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Eye witness report from the Hands-On PlasmaLab@TU/e Course 2012, part 4

FUSENET sponsors the Hands-On PlasmaLab@TU/e course in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Two of the students present, Vitalijs Zubkovs and Kamal Boulif, report:

Plasma behaviour is still unpredictable...

Thursday, the last day of experimental works. It seems that time during this week is running with a speed of light.

Today our group dealt with the most interesting device in the lab, called the Fusor. Before we started our measurements, the basic points of the device exploitation have been introduced. Honestly, we faced this equipment for the first time, but the idea how it works is quite simple and there were not many difficulties during operation.

Images from the fusor, made during the experiments

Not all of the observed plasma phenomena are well understood
We called this observation the “black hole effect”

It is interesting to observe the amazing plasma effects that occur inside the Fusor. By variation of conditions in the vacuum chamber, we saw changes of the plasma behaviour. We then measured emission spectra with a spectograph, and used these to determine the density of the plasma. And we had freedom to work with the equipment, investigate it more deeply than was planned.

Plasma experiments in this lab showed complicated plasma phenomena in simple, easy understandable way. Most of questions which were rising during the experiments were explained by professors and the laboratory staff.

Each day we got to learn a lot of things about the behaviour of plasma. Some phenomena had simple explanations, some were clearly observed but were not yet understood in the scientific world. We think that it will only be a matter of time, before new discoveries will be made. And we thoroughly believe, that some of them will be made by our colleagues, with whom we worked here over the past few days in this plasmalab.