Dr. Michael Burin
Dr. Michael Burin
Associate Professor of Physics

Office: Science Hall II, Room 215
Phone: (760) 750-8575
Classes taught at CSUSM:

Phys 201: Physics of Mechanics and Sound

Phys 320: Classical Mechanics

Astr 342: Elements of Astronomy

Phys 421: Applied Electromagnetic Waves and Optics

Phys 480: Advanced Applied Physics Laboratory

Education and Professional Background:

  • Associate Professor, Department of Physics, CSUSM, 2013-current
  • Visiting Associate Research Scientist, Center for Energy Research, UC San Diego, 2014-15
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, CSUSM, 2007-2013
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Pomona College, Claremont, CA, 2006-2007
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences and Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL), Princeton University, NJ, 2003-2006
  • Ph.D. (Engineering Physics); U.C. San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2003)
  • M.S. (Mechanical Engineering); U.C. San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2000)
  • M.S. (Astronomy); San Diego State University, San Diego, CA (1998)
  • B.S. (Physical Science); Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA (1994)

A full CV is available upon request.

Current Research Interests:


Turbulence in Rotating Flows (Taylor-Couette flow, accretion disks)


Photo courtesy of NASA


Electrical Discharges in Gases (e.g. lightning, aurora)


Photo courtesy of NASA

Published Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

(and those under review; for conference proceedings etc. please see CV)

Burin, M.J., G.G. Simmons, H.G. Ceja, S.J. Zweben, A. Nagy, C. Brunkhorst. "On filament structure and propagation within a commercial plasma globe".  Accepted in Physics of Plasmas, April 2015.

Burin, M.J. "Some daytime activities in solar astronomy", accepted for publication in the Phys. Teacher (December 2014).

Gill, R.M. and Burin, M.J.  "Enhancing the introductory astronomical experience with the use of a tablet and telescope", Phys. Teacher 51, 2013.

Burin, M.J., Czarnocki, C. J*. Subcritical Transition and Spiral Turbulence in Circular Couette Flow, Journal of Fluid Mechanics 709, 2012, p. 106-122..

Schartman, E., Ji, H., Burin, M.J., Goodman, J., "Stability of Quasi-Keplerian Shear Flow in a Laboratory Experiment", Astronomy & Astrophysics 543, 2012, A94 P. 1..

Burin, M.J., Ji, H., Schartman, E. Local Measurements of Turbulent Angular Momentum Transport in Circular Couette Flow, Experiments in Fluids 48, 2010, p. 763.

Schartman, E., Ji, H., Burin, M.J. Development of a Couette-Taylor Flow Device with Active Minimization of Secondary Circulation, Review of Scientific Instruments 80, 2009, p. 024501. 

Ji, H., Burin, M.J., Schartman, E., Goodman, J. Hydrodynamic Turbulence Cannot Transport Angular Momentum Effectively in Astrophysical Disks, Nature 444, 16 November 2006, p. 343.

White, A.E., Zweben, S.J., Burin, M.J., Carter, T.A., Hahm, T.S., Krommes, J. and Maqueda, R.J. Bispectral Analysis of Low to High-Confinement Mode Transitions in the National Spherical Torus Experiment, Physics of Plasmas 13, 2006, p. 072301-1.

Burin, M.J., et al. Reduction of Ekman Circulation within Taylor-Couette Flow, Experiments in Fluids 40, 2006, p. 962.

Burin, M.J., Tynan, G.R., Holland, C., Antar, G.Y., Crocker, N. A. On the Transition to Drift Wave Turbulence, Physics of Plasmas 12, 2005, p. 052320-1.

Tynan, G.R., Burin, M.J., Holland, C., Antar, G.Y., Crocker, N. Radially Sheared Azimuthal Flows and Turbulent Transport in a Cylindrical Plasma, Physics of Plasmas 11, 2004, p. 5195.

Holland, C., Tynan, G.R., Diamond, P.H., Moyer, R.A., Burin, M.J. Evidence for Reynolds-Stress Driven Shear Flows using Bispectral Analysis: Theory and Experiment, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 44, 2002, p. A453. 

Moyer, R.A., Tynan, G.R., Holland, C., Burin, M.J. Increased Nonlinear Coupling between Turbulence and Low-Frequency Fluctuations at the L-H Transition, Physical Review Letters 87, 2001, p.135001-1.

Tynan, G.R., Moyer, R.A., Burin, M.J., Holland, C. On the Nonlinear Turbulent Dynamics of Shear-Flow De-Correlation and Zonal Flow Generation, Physics of Plasmas 8, 2001, p. 2691.