Gary Zank

Distinguished ProfessorZank-11


Office: Cramer Hall 2039

Phone: 256-961-7401





  • B.S. 1982, University of Natal, South Africa
  • M.S. 1983, University of Natal, South Africa
  • Ph.D. 1987, University of Natal, South Africa


Research interests

All aspects of interplanetary space physics, physics of the solar corona, physics of the local interstellar medium, interaction of nonmagnetized bodies with the solar wind.


Current graduate students


Parisa Mostafavi

Ph.D. expected



Past graduate students


Laxman Adhikari

Ph.D. 2015

Dissertation: "Transport of turbulence throughout the heliosphere"


Brian Fayock

Ph.D. 2013

Dissertation: "Analysis of solar Lyman-alpha scattering in the heliosphere"


Lauren Khare

M.S. 2013

Thesis: "Pickup ion driven simulation of bulk properties of the outer heliosphere as compared to Voyager observations"


Linda Neergard-Parker

Ph.D. 2013

Dissertation: “Particle acceleration at interplanetary shock waves”


Selected recent publications

  • Book: Zank, G. P., Transport Processes in Space Physics and Astrophysics, Lecture Notes in Physics 877, Springer, New York (2013).
  • Washimi, H., Zank, G. P., Hu, Q., Tanaka, T., and Munakata, K., MHD modeling of the outer heliospheric structures around the heliopause, Astrophysical Journal, 809, 16 (2015).
  • Latitudinal And Energy-Dependence Of Energetic Neutral Atom Spectral Indices Measured By The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), by M. I. Desai, F. A. Allegrini, M. A. Dayeh, H. Funsten, J. Heerikhuisen, D.J. McComas, S.A. Fuselier, N. Pogorelov, N.A. Schwadron, G.P. Zank, and E.J. Zirnstein, ApJ, 802, 100, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/802/2/100, 2015.
  • Faltering Steps into the Galaxy: the Boundary Regions of the Heliosphere, by G.P. Zank, Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 53, 449 - 500, doi:10.2246/annurev-astro-082214-122254, 2015.
  • Small-scale magnetic islands in the solar wind and their role in particle acceleration Part 1: Dynamics of magnetic islands near the heliospheric current sheet, by O.Khabarova, G.P. Zank, G.Li, J.A. le Roux, G.M. Webb, A. Dosch, V.V. Zharkova, and O.E. Malandraki, ApJ, 808, 181. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/808/2/181, 2015.
  • Adhikari, L., Zank, G. P., Bruno, R., Telloni, D., Hunana, P., Dosch, A., Marino, R., and Hu, Q., The transport of low-frequency turbulence in astrophysical flows. II. Solutions for the super-alfvénic solar wind, Astrophysical Journal, 805, 63 (2015).
  • Diffusive Shock Acceleration and Reconnection Processes, by G.P. Zank, P. Hunana, P. Mostafavi, J.A. le Roux, Gang Li, G.M. Webb, O. Khabarova, A. Cummings, and E. Stone ApJ, 814, 137, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/814/2/137, 2015.
  • le Roux, J. A., Zank, G. P., Webb, G. M., and Khabarova, O., A kinetic transport theory for particle acceleration and transport in regions of multiple contracting and reconnecting inertial-scale flux ropes, Astrophysical Journal, 801, 112 (2015).
  • Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) Investigation: Design of the Solar Wind and Coronal Plasma Instrument Suite for Solar Probe Plus, by Justin C. Kasper, Robert Abiad, Gerry Austin, Marianne Balat-Pichelin, Stuart D. Bale, John W. Belcher, Peter Berg, Henry Bergner, Matthieu Berthomier, Jay Bookbinder, Etienne Brodu, David Caldwell, Anthony W. Case, Benjamin D.G. Chandran, Peter Cheimets, Jonathan W. Cirtain, Steven R. Cranmer, DavidW. Curtis, Peter Daigneau, Greg Dalton, Brahmananda Dasgupta, David DeTomaso, Millan Diaz-Aguado, Blagoje Djordjevic, Bill Donaskowski, Michael Effinger, Vladimir Florinski, Nichola Fox, Mark Freeman, Dennis Gallagher, S. Peter Gary, Tom Gauron, Richard Gates, Melvin Goldstein, Leon Golub, Dorothy A. Gordon, Reid Gurnee, Giora Guth, Jasper Halekas, Ken Hatch, Jacob Heerikuisen, George Ho, Qiang Hu, Greg Johnson, Steven P. Jordan, Kelly E. Korreck, Davin Larson, Alan J. Lazarus, Gang Li, Roberto Livi, Michael Ludlam, Milan Maksimovic, James P. McFadden, William Marchant, Bennet A. Maruca, David J. McComas, Luciana Messina, Tony Mercer, Sang Park, Andrew M. Peddie, Nikolai Pogorelov, Matthew J. Reinhart, John D. Richardson, Miles Robinson, Irene Rosen, Ruth M. Skoug, Amanda Slagle, John T. Steinberg, Michael L. Stevens, Adam Szabo, Ellen R. Taylor, Chris Tiu, Paul Turin, Marco Velli, Gary Webb, Phyllis Whittlesey, Ken Wright, S.T. Wu, Gary Zank, Space Sci Rev., DOI 10.1007/s11214-015-0206-3, 2015.
  • Multi-symplectic magnetohydrodynamics: II, addendum and erratum, by G.M. Webb, J.F. McKenzie, and G.P. Zank, J. Plasma Phys. (2015), vol. 81, 905810610, doi:10.1017/S0022377815001415, 2015.
  • Lyman-alpha radiation pressure in the heliosphere: Results from a 3D Monte-Carlo radiative transfer simulation, by B. Fayock, G.P. Zank, J. Heerikhuisen, C.R. Gilbert, and K. Scherer, Proc. 14th Annual Int. Astrophysics Conf., Tampa, Open Access Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), ed. G.P. Zank, 642, 012007 doi:10.1088/1742-6596/642/1/012007 (2015).
  • Energetic ion acceleration by small-scale flux ropes, by J.A. le Roux, G.M. Webb, G.P. Zank, and O. Khabarova, Proc. 14th Annual Int. Astrophysics Conf., Tampa, Open Access Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), ed. G.P. Zank, 642, 012015 doi:10.1088/1742-6596/642/1/012015 (2015).
  • Dynamical small-scale magnetic islands as a source of local acceleration of particles in the solar wind, by O.V. Khabarova, G.P. Zank, Gang Li, J.A. le Roux, G.M. Webb, O.E. Malandraki, and V.V. Zharkova, Proc. 14th Annual Int. Astrophysics Conf., Tampa, Open Access Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), ed. G.P. Zank, 642, 012033 doi:10.1088/1742-6596/642/1/012033(2015).
  • Anisotropies in TeV Cosmic Rays Related to the IBEX Ribbon, by N. A. Schwadron, P. Frisch, F. C. Adams, E. Christian, P. Desiati, H. O. Funsten, J. R. Jokipii, D.J. McComas, E. Moebius, and G. Zank, ASTRA Proceedings, in press (2015).
  • The transport of low-frequency turbulence in the super-Alfvenic solar wind, by L. Adhikari, G.P. Zank, R. Bruno, D. Telloni, P. Hunana, A. Dosch, R. Marino, and Q. Hu, Proc. 14th Annual Int. Astrophysics Conf., Tampa, Open Access Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), ed. G.P. Zank, 642, 012001 doi:10.1088/1742-6596/642/1/012001 (2015).
  • Particle acceleration by combined diffusive shock acceleration and downstream multiple magnetic island acceleration, by G P Zank, P Hunana, P Mostafavi, J A le Roux, Gang Li, G M Webb, and O Khabarova, Proc. 14th Annual Int. Astrophysics Conf., Tampa, Open Access Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), ed. G.P. Zank, 642, 012031 doi:10.1088/1742-6596/642/1/012031 (2015).
  • Heerikhuisen, J., Zirnstein, E. J., Funsten, H. O., Pogorelov, N. V., and Zank, G. P., The effect of new interstellar medium parameters on the heliosphere and energetic neutral atoms from the interstellar boundary, Astrophysical Journal, 784, 73 (2014).
  • Zirnstein, E. J., Heerikhuisen, J., Zank, G. P., Pogorelov, N. V., McComas, D. J., and Desai, M. I., Charge-exchange coupling between pickup ions across the heliopause and its effect on energetic neutral hydrogen flux, Astrophysical Journal, 783, 129 (2014).
  • Neergaard Parker, L., Zank, G. P., and Hu, Q. Particle acceleration at quasi-perpendicular shock waves: Theory and observations at 1 AU, Astrophysical Journal, 782, 52 (2014).
  • Schwadron, N. A., Adams, F. C., Christian, E. R., Desiati, P., Frisch, P., Funsten, H. O., Jokipii, J. R., McComas, D. J., Moebius, E., and Zank, G. P., Global anisotropies in TeV cosmic rays related to the Sun’s local galactic environment from IBEX, Science, 343, 988 (2014).


Recent grants and contracts

  1. Microstructure of the termination shock (NASA NNH07ZDA001N-SHP) - $360,000.
  2. Particle acceleration for solar energetic particle and energetic storm particle events (NASA NNH08ZDA001N-HGI) - $363,000.
  3. The dynamical inner heliosheath and the space radiation environment (NASA NNH09ZNE002C EPSCoR) - $665,478.
  4. Physics of the Ribbon and related problems (NASA NNH09ZDA001N-SHP) - $414,649.
  5. Particle acceleration at inner heliospheric shock waves during solar maximum (NASA NNH13ZDA001N-HGI) - $507,181.