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Simon Chislett-McDonald - IPP Summer University in Greifswald

IPP Summer University for Plasma Physics and Fusion - Greifswald, Germany
Reported by Simon Chislett-McDonald. Powered by FuseNet

In September I attended the IPP Summer University on plasma physics and fusion research in Greifswald, which was based around a series of lectures that introduced the fundamental principles of plasma physics before moving on to more advanced topics and their applications. After two talks discussing the basics of plasma physics and nuclear fusion, we moved on to the fundamental theories of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) and plasma kinetics, outlining the basic principles that were to be used during the remainder of the week.

Stellerator and Tokomak fusion devices were discussed in relative detail, in particular paying attention to the topics of equilibrium, stability and transport within the scope of fusion reactors. Being of an experimental mind, I especially enjoyed the lectures discussing the evolution of the two reactor designs and how their future (in W-7X and ITER, respectively) may look.

Wendelstein 7-X: a truly impressive machine!

Next to the lectures, we were treated with a tour through the facility of the world's largest stellarator, Wendelstein 7-X. During the tour, we haven taken a look at the ECRH devices, which are used to heat the plasma, and the control room. Of course, the tour also consisted of a visit to the stellarator itself, which really is a very impressive machine! Unfortunately, this year's summer university took place during a non-operational phase, so we did not see any pulses, but it was a wonderful experience all the same.

An excellent week

On the Wednesday afternoon we were taken on an excursion to the nearby Peenemunde museum, which was the research and development facility for the infamous V1 and V2 flying bombs of the second world war. Afterwards, we were driven to a nearby beach by Koserow. For those not used to the Baltic sea - it was a truly lovely place, perfect for a long walk should one find romance during a short week in north Germany. The Summer university was a fantastic experience, during which I met many wonderful people, that I will hopefully meet again in future fusion research. I really wish to congratulate the IPP Summer University directors on what I felt was a truly excellent week!