Summer Course Programme

The regular course covers the basics of plasma physics, high power lasers and nuclear fusion, giving students the opportunity to get in touch with a wide range of interesting and cutting-edge topics. Who knows, you may find here the idea that will become your Master or or PhD thesis!
The lectures will be offered in self-contained modules, Monday through Friday, including some pratical lectures on remote laboratories, data analysis and computer science. Late afternoons are focused on joint/coaching activities, some involving the lecturers too.
Key topics include:

Introduction to Plasma Physics

Magnetic and inertial Nuclear Fusion

High power and ultrashort Lasers

Large international experiments involving Plasma Science

Last year the course included a visit to the ISTTOK tokamak and the Laboratory for Intense Lasers.

We can grant you 1,5 ECTS!

Sessions and Contents

Sunday, 2 July

All day long - Keep-together activities.

19:00 - Cheese & wine courtesy party.

21:00 - Invited lecture: "Surfing big waves - how waves developed", by Lourenço Sassetti Mendes.

The lecture starts with a mini-course on oceanography aimed at the physics of ocean waves, wave prediction and quantifying the quality of a beach for surfing. It will end up with the importance of preserving coastal environment for surfing.
Lourenço Sassetti Mendes is a PhD student at IST and member of the Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil. He is a surfer enthusiast, an activist for saving waves endangered by sea walls or jetties and a researcher in artificial reefs for surfing.

Monday, 3 July

09:30 - Introdution to plasma physics, by Vasco Guerra:
- Definition of plasma
- Occurrence of plasmas in Nature; plasmas in the lab; plasmas at home
- Range of plasma parameters
- World energy consumption and global warming; advantages of nuclear fusion energy
- Confinement processes

11:00 - Break

11:15 - Introduction to plasma physics (cont.):
- Single particle motions; drifts in E and B fields
- Plasma oscillations and plasma waves
- Particle transport in weakly and fully ionized plasmas
- Kinetic description
- Plasma applications: innovative technologies (clean energy, environment protection and remediation, biomedicine, nanomaterials, etc.)

12:30 - Lunch

14:00 - Computational physics, by Luís O. Silva:
- Challenges in plasma modelling and the hierarchy of plasma models;
- Massivelly parallel computing and plasma physics;
- The particle-in-cell model: from kinetics to hybrid models;
- Case studies: from the laboratory to astrophysics;
(a) plasma based accelerators;
(b) collisionless shocks;
(c) relativistic astrophysics

16:00 – Adjourn

16:30 - Outdoor activities

Tuesday, 4 July

09:30 - Topics in magnetic nuclear fusion, by J. P. Bizarro (TBC):
- Why fusion?
- The tokamak;
- Equilibrium;
- Transport of particles and energy;
- Instabilities;
- Outstanding issues

11:00 - Break

11:15 – Introduction to inertial confinement fusion, by Thomas Grismayer:
- The landscape and status of inertial fusion energy;
- Basics of inertial confinement fusion;
- Advanced inertial confinement fusion concepts

12:30 - Lunch

15:30 - Visit to IST laboratories, by Horácio Fernandes and Nuno Gomes:
- Tokamak ISTTOK;
- Laboratório de Lasers Intensos, by Nuno Gomes

17:30 – Adjourn

Wednesday, 5 July

09:30 - Kinetic and magneto-hydrodynamic description of a plasma, by Paulo Rodrigues:
- Distribution function and its moments;
- From the Vlasov equation to the fluid equations;
- MHD description of a plasma;
- Electron plasma waves and Landau damping

11:00 - Break

11:15 – Plasmas in space, by Mário Lino da Silva:
- Context: Space plasmas and plasmas for Space exploration;
- Plasmas in Space;
- Plasmas for Space Propulsion;
- Atmospheric Entry Plasmas

12:30 - Lunch

14:00 - Signal analysis, by Rui Coelho
- Interpolation and curve fitting;
- Time domain analysis of time series
- Fourier methods for time-frequency and mode number analysis

16:00 – Adjourn

16:30 - Outdoor activities

Thursday, 6 July

09:30 - The ITER project challengers and the JET contribution, by Bruno Gonçalves:
- Tokamak engineering;
- JET contribution for scenario development;
- Plasma wall interaction and Materials;
- ITER challenges (heating, diagnostics and materials);
- The way to fusion electricity

11:00 - Break

11:15 – Lasers and laser-plasma interaction, by João Mendanha Dias:
- Lasers;
- High power lasers;
- Laser-plasma interaction and applications

12:30 - Lunch

14:00 - Remote experiments operation, by Horácio Fernandes
- The e-lab platform
- The Langmuir probe experiment
- A remote apparatus control and data retrieve

16:00 – Adjourn

16:30 - Outdoor activities

Friday, 7 July

09:30 - Plasmas in Nanotechnologies, by Susana Freitas:
- Nanotechnologies: overview of top-down approaches for microchip fabrication
- Plasmas as tools for materials processing - thin film deposition technologies
- Bringing microchips to shape: using plasmas in device nano-micro patterning

11:00 - Break

11:15 – Plasma-physics aspects of high-intensity discharge lamps, by Mikhail Benilov:
- Plasma-electrode interaction;
- Self-organization in bistable nonlinear dissipative systems;
- Thermal plasmas.

12:30 - Lunch

14:00 - Data analysis, by Horácio Fernandes
- Analysis of the I-V Langmuir probe characteristics for different plasma conditions
- Assess the validity of the probe measurements
- Report elaboration

16:00 – Closing session

16:30 - Outdoor activities

20:00 - Closing Party