Dr. Vladimir Florinski

Associate Professor, Space Science Department


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. 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 four NASA grants and a Co-Investigator on numerous other projects. His favorite pastime is building supercomputers and wall-sized displays.


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

Classes Taught

Honors & Awards

  • NSF CAREER award, 2010
  • S. T. Wu CSPAR award, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2010

Recent Grants & Contracts

  • Galactic cosmic ray variations in corotating interaction regions (NASA NNH16ZDA001N-HGIO) - $314,000
  • Collaborative research: Developing mathematical algorithms for adaptive, geodesic mesh MHD (NSF FRG 12-566) - $125,000
  • Investigating global energetic ion and neutral atom populations with IBEX and Voyager (NASA NNH11ZDA001N-HGI) - $316,000
  • 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 (NASA NNH09ZDA001-CCMSC) - $269,000
  • CAREER: Computational physics for research and industry (NSF CAREER 08-557) - $652,000

Selected Publications

  • Niemiec, J., V. Florinski, J. Heerikhuisen, and K.-I. Nishikawa. “The IBEX Ribbon and the Pickup Ion Ring Stability in the Outer Heliosheath. II. Monte-Carlo and Particle-in-Cell Model Results.” The Astrophysical Journal 826, no. 2 (July 29, 2016): 198. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/826/2/198.
  • Florinski, V., J. Heerikhuisen, J. Niemiec, and A. Ernst. “The IBEX Ribbon and the Pickup Ion Ring Stability in the Outer Heliosheath. I. Theory and Hybrid Simulations.” The Astrophysical Journal 826, no. 2 (July 29, 2016): 197. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/826/2/197.
  • Florinski, V. “Magnetic Flux Tube Interchange at the Heliopause.” The Astrophysical Journal 813, no. 1 (November 1, 2015): 49. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/813/1/49.
  • Senanayake, U. K., V. Florinski, A. C. Cummings, and E. C. Stone. “Spectral Evolution of Anomalous Cosmic Rays at Voyager 1 beyond the Termination Shock.” The Astrophysical Journal 804, no. 1 (April 20, 2015): 12. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/804/1/12.
  • Energetic Particle Anisotropies at the Heliospheric Boundary. II. Transient Features and Rigidity Dependence by V Florinski, E C Stone, A C Cummings, and J A le Roux, The Astrophysical Journal 803, no. 1: 47, doi:10.1088/0004­637X/803/1/47, 2015.
  • In Situ Observations of Magnetic Turbulence in the Local Interstellar Medium by L F Burlaga, V Florinski, and N F Ness, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 804, no. 2, L31, doi:10.1088/20418205/804/2/L31, 2015.
  • Guo, X., and Florinski, V., Galactic cosmic-ray modulation near the heliopause, Astrophysical Journal, 793, 18 (2014).
  • Burlaga, L. F., Ness, N. F., Florinski, V., and Heerikhuisen, J., Magnetic field fluctuations observed in the heliosheath and interstellar magnetic field by Voyager 1 at 115.7-124.9 AU during 2011-2013, Astrophysical Journal, 792, 134 (2014).
  • Guo, X., Florinski, V. A. (2014). Corotating interaction regions and the 27 day variation of galactic cosmic rays intensity at 1 AU during the cycle 23/24 solar minimum. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119(4), 2411–2429. doi.wiley.com/10.1002/2013JA019546
  • Fujiku, K., Washimi, H., Hyashi, K., Zank, G. P., Tokamuru, M., Tanaka, T., Florinski, V., and Kubo, Y., MHD analysis of the velocity oscillations in the outer heliosphere, Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 1420 (2014).
  • Senanayake, U., and Florinski, V., Is the acceleration of anonymous cosmic rays affected by the geometry of the termination shock? Astrophysical Journal, 778, 122 (2013).
  • Florinski, V., Jokipii, J. R., le Roux, J. A., and Aloiani-Bibi, F., Energetic particle anisotropies at the heliospheric boundary, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 776, L37 (2013).
  • Florinski, V., Guo, X., Balsara, D. S., and Meyer, C., MHD modeling of solar system processes on geodesic grids, Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 205, 19 (2013).
  • Florinski, V., Ferreira, S. E. S., and Pogorelov, N. V., Galactic cosmic rays in the outer heliosphere: theory and models, Space Science Reviews, 176, 147 (2013).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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., On the transport of cosmic rays in the distant heliosheath, Advances in Space Research, 48, 308 (2011).
  • 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).
  • 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., and Pogorelov, N. V., Four-dimensional transport of galactic cosmic rays in the outer heliosphere and heliosheath, Astrophysical Journal, 701, 642 (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., 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., Pickup ion acceleration at the termination shock and in the heliosheath, Space Science Reviews, 143, 111 (2009).