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Rion Barrois - Internship at the University of York

Internship at the University of York, UK
Report by Rion Barrois. Powered by FuseNet

My name is Rion Barrois and I am Dutch master student doing a master’s program on ‘Science & Technology of Nuclear Fusion’ at the Eindhoven University of Technology. A three-month lasting internship abroad on a fusion-related topic is a mandatory part of this program and I had planned to do mine in the period between November 2015 and February 2016.

With no specific research topic in mind, I started browsing the FuseNet-website to get some ideas for a nice project. After working my way through the full list of possibilities, I noticed that inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is one of the main research interests of the plasma & fusion group of the University of York. This fascinated me, especially because magnetic confinement has been discussed in great detail during my master’s program, whereas ICF had only been briefly mentioned.

After I had decided that the external internship would be the perfect opportunity for me to do ‘something different’, I got in touch with the FuseNet-contact of the University of York to ask for a ICF-related internship project. A few weeks later, I received a reply with a proposition, which I accepted straightaway, allowing me to start preparing for my time in York. Via a student room website, I managed to find an affordable room in a student house close to the university campus and not too far from the city centre, which I shared with a number of international students. Then, I made my travel arrangements: I booked a cheap Ryan-air flight from Eindhoven to Manchester and I made a reservation for a seat in the train from Manchester to York. With a project, travel arrangements and housing settled, I was good to go.

Project description

In certain laser-plasma regimes, non-local transport phenomena play an important role in determining the time-evolution of temperature and magnetic field profiles in the gas-fill of magnetised hohlraums. Unfortunately, fluid codes, which are often used to simulate transport in laser-plasmas, cannot be used in these regimes, due to these non-local effects. During my internship, I have simulated laser-plasma interactions in the presence of magnetic fields in order to investigate the possibility of correcting the results of fluid simulations by introducing so called ‘flux-limiters’ to these types of codes. By comparing the results of the fluid code with similar results of a kinetic code (which is not affected by non-local transport), the required correction factors have been determined, This has been done for a number of different hohlraum magnetisations, in order to investigate the dependency of the flux-limiters on the magnetisation.


In the weekends, I have spent quite some time outside, exploring York’s beautiful city centre and its surroundings. The city is almost entirely enclosed by its historic city walls, which are great to walk upon. Inside these walls lies the impressive York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals of the UK, surrounded by numerous charming squares and narrow, medieval streets. At Christmas time, York is transformed into a real winter wonderland with ice sculptures, lots of Christmas music and a large Christmas market. I really loved it.

During my stay, however, York also experienced the worst flooding in decades, when York’s two main rivers, the Foss and the Ouse, flooded their banks, which was rather impressive to see. Thankfully, my house was on top of a small hill and not too close to either of the rivers, so I stayed safe and dry.

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My internship at the university of York has been a great experience. It has been a very enjoyable time in an amazing city and with very friendly and welcoming people. Besides that, from a educational point of view, it has also been a very useful and instructive period. I have learned quite a lot, not just concerning ‘project-specific’ knowledge, but also about how to run such a research project in general. I would like to thank FuseNet for their financial support, making this internship possible.