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Eye witness report from Carolus Magnus Summer School 2011 in The Netherlands, part 1

On Monday, the Carolus Magnus Summer School kicked off. Two of the students attending, Stéphanie Panayotis and Rachel McAdams, will report their experiences during the summer school here.

Lecture hall

From Stéphanie:

Monday September 5:

The lectures started on monday morning after one day during which we could meet each other and talk about our respective activities. It seems that people are coming from all kinds of countries and are working on many differents subjects in fusion science.

The first lectures consist of a comprehensive introduction to fusion and its background, like energy for future centuries, burning criteria. That was a good way to motivate the listeners.

Tuesday September 6:

On tuesday, more specialized lectures started. This day was dedicated to plasma equilibrium, transport in tokamaks and kinetic theory. The lecturers are passionate about their field and interesting to listen to. We feel lucky.

From Rachel:

All this week we have been learning the basics of plasma physics- particle
orbits and drifts, kinetic and MHD theory, but now we are moving on to more
detailed and complex topics.

Yesterday (thursday) we ventured across the border to Juelich, Germany, for a day of lectures and tours. We have begun a series of lectures on plasma-wall interaction, and we were able to see some of the effects of this interaction ourselves on a tour of Textor at Juelich when shown everything that was removed from the vacuum vessel when it was last cleaned - the size of some of the eroded material was quite startling!

We were also able to peek inside the vessel, and had a look at the new linear experiment at Juelich, which will be used for analysing samples in fusion-like plasmas. We finished off the day with a BBQ party (despite the cold and the drizzle!) and a few drinks.

Although it has been a demanding
week with a full timetable, everyone is enjoying the programme, and most
will be heading off this weekend to explore the Netherlands and Germany.