Top arrow pointing up

Derek Schaeffer

Derek Schaeffer


Assistant Professor at University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Derek Schaeffer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He received his BA in Physics and Philosophy from Cornell University and his PhD in Physics from UCLA.  He did his postdoctoral work at Princeton in high-energy-density laboratory astrophysics, where he was one of the primary developers of pioneering laboratory experiments that utilize high-energy lasers to generate astrophysically-relevant collisionless shocks in high-energy-density plasmas.  He is the recipient of the DOE Early Career Research Award.  His current research focuses on experiments and numerical simulations of the interaction of magnetized plasmas and strongly driven high-energy-density flows, with applications to astrophysical phenomena, particle acceleration, and inertial fusion energy.


LaserNetUS Affiliations:

  • LaserNetUS SAB
  • LaserNetUS Cycle 4 PI


Featured Publications:

1.    Laser-driven, ion-scale magnetospheres in laboratory plasmas I. Experimental platform and first results

D.B. Schaeffer, et al., Physics of Plasmas 29, 042901 (2022)

2.    Kinetic Simulations of Piston-Driven Collisionless Shock Formation in Magnetized Laboratory Plasmas

D.B. Schaeffer, et al., Physics of Plasmas 27, 042901 (2020)

3.    Direct Observations of Particle Dynamics in Magnetized Collisionless Shock Precursors in Laser-Produced Plasmas

D.B. Schaeffer, et al., Physical Review Letters 122, 245001 (2019)

4.    Generation and Evolution of High-Mach-Number Laser-Driven Magnetized Collisionless Shocks in the Laboratory

D.B. Schaeffer, et al., Physical Review Letters 119, 025001 (2017)


  • Scientific Advisory Board