Siara Fabbri learnt about plasma at Culham Science Centre

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Siara in front of a 3D rendering of the inside of JET.

AVA Fellow Siara Fabbri (UoM) of the Antimatter Experiments work package, attended the 56th Culham Plasma Physics Summer School at the Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, where she learned from experts in their fields on the fundamental principles of plasma physics. The topics taught in this school, such as magnetohydrodynamics (the study of the magnetic properties and behaviour of electrically conducting fluids), can directly be applied to her research which focuses on cold, dense antiproton plasmas. Siara presented her work during the poster session.

The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy is a leading site for research in plasma physics and controlled nuclear fusion. It is home to JET, the world’s largest and most powerful tokamak, and Mast, one of the world’s two leading spherical tokamaks. One of the main highlights of the school was the tours of JET and Mast.

3D model of the JET tokamak

One day of the school was held at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, where the Diamond Light Source exists. Students attended a tour of the Vulcan, a high power laser capable of delivering ultra-high focussed intensities greater than 1021 Wcm-2, making it the highest-intensity focussed laser in the world in 2005.

One of Siara’s favourite aspects of the school was learning about the many different types of plasmas which exist, from the cold, dense plasmas she is more familiar with, to massive, hot space plasmas and the plasmas inside the sun. The premises on which the program was held meant that a large focus of the school was fusion physics and the future of fusion energy. As such, students were educated on ITER, the largest fusion experiment in the world, which is currently being built and will rival CERN in terms of technological advancement.