Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Dr William Hornsby

My research interests include:

  • Plasma transport theory.
  • Plasma turbulence theory.
  • Kinetic simulation of the above.
  • The simulation of the effect of the (Neoclassical) Tearing mode on plasma turbulence.
  • Large scale Plasma computation using our own supercomputer (Named Francesca), or at large scale international facilities (HECToR).
  • Numerical methods for the solution of differential equations.

I currently work in the GKW subgroup developing the flux-tube finite difference Gyro-Kinetic code (surprisingly named GKW). Specifically my work centres on,

  • Refining the numerics of the Gyrokinetic code GKW.
  • Collision operators.
  • Using GKW to simulate the effect of Magnetic Islands (produced via the Tearing mode) on plasma turbulence and fusion plasma stability.
  • Visualisation of three dimensional data.

The code can now be downloaded from Google code.

Electrostatic potential in a flux tube in toroidal coordinates
Above figure shows the computational domain of the GKW flux tube code. Plotted is the electrostatic potential in a flux tube of q=1.57 and inverse aspect ratio eps=0.177. Turbulent structures are elongated along the magnetic field lines.

Masters students at the University of Warwick have produced a code to produce videos of plasma turbulence using data from GKW, and example of this can be seen here,


My previous work (PhD, Imperial College London) consisted of the writing of a Vlasov-Fokker-Plank code, and its subsequent use in studying the effects of Magnetic Turbulence on cross-field plasma transport.

More details can be found in the paper Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 52 (2010) 075011

  Snapshot of 3D simulation 
This is a snapshot of three dimensional data from my Vlasov-Fokker-Plank code. It shows a electron density perturbation in strong magnetic turbulence. From this code transport coefficients along and across the background magnetic field (in the z direction) can be calculated. The movie from which this frame is taken can be downloaded from the menu bar on the left.

When not doing physics I can usually be found on my bicycle flying around the highways and byways of Warwickshire. I am a member of the Kenilworth Wheelers cycling club.

Contact Details


William Hornsby
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Centre for Fusion, Space & Astrophysics
Department of Physics
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Room: PS122

Fax: +44 (0) 24 7652 3672

William Hornsby

Create your badge