Mission Statement

The mission of the Center for Integrated Plasma Studies is to foster plasma and beam related science and research. In particular, CIPS provides a home for interdisciplinary plasma related activities. This includes coordination of high-performance scientific and networking capability. CIPS has the additional mission of scientific outreach, making plasma physics, general physics, and astrophysics highly accessible to the general public.


The Center for Integrated Plasma Studies (CIPS) is a research center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Located in the Duane Physics Complex.

The center was founded in 1993 in order to consolidate plasma research on campus and in the Boulder scientific community at large. Since the first days of its existence CIPS has hosted scholars from all over the world.

CIPS's scholars constitute a number of research groups, each responsible for its own projects. Our scholars make use of a number of highly specialized laboratories across the Physics Department.

CIPS is funded by research grants received from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NSF (National Science Foundation) , DOE (Department of Energy), and other agencies.

Research Outline

The focus of research carried out at CIPS is the study of plasma, hot ionized gas, such as found in the stars, in space, and in lightning storms. Plasma physics has broadened considerably from its original domain. It includes not only the study of ionized gases, but also the study of strongly coupled systems, nonneutral plasmas, dusty plasmas, and charged particle beams. Plasma research has long been applied to space, astrophysical, and fusion plasmas, but in addition is now applied to semiconductor processing, intense particle beams, and high-definition video display.

Because of the broad scope of plasma physics, members have links to many other units at the University of Colorado including the Departments of Physics, Astrophysical and Planetary Science, Applied Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. Other institutes, such as the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and JILA, are represented as well. In addition, CIPS reaches outside the University with affiliates from government labs, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the Space Environment Labs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and from several local research companies, such as Lodestar Corporation, Tech-X Corporation, Plasmelt Glass Technologies, and Science Applications International Corporation.

The Center for Integrated Plasma Studies supports communication and exchange of ideas in plasma physics. It does so through its seminar series, which covers all aspects of plasma physics. In addition, CIPS provides research opportunities for students and all others interested in this field.

Message from the Director

Department Director Tobin Munsat

The Center for Integrated Plasma Studies has continued its success under the direction of Prof. Tobin Munsat, and we look forward to more successful years. Notable points of success include being listed as one of the top-10 Plasma Physics graduate programs in the US (US News and World Report). Research highlights span a wide range of plasma physics topics, including laser-plasma interactions, magnetic fusion, space and astrophysical plasma, and dusty plasma. The goal of CIPS is to provide a cohesive environment that will continue to foster success in plasma physics research at the University of Colorado.

Tobin Munsat
Director, Center for Integrated Plasma Studies
University of Colorado

Annual Reports