Charles Seyler

Charles Eugene Seyler

Electrical and Computer Engineering


Upon completion of his Ph.D. in plasma physics, Seyler held a post-doctoral position for two years at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University working in fusion-related plasma physics. In 1978 he began work at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a research scientist in the controlled-fusion theory group. In 1981 he accepted a position in the School of Electrical Engineering at Cornell. While at Cornell Professor Seyler's research focus has been in plasma theory and simulation with specializations in space plasma physics and High Energy Density Physics. He is currently engaged in plasma simulation applied to the Cornell pulsed power experimental program.

Research Interests

The state of matter called high energy density (HED) plasma occurs when the energy density is of the order of 10^11 joules m^-1. Attainment of this state is required to achieve nuclear fusion in a number of schemes based on inertial confinement. Our very limited current understanding of the dynamics of HED plasmas is mostly derived from numerical simulations. However, the vast amount of physics, large dynamical range of density and pressures, and the widely separated spatial and temporal scales creates a very challenging computational problem. Further progress is dependent on advancement of numerical methods capable of meeting these challenges. While there has been a great deal of success in addressing the modeling and computation of many of the physical process underlying HED plasmas, the simulation of phenomena that are dependent on short space and time scales remain largely unexplored. My current research is simulating HED plasmas with applications to fusion and designing computational algorithmic solutions to address some computational challenges concerning issues associated with short space-time scales. The code PERSEUS developed by my group is an extended-magnetohydrodynamic code that is capable of resolving physical processes dependent on short space and time scales without the great computational expense incurred by other methods. The simulation effort in my group is closely associated with HED Plasma experiments performed on the COBRA accelerator. The experiments have provided strong support for the validity of our computational approach.

Teaching Interests

Fall 2014: ECE 3030 Electromagnetic Fields and Waves: 40 students 4 credits

Spring 2015 : ECE 5820 10 students 4 credits


Service Interests

Served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the College of Engineering 2011-2013.


Selected Publications

  • Zhao, X., Charles Eugene Seyler.  2015. "Computational Extended Magneto-hydrodynamical Study of Shock Structure Generated by Flows Past an Obstacle."  Physics of Plasmas.
  • Schrafel, P., K. Bell, J. Greenly, C. Seyler, B Kusse.  2015. "Magnetized laboratory plasma jets: Experiment and simulation."  Physical Review E 91 (1).
  • Zhao, X., Y. Yang, C E Seyler.  2014. "A positivity-preserving semi-implicit discontinuous Galerkin scheme for solving extended magnetohydrodynamics equations."  JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS 278: 400-415.
  • Gourdain, P -, C E. Seyler, L. Atoyan, J B. Greenly, D A. Hammer, B R. Kusse, S A. Pikuz, W M. Potter, P C. Schrafel, T A Shelkovenko. 2014. "The impact of Hall physics on magnetized high energy density plasma jets."  PHYSICS OF PLASMAS 21 (5).
  • Gourdain, P -, C E Seyler.  2014. "Modeling of strongly collimated jets produced by high energy density plasmas on COBRA."  PLASMA PHYSICS AND CONTROLLED FUSION 56 (3).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • James and Mary Tien, College of Engineering award for excellence in teaching (Cornell University) 2005
  • Kenneth A. Goldman College of Engineering award for excellence in teaching (Cornell University) 2002
  • College of Engineering award for excellence in teaching (Cornell University) 1999
  • Ruth and Joseph Spira Excellence in Teaching Award (Cornell University) 1997


  • B.A. (Physics, Genl (Excl Biophys)), University of South Florida, 1970
  • M.A. (Physics, Genl (Excl Biophys)), University of South Florida, 1972
  • Ph.D. (Physica), University of Iowa, 1975