993 - 1998 Director, Fusion Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin

1990 - 1998 Professor, Physics Department, University of Texas at Austin

1985 - 1993 Director of TEXT and Associate Director of Experimental Research, Fusion Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin

1981 - 1985 Experimental Physicist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Fusion Energy Division)

1977 - 1981 Senior Scientific Officer, Culham Laboratory, UKAEA, England

1974 - 1977 Research Assistant, Culham Laboratory, UKAEA, England

1972 - 1974 Research Assistant, Royal Holloway College, London University


Refereed journal articles about 150

Conference proceedings over 200

Abstracts (e.g. APS) over 300

Chapters in books about 6

Books edited 2

Students supervised

Ph.D.: about 15. M.Sc.: 3


Fellow, APS. Citation: "For extraordinary leadership in the experimental investigation and understanding of turbulent processes in tokamaks and for guiding the development of new methods for diagnosing tokamak plasmas".

Fellow, Institute of Physics.

Work Experience Summary

Alan's last post, from 2009 to 2017,was the part-time position of Director of the Institute for High Energy Density Science, a joint venture by the University of Texas Systems and the Sandia National Laboratories. In this position he developed and is oversaw a successful Collaborative User Program at the Z Accelerator Facility at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.

From August 2006 to the 2008, Alan Wootton is on assignment to the National Nuclear Security Administration, Washington, DC, advising on scientific matters. From July 2002 to August 2006 he held the position of Chief Scientist in the Physics and Advanced Technologies (PAT) Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As such he served as the primary advisor to the Associate Director on strategic directions for and investments in the Directorate's science bases. He lead the PAT LDRD (Laboratory Directed Research and Development) portfolio, served as point-of-contact to the Laboratory Science and Technology Office, was responsible the post-doctoral and graduate student programs in the Directorate, worked with the PAT Divisions to align scientific activities with the PAT strategic plan, fostered inter-Directorate collaborations, encouraged national and international scientific outreach, promoted awards and recognitions for PAT, and ran the Directorate seminar series. As a member of the senior staff he oversaw the Directorate Review Committee meetings, and participated in workforce reviews, self-assessments, and Laboratory-wide strategic planning.

From January 2001 to June 2002 Alan Wootton was a Senior Scientist in the Physics and Advanced Technology (PAT) Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He coordinated the Laboratory effort on the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a next-generation light source proposed for SLAC. He was a member of the LCLS executive committee. The Laboratory’s responsibilities at LCLS include: x-ray optics, x-ray diagnostics, experimental design and layout, and the lead role in the plasma physics experiments. In addition Alan Wootton was a member of Laboratory LDRD Strategic Initiative committee, the PAT strategic planning committee, and the Laboratory Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow committee.

From July 1998 to December 2000, Alan Wootton was a Senior Scientist at LLNL, working on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) project and the National Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program as an Associate Project Leader. He lead the associated national diagnostic program, in the capacity of chairman of the Joint Central Diagnostic Team, a multi-laboratory advisory group. Within LLNL he was responsible for leading and managing NIF diagnostics and related equipment. He was scientific advisor for all NIF target area systems. He was involved in NIF long-term engineering and physics plans. Diagnostics under his consideration included particle, optical, x-ray, and nuclear. He was chairman of the LLNL Distinguished Fellowship Committee; he was also involved in the Laboratory research program selection process, and Laboratory hiring and retention processes.

Prior to this he was Director of the Fusion Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin, and Professor in the Physics Department of the University of Texas at Austin. The Center was responsible for operation of the experimental USER facility TEXT, a medium size tokamak. Additional projects he was responsible for included experimental, theoretical and computational plasma studies, data-base design and construction, diagnostic development, plasma device (including reactor and next generation machine) design and optimization, development of plasma rocket exhaust models, and superconducting coil design. The objectives of the program were a) to provide a facility for outside users, b) to provide a mechanism for undergraduate and graduate physics and engineering education, and c) to undertake a local research program. The group consisted of up to 60 full time equivalents, with annual funding from grants and contracts of approximately $5M a year. Typically 25 graduate students were involved and funded at any one time. Alan was awarded and administered grants and contracts from: DoE (multiple), UKAEA, NASA, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab., Academia Sinica, and the Texas Atomic Energy Foundation.

As a Professor he worked with both undergraduate and graduate students, and developed and taught classes in plasma physics and plasma diagnostics. He developed a M.Sc. course on the science of sensors, which became a ‘video course’ with other institutions. He actively participated in departmental affairs, in particular in discussing the future direction of the department.

Alan Wootton’s research interests have spanned most aspects of photon–material interactions, plasma science, fusion technology, x-ray optics, science on light sources, and all diagnostics. Examples of his work are in ‘Selected Research Highlights’ below, or in a detailed publication list available upon request. He is interested and involved in scientific policy and direction, serving on many panels. He has taken an active role in briefing congressional personnel at all levels. He intends to remain involved in enabling world-class research, scientific leadership and management, while retaining an active interest in education.

Selected Research Highlights

1. Plasma equilibrium and control

- Developed first ever ‘fast reconstruction’ of plasma magnetic surfaces ["Measurements of Plasma Shape in a Tokamak," A. J. Wootton, Nucl. Fusion 19: 987 (1979)].

- Developed equilibrium analysis technique that accounts for various real-world complications ["Beta-P Analysis for Tokamak Plasmas with Anisotropic Pressure and Mass Flow," W. A. Cooper and A. J. Wootton, Plasma Phys. 24: 1183 (1982)].

- Developed plasma position control algorithms taking account of magnetic field penetration through a conducting shell, and the placement of incomplete sensor coils with respect to this shell [Wootton, A. J. and L. Wang, "Tokamak Position Control," IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 18 (6): 1008-1020 (1990)].

2. Plasma heating

- Quantitative comparison of various forms of heating in a theta pinch, comparing experiment and theoretical predictions [Heating of a Theta Pinch at Low Electric Fields," A. A. Newton and A. J. Wootton, Nucl. Fusion 14: 359 (1974)].

- Studies of the effect of additional heating on thermal, particle (working gas and impurities), and momentum) confinement properties, leading to the development of various scaling expressions [Wootton, A. J. and others, "Balanced Beam Injection in ISX-B," Proceedings of 4th International Symposium on Heating in Toroidal Plasmas, Rome, Italy (1984); Isler, R., A. J. Wootton, and others, "Rotation Scalings and Momentum Confinement in Neutral Beam Injected ISX-/B Plasmas," Nucl. Fusion 26: 391-413 (1986); Isler, R. C., and others, "Impurity Transport and Plasma Rotation in the ISX-B Tokamak," Nucl. Fusion 23: 1017-1037 (1983); Lazarus, E. A., and others, "Confinement in Beam Heated Plasmas: The Effects of Low Z Impurities," Nucl. Fusion 25: 135 (1985)].

3. Plasma stability

- Quantitative comparison between experimental and theoretically predicted axisymmetric instability growth rates and in elliptic and triangularity deformed tokamak plasmas ["Equilibrium and Stability of Tokamak Plasmas with Horizontally Elongated Cross-Sections, "A. J. Wootton, Nucl. Fusion 18: 1161-1164 (1978); "An Experimental Study of Tokamak Plasmas with Vertically Elongated Cross-Sections," D. C. Robinson and A. J. Wootton, Nucl. Fusion 18: 1555 (1978)].

- First internal magnetic and electrostatic fluctuation measurements of MHD modes in a hot plasma [V. J. Simcic, T. P. Crowley, P. M. Schoch, A. Y. Aydemir, X. Z. Yang, K. A. Connor, R. L. Hickok, A. J. Wootton, and S. C. McCool, Phys. Fluids B 5: 1576 (1993)].

- First demonstration of the "Rutherford regime" growth rate of tearing modes [Y. Zhang, R. Denton, S. M. Mahajan, C. Jiaju, and A. J. Wootton [Phys. Rev. Letts. 65: 2877 (1990)].

4. Plasma confinement

- First measurements of the plasma potential in a hot tokamak ["The Space Potential Distribution in ISX-B," G. A. Hallock, J. Mathew, W. C. Jennings, R. L. Hickok, A. J. Wootton, and R. C. Isler, Phys. Rev. Letts. 56: 1248 (1986)].

- Quantified effects of various ‘hidden parameters’ on confinement ["The Effects of Varying Wall Conditions, Minor and Major Radii on Confinement Properties in ISX-B," A. J. Wootton, C. E. Bush, P. H. Edmonds, H. C. Howe, E. A. Lazarus, C. H. Ma, M. Murakami, and G. H. Neilson, Nucl. Fusion 25: 825 (1985)].

- Studied plasma confinement degradation and beta limits with neutral beam heating ["Experimental Results on Tokamak Beta Limits from ISX-B," G. H. Neilson, A. J. Wootton, et al. Nucl. Fusion 25: 825 (1985)]

- Measured and compared with theory the ion thermal diffusivity ["Ion Thermal Diffusion in the Texas Experimental Tokamak", A. Ouroua, A. J. Wootton, R. V. Bravenec, R. D. Bengtson, M. E. Austin, J. Y. Chen, R. F. Gandy, Nucl. Fusion 30: 2585-2595 (1990)].

5. Impurity and particle control

- Definitive measurements of the effectiveness of a bundle divertor for impurity control ["Shielding and Exhaust Measurements in the DITE Bundle Divertor," S. J. Fielding and A. J. Wootton, J. Nucl. Materials 93-94: 226 (1980)].

- Definitive investigation of gettering for impurity control ["Gettering in ISX-B," A. J. Wootton, J. Nucl. Mater. 112-113: 479 (1982)].

- Quantified techniques for maintaining a clean plasma ["Discharge Cleaning and Plasma Purity in ISX-B," A. J. Wootton and P. K. Mioduszewski, J. Nucl. Mater. 128-129: 886(1984)].

- First measurements of ergodic divertor for energy, particle and impurity control [S. C. McCool, A. J. Wootton, and others, "The effect of magnetic perturbations on edge transport in TEXT," J. Nucl. Mater 176-177: 716-720 (1990); "Electron Thermal Confinement Studies with Applied Resonant Fields on TEXT," Nucl. Fusion 29 (4): 547-562 (1989); "Particle Transport Studies with Applied Resonant Fields in TEXT," Nucl. Fusion 30 (1): 167-173 (1990)].

- Summarized the experimental status ["Particle and Impurity Control in Toroidal Fusion Devices," A. J. Wootton, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 4: 1918 (1986)].

6. Electrostatic turbulence studies

- Provided the first definitive identification of electrostatic turbulence as a major drive mechanism for particle transport in the edge [W. L. Rowan, C. C. Klepper, Ch. P. Ritz, R. D. Bengtson, K. W. Gentle, P. E. Phillips, T. L. Rhodes, B. Richards, and A. J. Wootton, Nucl. Fusion 27: 1105 (1987)], and showed that edge electron energy fluxes could also be explained by the measured electrostatic turbulence [Ch. P. Ritz, R. V. Bravenec, R. D. Bengtson, A. J. Wootton et al., Phys. Rev. Letts. 62: 1844 (1989)].

- First experimental demonstration that velocity shear stabilizes plasma turbulence [Ch. P. Ritz, H. Lin, T. Rhodes and A. J. Wootton, Phys. Rev. Letts. 65: 2543 (1990)]. Shear stabilization of turbulence is now the leading candidate to explain the H-mode in large plasma devices.

- Using an original technique, based on electron cyclotron emission (ECE), which allows the measurement of high frequency and low level electron temperature fluctuations, concluded that long wavelength electrostatic modes do not explain thermal transport [G. Cima, R, V. Bravenec, A, J. Wootton, et al., Phys. Plasmas 2: 720 (1995); T. Rempel, A. J. Wootton et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 65: 2044 (1994)].

- Provided first evidence that biasing in tokamaks improves confinement because of reduced fluctuation levels [P. E. Phillips, A. J. Wootton, W. L. Rowan, Ch. P. Ritz, et al., J. Nucl. Mater. 145-147: 807 (1987)].

- Discovered coherent modes and coupling between these and background turbulence [Tsui, H. Y. W., K. Rypdal, Ch. P. Ritz and A. J. Wootton, "Coherent Nonlinear Coupling between a Long-Wavelength Mode and Small-Scale Turbulence in the TEXT Tokamak," Phys Review Letts. 70 : 2565-2568 (1993); Tsui, H. Y. W., P. M. Schoch and A. J. Wootton, "Observation of a quasi coherent mode in the Texas Experimental Tokamak," Phys. Fluids B 5: 1274-1280 (1993)].

7. Magnetic turbulence studies

- First demonstration of the applicability of quasilinear test particle theory to fast electron transport [R. D. Bengtson, M. R. Freeman and A. J. Wootton, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 63: 4595 (1992); P. Catto, J. R. Myra, P. W. Wang, A. J. Wootton, et al., Phys. Fluids B 8: 2038 (1991)]. Verified analytic quasilinear test particle theory using Monte-Carlo calculations in various collisionality regimes; this was the first verification of "Rechester-Rosenbluth diffusivity." Demonstrated for the first time the applicability of this theory to thermal plasma transport in an externally applied stochastic magnetic field [A. J. Wootton, S. C. McCool and S. B. Zhang, Nucl. Tech. 19: 473 (1991)].

- Demonstrated first that magnetic fluctuations do not explain thermal transport either in TEXT, or most other machines [A. J. Wootton, in Transport, Chaos, and Plasma Physics, edited by S. Benkadda, F. Doveil, and Y. Elsken (World Scientific, Singapore, 1994); P. J. Catto, J. R. Myra, R. D. Bengtson , A. J. Wootton and R. D. Bengtson., Phys. Fluids B 5: 125 (1993); P. J. Catto, J. R. Myra and A. J. Wootton, Phys. Plasmas 1: 684 (1994); Roger D. Bengtson, M. R. Freeman, G. G. Castle, K. W. Gentle, S. C. McCool, A. J. Wootton, Peter J. Catto, J. R. Myra, H. E.

Mynick, P.-W. Wang, in Proc. 14th Int'l Conf. on Plasma Phys. and Contr. Nucl. Fusion Res., Würzburg, 1992 (IAEA, Vienna, 1993)].

8. Comparative studies of turbulence

- Provided reviews and comparative studies of plasma turbulence ["Edge Turbulence in Tokamaks, stellarators, and reversed field pinches", A. J. Wootton, H. Tsui, and S. Prager, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 34: 2023-2030, (1992); "Edge Turbulence", A. J. Wootton, Journal of Nucl. Materials, 176-177: 77-88, (1990); "Fluctuations and anomalous transport in tokamaks", A. J. Wootton, B. A. Carreras, H. Matsumoto, K. McGuire, W. A. Peebles, C. P. Ritz, P. W. Terry, and S. J. Zweben, Phys. Fluids B2: 2879-2903 (1990)].

9. Diagnostic and analysis development

- Developed advanced fluctuation analysis techniques ["Advanced Plasma Fluctuation Analysis Techniques and Their Impact on Fusion Research," Ch. P. Ritz, E. J. Powers, T. L. Rhodes, Roger D. Bengtson, D. L. Brower, K. W. Gentle, R. L. Hickok, H. Lin, N. C. Luhmann, Jr., W. A. Peebles, P. E. Phillips, P. M. Schoch, and A. J. Wootton, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 59: 1739-1744 (1988)].

- Developed a portable Langmuir probe system ["Portable probe system for edge turbulence and transport measurements", C. P. Ritz, H. Y. W. Tsui, T. L. Rhodes, R. D. Bengtson, H. Lin and A. J. Wootton, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 61: 2998-3000 (1990)].

- Developed new Langmuir probe techniques ["A new scheme for Langmuir probe measurement of transport and electron temperature fluctuations", H. Tsui, R. D. Bengtson, G. X. Li, H. Lin, M Meir, Ch .P. Ritz, and A. J. Wootton, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 63: 4608-4610, (1992)].

- Developed techniques to infer magnetic fluctuation levels in plasmas ["Runaway electrons as a diagnostic of magnetic fluctuations ", Roger D. Bengtson, M. R. Freeman, and A. J. Wootton, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 63: 4595-4598, (1992)].

- Developed a data base to store turbulence date from many machines ["A database for edge turbulence and transport studies", H. Tsui, A. J. Wootton et al., Journal of Nucl. Mater. 196-198: 794-799, (1992)].

- Developed a magnetic coils system for measuring plasma displacement [Foster, M. S., J. L. Craig, A. J. Wootton et al., "Vacuum Compatible, Variable Cross Section Magnetic Coil Diagnostic Used in Digital Feedback Control of Plasma Position in TEXT-Upgrade," Rev. of Sci. Instrum. 66: 461-463 (1995)].

- Developed analysis techniques for interpreting turbulence diagnostic data in the presence of path effects and finite sample volumes. [Bravenec, R. V. and A. J. Wootton, "Effects of Limited Spatial Resolution on Fluctuation Measurements," Rev. Sci Instrum. 66:802 (1995); Ross, D. W., R. V. Bravenec, C. P. Ritz, M. L. Sloan, J. R. Thompson, A. J. Wootton, P. M. Schoch, J. W. Heard, T. P. Crowley, R. L. Hickok, V. Simcic, D. L. Brower, W. A. Peebles and J. N. C.. Luhmann, "Comparison of drift wave models with fluctuation data from the interior of the TEXT tokamak," Phys. Fluids B 3 : 2251 (1991); .Ross, D. W., M. L. Sloan, A. J. Wootton, P. M. Schoch, J. W. Heard, T. P. Crowley, R. L. Hickok and V. Simcic, "Effect of beam-attenuation modulation on fluctuation measurements by heavy-ion beam probe," Rev. Sci. Instrum. 63: 2232-2240 (1992)].

- Leadership of the NIF diagnostic national program. [P. Bell, D. Lee, A. Wootton, et al., "Target Area and Diagnostic Interface Issues on the National Ignition Facility" Reviews of Scientific Instruments, accepted for publication (2000)].

- Leadership of x-ray diagnostics (and optics) program for LCLS

10. Machine design

Part of the design team for TOSCA (a small tokamak), DITE–BD2 (A bundle divertor for the DITE tokamak), TEXT-U (a divertor option for the tokamak TEXT), USTX (a low aspect ratio tokamak), EPEIUS (a low-aspect ratio stellarator), LCLS (a 4thgeneration light source). King, R., A. J. Wootton, and D. C. Robinson, "A Bf Compression Tokamak with Facilities for Producing Shape d Cross-Section Plasmas (TOSCA)," 8th Symposium on Fusion Technology, Paper 5 (1974); Edmonds, P. H., E. R. Solano, A. J. Wootton, D. Gao, X. Mao, G. Li and W. Zhu, "The Design of An Inner Poloidal Divertor For The TEXT Tokamak," Fusion Tech. 342-346 (1989); McCool, S. C., A. J. Wootton, R. V. Bravenec, P. H. Edmonds, K. W. Gentle, H. Huang, J. W. Jagger, B. Richards, D. W. Ross, E. R. Solano, J. Uglum and P. M. Valanju, "A Mega-Ampere Spherical Tokamak Design “

11. X-ray optics and light sources

- Coordinated multi-lab team designing x-ray optics, diagnostics and experimental end stations for a fourth generation light source [A. Wootton, J. Arthur, T. Barbee, R. Bionta, R. London, H-S Park, D. Ryutov, E. Spiller and R. Tatchyn, "X-ray optics and diagnostics for the first experiments on the linac coherent light source", Proc SPIE, Optics for 4th generation light sources, ed. Tatchyn, Freund and Matsushita, SPIE 4500 (2001), A. J. Wootton and D. D. Ryutov, "Compton scattering and photoluminescence for x-ray imaging", Rev. Sci. Instrum. 74, p1180 (2003)].

- Developed Thomson scattering x-ray source for materials studies (Hartemann, FV et al. "High-energy scaling of Compton scattering light sources", Phys. Rev. Spec. Top.-Ac., 8, 100702, (2005)).