I study plasmas, the hot matter which make up most of the universe. I am an experimental physicist, so I like being in the lab, looking at data, and saying “huh, that’s odd.” I mostly study high-energy-density-plasmas, which is a catch-all name for plasmas which are hot and dense, which distinguishes them from magnetically confined plasmas (which are hot and sparse) and atmospheric discharges used in industry (which are cold and dense).
In particular, I create plasmas using intense electrical currents (around 1 MA), which heat initially solid materials to the plasma state. This processes also generates very large magnetic fields (10s T or more) which accelerate the plasmas to high speeds (100s km/s). These hot, dense, magnetised plasmas are ideal for testing fundamental concepts in plasma physics, and mimicking the extreme conditions found in astrophysical objects.
I’m an assistant professor at the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department at MIT, where I’m developing a new pulsed-power generator for producing high-energy-density plasmas. You can find out more about what I’m working on in my Research Interests or in my Plasma Physics Blog. Previously I worked as a graduate student and post doc at the MAGPIE pulsed power generator at Imperial College London.
Unlike most of the universe, the Earth is not a plasma, which allows me to go hiking, canyoning, caving, ski touring and so on when I’m not in the lab, which you can find in my Adventure Blog. The header photo is an image from the underground campsite I helped build, 600 m below the surface of the Earth in the Julian Alps, Slovenia, whilst on expedition with Imperial College Caving Club.
A common reason for academics to read the websites of academics is when they need to introduce them before a seminar. For convenience, here is a potted biography:
Prof. Jack Hare is the Gale Career Development (1929) assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. He graduated with First Class honours from the Natural Sciences Tripos at the University of Cambridge in 2011, followed by a Master’s degree at Princeton University from the Graduate Program in Plasma Physics in 2013. He carried out his PhD research at Imperial College London, supervised by Prof. Sergey Lebedev on the 1.4 MA MAGPIE generator, graduating in 2017, followed by postdoctoral appointments at Imperial College (2017-2019 and 2020) and the Max -Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, Germany (2019). He started his new research group based around the PUFFIN pulsed-power generator at MIT in 2021.