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Eye witness report from the Hands-On PlasmaLab@TUe Course, part 1

FUSENET sponsors the Hands-On PlasmaLab@TU/e course in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The course gives students the opportunity to get acquainted with a variety of plasma experiments. One of the students present, Dario Andres Cruz Malagon, reports:

I was asked today if I wanted to write down a few lines on my impressions of the workshop and the experience in Eindhoven. I accepted because it’s the first time I attempt such a thing and I’m curious about the result, kind of the same spirit as in our plasma workshop. I hope you like the outcome.

We started the morning with a very friendly introductory meeting with the staff members and the participants (helped by the fact that it was Sinterklaas today so there was a festive atmosphere all over the campus). In the afternoon we divided into groups and had a first approach to our “hands-on” work on the different set-ups.

For my group's set-up, results didn’t come out as expected so it was a bit frustrating. On the other hand, while trying to get good results we got to manipulate the set-up in different ways, tried several approaches, went over and over the theory, made a few jokes on our strange output (well, actually more than a few)… so I got the satisfying feeling that we fulfilled all the conditions of what is called “conducting an experiment”. Hopefully tomorrow on the new set-ups it will be “conducting an experiment AND getting the desired results”.

To summarize our initial day I’d say that it’s always good to see people from different origins and backgrounds get together to learn and discuss about a particular subject. That’s the way science develops, right? Not only in fusion, but in general; nowadays technology has made the world “smaller”, researchers can interact more easily and common work is what brings up new discoveries.