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Liudas Karalius - internship at COMPASS

 

Nature of the Project

Due to its rather small size, COMPASS, situated in the Institute of Plasma Physics in Prague, is a reactor particularly well suited for disruption studies. My work focused on the development of an algorithm that could later be used in searches of toroidal plasma centroid asymmetries during the disruption–a factor that would heavily influence disruption forces on the vessel walls if present. From cleansing magnetic signals from all unwanted contributions to optimizing the procedure of plasma centroid determination and finally reviewing the results. It was a three month long step by step journey from the raw diagnostic signals to the final product during which I was allowed the freedom to take my own tangential paths and implement my own ideas – in essence to do my own research.This freedom is exactly what allowed me to understand myself as a young scientist via discovering methodology preferences.

The Rhythms of COMPASS

The calm of your own workspace is not something you are bound to. I was kindly invited to join the staff in web conferences discussing important experimental campaigns as well as future projects. Sometimes, up to 30 discharges would be performed during a day filling the control room with action and discussion and turning it into a perfect place to learn by observation and listening. Environment is particularly dynamic, as COMPASS Upgrade is being designed and new people, including post-docs and students are coming into the picture. Monday morning meetings, department parties, chit-chats near the kitchen sink while cooking your lunch or in the department coffee club – all of them played a role in making me feel like I was a part of the community.The tightly bound web of curious and open people quickly absorbed me as a newcomer.Gathering up in town for a dinner, to see a sports match or to simply have a beer in a local pub - relationships crafted at work transcended into my life outside of it. I expect friendships I have crafted there to last for many years.

The Beautiful Prague

To my knowledge, the fact that Prague is pretty is well established and I do not need to advocate it. Same goes for the fact that it is rich in culture in history. What I am writing further may have well been expected, but just for the record,let me proceed. Prague is also an incredibly vivid place. An abundance of public events, jam sessions organized all around town, outdoor parties, people staying in city’smany parks late into the night with their groups of friends. Prague receives numerous visitors and is hence continuously full of life, regardless of the time of the week or day. Just on the outskirts of the city one can find lakes to swim, boulders to climb and forests to stroll in-it is genuinely hard to get bored.

- Liudas Karalius