Hoppa till huvudinnehållet
Till KTH:s startsida Till KTH:s startsida

Jan Scheffel

Profilbild av Jan Scheffel



Teknikringen 29



Om mig

Professor emeritus in Theoretical Fusion Plasma Physics
(School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; EECS, KTH)
Employed (part time) at Novatron Fusion Group.
Author of the book Tankens Villkor.

Main academic assignments
-          -2022  Deputy Head, division of Fusion Plasma Physics
- 2018-2022  Programme Director, doctoral program Electrical Engineering (E2DOC)
- 2018-2022 Chair, Election Committe for KTH Faculty Council
- 2012-2019  Vice chair, KTH Promotion Board
- 2002-2012 Programme Director "Civilingenjör och Lärare"
- 2002-2012 Programme Director "Öppen Ingång"

My research activities are in the following fields:
• Theoretical fusion plasma physics (main research field)
• Computational physics
• Analytic philosophy
• Pedagogy.
These are described in more detail below.
As a teacher, I have
- designed new undergraduate courses in engineering science, vector analysis
and fusion physics.
- developed course designs based on continual examination
as well as course development strategies for KTH.
• In 2014 I received the KTH Pedagogical prize.
• In 2022 I was elected "Teacher of the Year"
by the student programme Civilingenjör och Lärare.

Interpretation and prediction of fusion plasmas are complex tasks and cannot, as of yet, be made in detail from first principles. New methods for more efficient and accurate solution of the modelling equations are of importance for designing more advanced and compact fusion power plants that could replace fossil fuels by the mid-century or before.
• As a theorist I develop noveltheoretical and numerical toolsfor solving the systems of nonlinear partial differential equations that constitute our models of the hot fusion plasma. These fluid (3D space) and kinetic (6D phase space) equations feature phenomena on several distinct time scales, being demanding in terms of computer memory and CPU time. For this reason, my group focuses on efficient so-called time-spectral methods.
• My second field of interest is to exploreoperational limits of alternative plasma configurations. Such configurations, being more compact and easier to develop, would significantly shorten the time for commercialization of fusion power.  Some major work (for details, see portfolio):
Computational physics
GWRM - a time-spectral method for solving initial-value PDE:s
A time-spectral approach to numerical weather prediction
Optimizing Time-Spectral Solution of Initial-Value Problems
SIR - an efficient root solver for systems of nonlinear equations
Operational limits of fusion energy configurations
Effect of Thermal Conduction on Pressure-driven Modes in the Reversed-field Pinch
Numerical Studies of Confinement Scalings for the Dynamo Free Reversed-field Pinch
Confinement Scaling Laws for the Conventional Reversed-field Pinch​​​​​​​
Linear Stability of the High Temperature, Dense Z-pinch
Large Larmor Radius Stability of the Z-pinch
Fundamental plasma physics
Large Debye Distance Effects in a Homogeneous Plasma
On the Minimum Elementary Charge of an Extended Electromagnetic Theory

My work in analytical philosophy primarily addresses problems in epistemology and philosophy of mind. I have found that elements of physics and mathematics, including information theory, are beneficial when addressing long-standing problems relating to, for example, knowledge and understanding, consciousness and free will.
Publications (for details, see portfolio):
Tankens Villkor, a book about the limits to rational thinking in mathematics, the natural sciences, philosophy and in everyday life;
Tankens Villkor
Understanding (published in the journal Filosofisk Tidskrift)
Att förstå – betraktelser utifrån en ny teori
Svar till A. Tollands kommentarer till artikeln Att förstå – betraktelser utifrån en ny teori
On the Solvability of the Mind-Body Problem (Detailed article)
On the Solvability of the Mind-Body Problem (Popularized)
Free will
Emergent Will (Detailed article)
The unsolvability of the Mind-Body problem enables free will (Popularized; see p. 26)

Teaching and pedagogy (until retirement)
• I have taught and held courses at KTH since 1977 in calculus, differential equations, algebra, vector analysis, fusion plasma physics, engineering science as well as in theory and methodology of science.
• Until retirement I have taught in the courses listed below. I have also been quite engaged in pedagogical leadership at KTH, recently as director of the Electrical Engineering (E2DOC) doctoral programme.
See also the portfolio on pedagogy (right column).
- Bachelor level
ED1100 Engineering Science (course responsible)
ED1110 Vector Analysis (course responsible)
EH1110 Global Impact of Electrical Engineering (Student mentor)
-Master level
ED2200 Energy and Fusion Research (course responsible)
MJ2405 Sustainable Power Generation (Guest lecturer)
-Doctoral level
ED3230 Magnetohydrodynamics (course responsible)
ED3305 Magnetohydrodynamics, advanced (course responsible)
JD3300 Kinetic Plasma Theory (course responsible)

Outreach in Fusion and Popular science
Blog in Forskning och Framsteg, a Swedish popular science journal.
For further contributions, please see portfolio.

Novel structure for textbooks and nonfiction
Nonfiction and academic textbooks are still written in a similar style as in the 17th century, whereas the readers’ demands have evolved. But there is a way out! - see portfolio.

Gender equality
At KTH, as well as at other technical universities, work is still to be done for achieving gender equality. Some humble initiatives can be found in the portfolio.


Energi och fusionsforskning (ED2200), kursansvarig, lärare | Kurswebb

Vektoranalys (ED1110), kursansvarig, lärare | Kurswebb