Oscar Buneman

Oscar Buneman

Oscar Buneman (September 28, 1913 – January 24, 1993) made advances in science, engineering, and mathematics. Buneman was a pioneer of computational plasma physics and plasma simulation.

Upon completion of his Phd with Douglas Hartree in 1940, Buneman joined Hartree's magnetron research group assisting the development of radar during World War II. They discovered the Buneman-Hartree criteron for the voltage threshold of magnetron operation. After the war Buneman developed theories and simulations of collisionless dissipation of currents, called the Buneman instability. This is an example of anomalous resistivity or absorption. It is anomalous because the phenomenon does not depend on collisions. Buneman advanced elliptic equation solver methods and their associated applications (as well as for the fast Fourier transforms).

Oscar Buneman died near Stanford University.

The computer scientist Peter Buneman is his son.


  • Buneman, O., "Dissipation of currents in ionized media". Physical Review, 115, 503 (1959).
  • Buneman, O., "Time reversible difference procedures". Journal of Computers Physics. 1, 517 (1967).
  • Buneman, O., "A compact non-iterative poisson-solver". SUIPR report 294, Stanford University (1969).
  • Buneman, O., "Fast numerical procedures for computer experiments on relativistic plasmas, in "Relativistic Plasmas (The Coral Gables Conference)", Benjamin, NY, 1968.
  • Buneman, O., "Subgrid resolution of flow and force fields". Journal of Computers Physics. 11, 250 (1973).
  • Buneman, O., and et al., "Principles and capabilities of 3d EM particle simulations". Journal of Computers Physics. 38, 1 (1980).
  • Buneman, R., and et al., "A tribute to Oscar Buneman - pioneer of plasma simulation". IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. Vancouver, BC, Canada. ISSN 0093-3813

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