California NanoSystems Institute
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Seth Putterman, Ph.D.

Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Member, NanoMechanical and Nanofluidic Systems, California NanoSystems Institute

Ph.D., Rockefeller University, 1970

Contact Information:
Work Email Address:
Work Address: UCLA
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Mail Code: 154705
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Fax Number: (310) 206-5668
Office Phone Number: (310) 825-2269
Technical Research Interest:

Recent research has explored energy focusing phenomena in off equilibrium continuous systems. Fluids and solids which are driven off equilibrium do not return smoothly to the equilibrium state. Instead they can display a wide range of energy focusing phenomena. The limits of focusing are often determined by processes at the nanoscale. An example is sonoluminescence where pulsating bubbles concentrate diffuse acoustic energy by 12 orders of magnitude to make picosecond flashes of light. In a one megahertz sound field the temperature inside the collapsed bubble reaches one million degrees (Physical Review Letters 92, 124301, 2004). A compelling issue is whether the energy density becomes large enough to trigger nuclear fusion in a hydrogenated bubble. Our first attempt to observe bubble fusion was reported in a one- hour documentary filmed in our lab, October 2004, by the BBC: "An experiment to Save the World". Although these results were negative, our project is ongoing and we predict that someone will achieve success with some region of cavitation parameter space. In another systempyroelectric crystals we actually achieved nuclear fusion in a very simple compact arrangement. By heating and cooling a walnut sized sealed object which contained lithium tantalate and deuterium inside, we generated fusion by products such as 2.45MeV neutrons (Naranjo, Gimzewski, Putterman, Nature April 28, 2005).

Selected Publications:

J. R. Hird, C. G. Camara, and S. J. Putterman, A triboelectric x-ray source, Appl. Phys. Lett, 2011, 98 (13).
C. G. Camara, J. V. Escobar, J. R. Hird and S. J. Putterman, Mechanically driven millimeter source of nanosecond X-ray pulses, Appl Phys B, 2010, 99 (4), 613-7.
E. Kirilov and S. Putterman, 2-photon ionization for efficient seeding and trapping of strontium ions, The European Physical Journal D - Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics, 2009, 54 (3), 683-691.
S Putterman, A physicist links magnetism, force and fatigue, Nature, 2008, 454 (257).
Putterman, S. Roberts, P., Convective corrections to the linear diffusion equation, Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys, 2008, 77 (4 Pt 2), 046313.
Carlos G. Camara1, Juan V. Escobar1, Jonathan R. Hird & Seth J. Putterman, Correlation between nanosecond X-ray flashes and stick?slip friction in peeling tape, Nature, 2008, 455 (7216), 1089-92.
Bass, A. Ruuth, S. J. Camara, C. Merriman, B. Putterman, S., Molecular dynamics of extreme mass segregation in a rapidly collapsing bubble, Phys Rev Lett, 2008, 101 (23), 234301.
Alexander Bass, Seth Putterman, Barry Merriman and Steven J. Ruuth, Symmetry reduction for molecular dynamics simulation of an imploding gas bubble, Journal of Computational Physics, 2008, 227 (3), 2118-2129.
Tang V, Meyer G, Morse J, Schmid G, Spadaccini C, Kerr P, Rusnak B, Sampayan S, Naranjo B, Putterman S, Neutron production from feedback controlled thermal cycling of a pyroelectric crystal, Rev Sci Instrum, 2007, 78 (12), 123504.
Camara, C. G. Hopkins, S. D. Suslick, K. S. Putterman, S. J., Upper bound for neutron emission from sonoluminescing bubbles in deuterated acetone, Phys Rev Lett, 2007, 98 (6), 064301.
D. Flannigan, S.D. Hopkins, C. Camara, K.S. Suslick, S. Putterman, Measurement of Pressure and Density Inside a Single Sonoluminescing Bubble, Physical Review Letters, 2006, 96 (20), 204301.
S. Hopkins, B. Kappus, K. Suslick, C. Camara, S. Putterman, Dynamics of a Sonoluminescing Bubble in Sulfuric Acid, Physical Review Letters, 2005, 95 (25), 254301.
B. Naranjo, J. Gimzewski, S. Putterman, Observation of Nuclear Fusion Driven by a Pyroelectric Crystal, Nature, 2005, 434, 1115-1117.
C. Camara, S. Putterman, E. Kirilov, Sonoluminescence from a Single Bubble Driven at 1MHz, Phys. Rev. Lett, 2004, 92 (12), 124301.
Vazquez, G. Camara, C. Putterman, S. J. Weninger, K., Blackbody spectra for sonoluminescing hydrogen bubbles, Phys Rev Lett, 2002, 88 (19), 197402.
Ruuth Steven J, Putterman Seth, Merriman Barry, Molecular dynamics simulation of the response of a gas to a spherical piston: implications for sonoluminescence, Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, 2002, 66 (3 Pt 2B), 036310.