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Patrizio Ferretti - IPP Summer University in Greifswald

IPP Summer University for Plasma Physics and Fusion - Greifswald, Germany
Reported by Patrizio Ferretti. Powered by FuseNet

Hello, my name is Patrizio Ferretti! Although I'm originally from Teramo, a small town in the middle of Italy, I am currently studying nuclear engineering at Sapienza, the major university of Rome. During my MSc I have developed a great interest in plasma physics and fusion science, which is why I decided to apply for the IPP Summer University in Greifswald which took place on 19-23 September.

Plasma Physics, Tokamaks, Stellarators and the world's most advanced fusion reactor.

During the first two days (Monday and Tuesday), several lectures were given, dealing with the basics of plasma physics, including computational plasma physics, magnetic and inertial confinement fusion, astrophysical plasmas, plasma diagnostics and safety in fusion power plants. I especially enjoyed the lecture given by Mr. Bilato about the kinetics of plasmas and the lecture given by Mr. Hartmann about plasma heating.

On Wednesday and Thursday we focused our attention on magnetic confinement fusion, explaining the principles of the two main types of MCF reactors: the tokamak and the stellarator. Of course, the lectures about the latter reactor design, were accompanied with a visit to the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator, which was definitely the most exciting moment of the summer school: everybody was amazed by the world's most advanced, completed fusion reactor.

The Friday was dedicated to the development of nuclear fusion as a possible new and sustainable energy source for the future. As such, we considered the recent developments and present issues of the ITER-reactor in Caderache, France. Furthermore, we discussed what comes after ITER on our path towards realising actual fusion powerplants. A key point of discussion was, whether DEMO (and the following generations of powerplants) should be built according to the tokamak- or stellarator-design. Obviously we weren't able to draw a definite conclusion, but we extensively examined the positive and negative aspects of both reactor types.

Much more than just studying

We didn’t spent the entire week studying, though, we also had an excursion to Usedom, where we visited an interesting old electrical power plant (now a museum) where different kinds of rockets were developped during the WWII. Furthermore, we also went to a small town near the sea, where we had a nice walk at the beach. During the evenings, we could usually be found in the city centre of Greifswald, where we went all together for dinner or to drink some good (and cheap) German beer in one of Greifwald's pubs.

I strongly suggest this experience to anyone! That is not just because of the high-quality lectures, but also because it allows students from all over the world, which share the same interest in fusion, to gather and meet each other, leading to new friendship in less than a week time.