Gerald A. Navratil


209  S.W. Mudd
Mail Code 4721

Tel(212) 854-4496
Fax(212) 854-8257

Gerald A. Navratil is internationally known for his work in the field of fusion energy and plasma physics. He directs the U.S. Department of Energy funded HBT-EP tokamak experiment in the Columbia Plasma Physics Laboratory as well as an off-campus collaboration at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego.

Research Interests

Plasma physics, plasma diagnostics, fusion energy science, active feedback control.

Research Areas

Navratil’s research interest concentrates on applying experimental plasma physics to the problem of developing controlled thermonuclear fusion as a source of energy. Fusion energy has the potential to provide a virtually unlimited source of power with a very plentiful fuel supply (deuterium and lithium), no carbon dioxide emission, and a greatly reduced environmental hazard. His research work focuses on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium and stability of magnetically confined plasmas, and the application of advanced feedback control of MHD instabilities that limit the performance of fusion plasma experiments.

Navratil received his BS degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1973 and his PhD in plasma physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976.  He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics in 1984, a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1989, and he was awarded the 2007 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics by the American Physical Society.


  • Project Associate, Physics Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976-1977


  • Thomas Alva Edison Professor of Applied Physics, Columbia University, 2004–
  • Interim Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University, 2007–2009
  • Chairman of applied physics and applied mathematics, Columbia University, 1988 –1994 and 1997–2000
  • Vice-Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University, 1994-1995
  • Professor of applied physics, Columbia University, 1988–2004
  • Associate professor of applied physics, Columbia University, l983–1988
  • Assistant professor of applied physics, Columbia University, l978–1983
  • Assistant professor of engineering science, Columbia University, 1977–l978


  • American Physical Society
  • University Fusion Association
  • Fusion Power Associates
  • European Physical Society


  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics, 1984-86
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 1989
  • Leadership Award from Fusion Power Associates, 2006
  • American Physical Society John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics, 2007


  • “Understanding the Stability Limits of the Low Torque ITER Baseline Scenario in DIII-D,” F. Turco, C. Paz-Soldan, T.C. Luce, J.M. Hanson, G. Navratil, A. Turnbull, W. Solomon, invited paper for the 2016 European Physical Society Plasma Physics Annual Meeting 4-8 July 2016 in Leuven, Belgium.
  • Modeling of fast neutral-beam-generated ions and rotation effects on RWM stability in DIII-D plasmas,” F. Turco, A. D. Turnbull, J. M. Hanson and G. A. Navratil, Nucl. Fusion 55, 113034 (2015).
  • “Design and Installation of a Ferromagnetic Wall in Tokamak Geometry,” P.E. Hughes, J.P. Levesque, N. Rivera, M.E. Mauel, and G.A. Navratil, Rev Scientific Instruments 86, 103504 (2015).
  • “Active and Passive Kink Mode Studies in a Tokamak with a Movable Ferromagnetic Wall,” J. P. Levesque, P.E. Hughes, J. Bialek, P.J. Byrne, M.E. Mauel, G.A. Navratil, Q. Peng, D.J. Rhodes and C.C. Stoafer, Physics of Plasmas 22, 056102 (2015).
  • “High-Speed Imaging of the Plasma Response to Resonant Magnetic Perturbations in HBT-EP,” Sarah Angelini, Jeffery P. Levesque, Michael E. Mauel, and Gerald A. Navratil, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 57 045008 (2015).
  • “Adaptive Feedback Control of Rotating External Kink Modes in HBT-EP,” N. Rath, P.J. Byrne, J.P. Levesque, S. Angelini, J. Bialek, B. DeBono, P. Hughes, M. E. Mauel, G.A. Navratil, Q. Peng, D. Rhodes, C. Stoafer, Nuclear Fusion 53, 073052 (2013).
  • “Enhanced ITER Resistive Wall Mode Feedback Performance Using Optimal Control Techniques,” O. Katsuro-Hopkins, J. Bialek, D. A. Maurer, G. A. Navratil,  Nucl. Fusion 47, 1157 (2007).
  • “Sustained Stabilization of the Resistive-Wall Mode by Plasma Rotation in the DIII-D Tokamak,” A. M. Garofalo, E. J. Strait, L. C. Johnson, R. J. La Haye, E. A. Lazarus, G. A. Navratil, M. Okabayashi, J. T. Scoville, T. S. Taylor, and A. D. Turnbull, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 235001 (2002).
  • “Modeling of Active Control of External MHD Instabilities,” James Bialek, Allen H. Boozer, M. E. Mauel, and G. A. Navratil, Phys. Plasmas 8, 2170 (2001).
  • “Active Control of 2/1 Magnetic Islands in a Tokamak,” by G. A. Navratil, C. Cates, M. E. Mauel, D. Maurer, D. Nadle, E. Taylor, Q. Xiao, W. A. Reass, and G. A. Wurden, Phys. Plasmas 5, 1855 (1998).
  • “Higher Fusion Power Gain with Pressure Profile Control in Strongly-Shaped DIII-D Tokamak Plasmas,” E. A. Lazarus, G. A. Navratil, C. M. Greenfield, E. J. Strait, et al., Physical Review Letters 77, 2714 (1996).