Culham Plasma Physics Summer School: Introduction

Hi, my name is Bailey. I've just finished my third year of an undergraduate physics programme at Royal Holloway, University of London, and I’m interested in plasma physics!

Unfortunately, Royal Holloway does not really cover any of this at the undergraduate level, and since I'm hoping to go on to do postgraduate research in the field, I feel I really should get a 'taster' before jumping in.

So this year I decided to attend the renowned Culham Plasma Physics Summer School!

The summer school is taught at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), the UK’s national laboratory for fusion research. It is home to the famous donut-shaped star-making machine, the Joint European Torus (JET) experiment.

This machine is famous because in 1997 it produced the highest fusion yield that we have ever seen!
...but it took more heat energy to get it going than was extracted from it! So more research is needed...
The school is intended to give the student an introduction to the fundamentals of plasma physics together with an appreciation of how these are related to more specific applications (more on this later). It is therefore accessible to anyone who is at least in their final year of a physics-related undergraduate degree (i.e. me).

I’ll be staying in Oxford at the William Miller building with other students from the school for the duration of the trip, so I’ll be sure to explore this beautiful city, and also try to get to know the other students. I hear that together we represent at least 25 different countries!

William Miller building, 22 Dawson Street, Oxford
Anyway, lectures start tomorrow morning so I had better get some sleep!