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  • Eye witness report from Culham Plasma Physics Summer School, part 2

Eye witness report from Culham Plasma Physics Summer School, part 2

FUSENET sponsors the Culham Plasma Physics Summer School in the UK. One of the students present, James Simpson, reports:

Tuesday 24th July


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Here we had a series of lectures on laser plasma interaction and the lasers at CTL. They covered a wide range of topics from laboratory plasma experiments to propagating waves in supernova - these lectures demonstrated the diverse use of lasers in plasma physics.

One example showed how to create much smaller ion sources to treat cancer, while another lecture focused on building plasma particle accelerators for particle physics.

Towards the end of the day, we then had our tours of the laser facility. Due to the large number of us we were unable to see the whole facility. I was able to see the target room and VULCAN petawatt laser. This was a magnificent facility, below are some pictures from the tour.

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One of the optics used for focusing the VULCAN laser (about 1m in diameter)

Powerful amplifiers
for the VULCAN laser









Below you can see all of us, just before we left the laboratory. We would all like to thank Margaret Notley (stood up front row to the right of the centre) for organising the trip us.


Dinner time! We left for a pub located on the riverside in oxford for food and drink. The food was good but a little pricy. Some of us went for a picnic to monopolise on the British summer time that unexpectedly has lasted more than a day!

Later on in the night we met up with the other people from the summer school and went down to the Turfs Tavern a famous pub in Oxford. It stayed surprisingly warm all night.