Gil Shohet

  • Program Year: 4
  • Academic Institution: Stanford University
  • Field of Study: Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Academic Advisor: Sigrid Close
  • Practicum(s):
    Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico (2018)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015

Summary of Research

My research focuses on studying the effects of microscopic meteoroids and space debris particles as they impact spacecraft at extremely high velocities (7-72 km/s). These particles are too small to cause mechanical damage. However, at these high velocities the impactor vaporizes and generates a plasma plume that can create radio frequency emissions and electromagnetic pulses as it expands outwards, potentially damaging spacecraft electronics. This plume transitions from a warm dense matter state to a collisionless plasma as it expands into the vacuum.

My goal is to computationally and experimentally probe the impact and expansion to better understand the underlying physics of how these impacts may threaten spacecraft. In particular, I am interested in how the plasma interacts with macroscopic particles ejected from the impact site. These particles can acquire a surface charge, forming a dusty plasma and affecting the expanding plasma and associated phenomena. This is a multidisciplinary, multiphysics problem, and requires characterizing the macroscopic particles ejected on impact, developing a dust charging model that is applicable over a wide range of physical regimes, and finally integrating these into a plasma model to understanding the effect of dust on plasma evolution.


Gil Shohet, Benjamin Estacio, Isaac Matthews, Sean Young, Nicolas Lee, and Sigrid Close, "Microscopic ejecta measurements from hypervelocity imapcts on aluminum and powdered regolith targets," International Journal of Impact Engineering, vol. 152, p. 103840, June 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2021.103840.

Benjamin Estacio, Gil Shohet, Sean A. Q. Young, Isaac Matthews, Nicolas Lee, and Sigrid Close, "Dust and atmospheric influence on plasma properties observed in light gas gun hypervelocity impact experiments," International Journal of Impact Engineering, vol. 151, p. 103833, May 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2021.103833.

Gil Shohet, Benjamin Estacio, Sean Alden Quigg Young, Isaac Matthews, Nicolas Lee and Sigrid Close. "Ejecta charging and dynamics in meteoroid impacts on asteroids and comets." Poster Presentation. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2020 (virtual).

Gil Shohet, Nicolas Lee, and Sigrid Close. "Dust Charge Modeling and Ejecta Measurements for Hypervelocity Impacts on Aluminum and Powdered Regolith Simulant Targets." Proceedings of the XXXIII URSI General Assembly, August 2020, Rome (virtual)

Gil Shohet, Jacob Price, Jeffrey Haack, Mathieu Marciante, Michael S. Murillo. "Heterogeneous multiscale method for high energy-density matter: Connecting kinetic theory andmolecular dynamics." J. Comput. Phys.(2020), 100070, doi:

Townsend, J. P., Shohet, G., & Cochrane, K. R. (2020). "Liquid-vapor coexistence and critical point of Mg2SiO4 from ab initio simulations." Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL089599.

Gil Shohet et al. "Dusty Plasma Effects in Hypervelocity Impacts on the Ground and in Space." Poster presentation. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2019. San Francisco, California.

Gil Shohet and Sigrid Close. "Investigation of Dusty Plasma Effects on Radio Frequency Emissions Generated by Hypervelocity Impacts on Spacecraft." Conference presentation. 2019 USNC-URSI National Radio Science Meeting, January 2019. Boulder, Colorado.

Gil Shohet, Jake Price, Jeff Haack, Mathieu Marciante, and Michael S. Murillo. "A Heterogeneous Multiscale Method Connecting Kinetic Theory and
Molecular Dynamics." Conference presentation. 13th World Congress on Computational Mechanics, July 2018. New York, New York

Gil Shohet and Sigrid Close. "Investigation of Dusty Plasma Effects in Hypervelocity Impacts." Poster presentation. 15th Dusty Plasma Workshop, May 2018. Baltimore, Maryland.

Jacob Price and Gil Shohet. "Coupling the BGK Equation and Molecular Dynamics in a Multiscale Plasma Simulation." Conference presentation. 58th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, November 2016. San Jose, California.

Jacob Price and Gil Shohet, Haack, J., and Murillo, M. "The Heterogeneous Multiscale Method: Combining Molecular Dynamics with Kinetic Theory." Conference presentation. Nambe Quarterly Meeting, July 2015. Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Jacob Price and Gil Shohet, Marciante, M., Haack, J., and Murillo, M. "A Heterogeneous Multiscale Model for Plasma Simulation." Poster presentation. Los Alamos National Laboratory Annual Student Poster Symposium, August 2016. Los Alamos, New Mexico.


DOE NNSA Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship, 2017
NASA NSTRF Fellowship, 2017 (Declined)
NSF GFRP Honorable Mention, 2017
Stanford Graduate Engineering Fellowship, 2015, Stanford University