Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Kristopher Klein
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Kristopher G Klein

Research Fellow

Office: 2127 Space Research Building
Phone: 734-936-7262


Doctor of Philosophy in Physics; University of Iowa, 2013

Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Mathematics; Luther College, 2008


My research focuses on the application of kinetic plasma physics theory to numerical simulations and in situ observations of the solar wind, especially concerning the damping of turbulence and the associated irreversible heating. The goal of my work is to better characterize the evolution of the Sun's extended atmosphere as it is accelerated from the solar surface and expands through the heliosphere. Such work takes advantage of national high performance computing resources and state of the art measurements from current and upcoming NASA spacecraft, and will potentially lead to an improved understanding of the behavior of heliospheric phenomena as well as contribute to better characterizations of fundamental physics processes occurring in systems ranging from laboratory and fusion plasmas to black hole accretion disks and the quiescent interstellar medium. I am currently preparing theoretical predictions, in collaboration with Prof. Justin Kasper and the SWEAP science team, for the upcoming Solar Probe Plus mission, which when launched in 2018 will provide observations of novel regions of the near-Sun environment.

Specializations and Research Interests

Space and Astrophysical Plasmas, Solar Wind Turbulence, Damping and Dissipation of Kinetic Plasmas, Gyrokinetic Simulations.

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

NSF AGS Postdoctoral Research Fellow: 2014-2016
University of Iowa Goertz/Nicholson Memorial Scholarship: 2012

Professional Service

Government Service:
Panelist and External Reviewer for NASA
Panelist and External Reviewer for NSF
Professional Service:
SHINE Workshop Session Organizer:2015,2016
Journal Referee: 
Journal of Plasma of Physics, Physics of Plasmas, Astrophysical Journal Letters, The Astrophysical Journal, Annales Geophysicae
American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics


Klein, K. G. and Chandran, B. D. G. Evolution of the Proton Velocity Distribution due to Stochastic Heating in the Near-Sun Solar Wind, ApJ 820 47, 2016, doi:10.3847/0004-637X/820/1/47
Chandran, B. D. G., Perez, J. C., Verscharen, D., Klein, K. G., and Mallet, A On the Conservation of Cross Helicity and Wave Action in Solar-Wind Models with non-WKB Alfv ́en Wave Reflection, ApJ 811 50, 2015, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/811/1/50
Klein, K. G. and Howes, G. G. Predicted Impacts of Proton Temperature Anisotropy on Solar Wind Turbulence, Phys. Plasmas, 22, 032903, 2015, doi: 10.1063/1.4914933
Klein, K. G., Perez, J. C., Verscharen, D., Mallet, A., Chandran, B .D. G. A Modified Version of Taylor’s Hypothesis for Solar Probe Plus Observations ApJ Lett, 801 L18, 2015, doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/801/1/L18
Klein, K. G., Howes, G. G., and TenBarge, J. M. The Violation of the Taylor Hypothesis in Measurements of Solar Wind Turbulence, ApJ Lett, 790 L20, 2014, doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/790/2/L20
Howes, G. G., Klein, K. G., and TenBarge, J. M. Validity of the Taylor Hypothesis for Linear Kinetic Waves in the Weakly Collisional Solar Wind, ApJ, 789 106, 2014, doi: 10.1088/0004-63
Klein, K. G., Howes, G. G., TenBarge, J. M., and Podesta, J. J. Physical Interpretation of the Angle Dependent Magnetic Helicity Spectrum in the Solar Wind: The Nature of Turbulent Fluctuations near the Proton Gyroradius Scale ApJ, 785 138, 2014, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/785/2/138
Klein, K. G., Howes, G. G., TenBarge, J. M., Bale, S. D., Chen, C. H. K., and Salem, C. S. Using Synthetic Spacecraft Data to Interpret Compressible Fluctuations in Solar Wind Turbulence, ApJ, 755 159, 2012, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/755/2/159
Howes, G. G., Bale, S. D., Klein, K. G., Chen, C. H. K., Salem, C. S., and TenBarge, J. M. The slow-mode nature of compressible wave power in solar wind turbulence, ApJ
Lett, 753 L19, 2012, doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/753/1/L19
TenBarge, J. M., Podesta, J. J., Klein, K. G., and Howes, G. G. Interpreting Magnetic Variance Anisotropy Measurements in the Solar Wind, ApJ 753 107, 2012, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/753/2/107
Updated: 2017-09-26