Vladimir Florinski, Ph.D.

Professor, Space Science


320 Sparkman Drive
Cramer Research Hall
Room 2039
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Vladimir Florinski's scientific career began in 2001 when he graduated with a degree in Planetary Sciences from the University of Arizona. In contrast to the specialization shown on his diploma, Florinski took space science courses and did his PhD research on the interaction between cosmic rays and the solar wind and heliosphere under the guidance of Dr. Randy Jokipii, one of the world's foremost experts on the physics of cosmic rays. Dr. Florinski then joined the incipient space science group at the University of California, Riverside as a postdoc with Dr. Gary Zank, where he continued developing physics-based computer models of cosmic rays and other energetic particles in the heliosphere. He was part of the team of scientists led by Zank that moved from Riverside to Huntsville in 2008, taking a faculty position in the Physics Department at the UAH and later becoming a member of the new Space Science department. Since then Dr. Florinski has led the curriculum development for the new department and introduced and maintained a graduate program in Computational Physics. His research interests have broadened to include models of the solar wind and the interstellar medium beyond the boundaries of the solar system. He works closely with the Voyager interstellar mission scientists investigating the outermost reaches of the solar system. More recently, Dr. Florinski made significant inroads into the field of computational science by developing a geodesic tesselation based framework to model solar system processes. His research program is well supported by external funding: in addition to the prestigious NSF CAREER award in 2008, he served as Principal Investigator on eight NASA and NSF grants and a Co-Investigator on numerous other projects. His favorite pastime is building supercomputers and wall-sized displays.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, 2001
  • M.S., Physics, St. Petersburg State Technical University, Russia, 1997

Honors & Awards

  • Silver Achievement Medal, NASA (Parker Solar Probe team), 2019
  • S. T. Wu CSPAR award, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2010

Research Funding

  • "Galactic cosmic ray variations in corotating interaction regions", Sponsored by NASA, Federal, $314,000 (2017-01-01 - 2019-12-31).
  • "The CSPAR Supercomputer Redux", Sponsored by UAH, Institutional, $75,664 (2017-02-01 - 2017-08-01).
  • "Towards a Common Computer Modeling Framework in Space and Geosciences", Sponsored by UAH, Institutional, $46,234 (2016-04-01 - 2017-03-31).
  • "Collaborative Research: Developing Mathematical Algorithms for Adaptive, Geodesic Mesh MHD", Sponsored by NSF, Federal, $125,102 (2014-07-01 - 2017-06-30).
  • "The CSPAR Supercomputer Initiative", Sponsored by UAH, Institutional, $52,168(2013-05-01 - 2014-04-30).
  • "Investigating global energetic ion and neutral atom populations with IBEX and Voyager", Sponsored by NASA, Federal, $316,195 (2012-05-01 - 2015-04-30).
  • "Effects of Solar Cycle 24 on the spatial and temporal structure of the heliosheath and its impact on the modulation of galactic cosmic rays in the heliosphere", Sponsored by NASA, Federal, $269,000 (2010-03-01 - 2013-02-28).
  • "Structure and Physics of the Global Heliosphere During the Minimum of Solar Cycle 23", Sponsored by NASA, Federal, $298,000 (2010-03-01 - 2013-02-28).
  • "CAREER: Computational Physics for Research and Industry", Sponsored by NSF with UAH cost share, Federal, $652,122 (2010-01-01 - 2014-12-31).
  • "Cosmic Ray Modulation in the Global Heliosphere: A Self-Consistent 3-D Approach", Sponsored by University of California, Riverside, Federal, $59,109 (2008-07-01 - 2009-07-01)


  • Space physics
  • Plasma physics
  • Computational physics
  • Heliophysics
  • Cosmic-ray physics
  • Particle transport
  • Local Interstellar Medium interaction

Recent Publications

  • Florinski, V., Pickup ion acceleration at the termination shock and in the heliosheath, Space Science Reviews, 143, 111 (2009).

  • Florinski, V., Balogh, A., Jokipii, J. R., McComas, D. J., Opher, M., Pogorelov, N. V., Richardson, J. D., Stone, E. C., Wood, B. E., The dynamic heliosphere: outstanding issues, Space Science Reviews, 143, 57 (2009).

  • Florinski, V., Decker, R. B., le Roux, J. A., and Zank, G. P., An energetic-particle-mediated termination shock observed by Voyager 2, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L12101 (2009).

  • Florinski, V., and Pogorelov, N. V., Four-dimensional transport of galactic cosmic rays in the outer heliosphere and heliosheath, Astrophysical Journal, 701, 642 (2009).

  • Zank, G. P., Pogorelov, N. V., Heerikhuisen, J., Washimi, H., Florinski, V., Borovikov, S., Kryukov, I., and Müller, H.-R., Physics of the solar wind-local interstellar medium interaction: role of magnetic fields, Space Science Reviews, 146, 295 (2009).

  • Florinski, V., Zank, G. P., Heerikhuisen, J., Hu, Q., and Khazanov, I., Stability of a pickup ion ring-beam population in the outer heliosheath: implications for the IBEX ribbon, Astrophysical Journal, 719, 1097 (2010).

  • Florinski, V., On the transport of cosmic rays in the distant heliosheath, Advances in Space Research, 48, 308 (2011).

  • Zank, G. P., Dosch, A., Hunana, P., Florinski, V., Matthaeus, W. H., and Webb, G. M., The transport of low-frequency turbulence in astrophysical flows I. Governing equations, Astrophysical Journal, 745, 35 (2012).

  • Florinski, V., Alouani-Bibi, F., Kota, J., and Guo, X., Cosmic-ray diffusion in a sectored magnetic field in the distant heliosheath, Astrophysical Journal, 754, 31 (2012).

  • Washimi, H., Webber, W. R., Zank, G. P., Hu, Q., Florinski, V., Adams, J. H., and Kubo, Y., A role of magnetosonic pulses on variations of Voyager-1 MeV electron intensity in the heliosheath, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 757, L2 (2012).