Skip to content


Fellows Directory

Jack Connor

Jack Connor

Dr Jack Connor FRS


Elected: 2010


John ‘Jack’ Connor is a theoretical physicist whose theories have advanced our understanding of fusion plasmas. This is essential to the development of fusion power, a nuclear technology with the potential to produce cleaner energy on a large scale.

Jack and his colleagues demonstrated that plasma, magnetically confined in a toroidal chamber known as a ‘tokamak’, is able to produce its own current — the ‘bootstrap current’. This allows the steady state operation of a fusion power plant and is now a key element of most modern devices, including the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). He has also established confinement scaling laws based on plasma physics that help determine how large a tokamak needs to be to produce self-sustaining fusion reactions.

In addition, Jack has developed methods for calculating the stability of a tokamak. This includes the ‘ballooning modes’ that limit the achievable plasma pressure, which is important for the economics of a fusion power plant. Jack was awarded the Hannes Alfven Prize in 2004 and the Payne-Gaposchkin Medal and Prize in 2008.

Interest and expertise


fusion plasmas,  plasma confinement,  plasma stability,  toroidal geometry

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.