PlasmaSurf Summer CourseWhere Physics and Summer meet
Testimonials on PlasmaSurf
Some of the former participants made great reviews on our Summer school. You can be the next one!
As a BSc/MSc physics or engineering student you may be starting to consider your options for a future career or looking to complement your current curricular training.
You may be looking for a summer school on Plasma Physics that can actively engage the participants in the topics discussed, provide a relaxed interaction with lecturers and researchers of the area, and that offers the opportunity to visit an alluring city, with a history and culture that spans centuries. At PlasmaSurf you will find all of the above, with a side of outdoor activities that range from a welcome dinner party of national delicacies to possibly outdoor activities.
How is PlasmaSurf different from other renowned or well-established summer schools? As a participant of the 2015 edition of PlasmaSurf, the one and only necessary clue for me to answer this question lay with the school’s name. PlasmaSurf is a summer school on a wide range of plasma physics topics. From lasers to confinement fusion, emphasis is given on presenting the various areas of research of the Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear and give participants the opportunity to interact directly with the researchers, outside of the academic environment. Included is a visit to the ISTTOK tokamak housed at the Instituto.
PlasmaSurf will also take you on several outdoor activities after the lectures. One of them is an afternoon of surfing, as suggested by the school’s apt name. No other summer school is likely to offer such a programme, and certainly not in a rich and historical city like Lisbon.
In the late July of 2015 I had the opportunity to be part of the amazing event held in Lisbon by collaboration of Instituto Superior Técnico and Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear. This one-week summer school is meant for engineering and physics student all around the world, focusing on problems regarding thermonuclear fusion, plasmas and high power lasers.
The course consisted of classes throughout the day and many outdoor activities after. Presentations were held in a hostel right next to the beach, with some of the best presenters in these specific areas of expertise. Lectures covered many areas of thermonuclear fusion, such as tokamak devices and their composition, function principles and diagnostics. Presented were also lectures on theory of plasmas, principles of inertial fusion and laser systems, and also numerical simulations in these fields, mainly regarding the laser systems and interaction between electromagnetic radiation and plasmas. Later, experimental results of technicians and physicists from IPFN and other institutes were presented, which enriched the studies with some outstanding results.
The PlasmaSurf event is simply an ideal place to meet outstanding and brilliant minds of these times, with the motivation and eagerness to solve one of the greatest challenge in the history of mankind - harvesting energy through the Stars.
I took part in the Plasma Surf summer school to get familiar with the field of plasma physics and learn more about lasers. The summer school was recommended to me by a colleague who participated in it before, so my expectations were high, but the Portuguese organizing team managed to exceed them all. The concept convinced me by the good combination of teaching and networking.
This was very helpful for me, since I just changed my focus of study from x-ray physics to particle acceleration by lasers. The lectures started with the categorization of plasmas, basics equations and the creation of plasmas. Then they consecutively covered the most important topics of laser plasma physics and fusion. The presentations not only helped me to get a better understanding of the physics, but they were also a good example for teaching and presenting your field of studies on a basic level. Many lecturers also explained their recent projects and the challenges in plasma physics that need to be met in the coming years. They managed to motivate us to pursue a career in plasma or fusion research and get involved in the solving of these problems.
After the talks and during the lab tour, we had the chance to involve the speakers in discussions and ask about the details of their experiment. It was very helpful for me to meet a physicist who is working on the same beamline that we use for the experiments I’m discussing in my master thesis too. Others asked for experiences of similar experiments to their own and got useful tips for their setups.
The afternoons were filled with teambuilding and sports activities, so it didn’t take us long to grow together as a team. All of us made a lot of new friends and I’m already looking forward to meet them at conferences or visit them in their home countries. I will recommend this summer school to the next generations of graduate students at our institute and wish the IST team good luck for the future! Thank you very much; it was an inspiring, adventurous and amazing summer school.