Fusion winter school in Budapest

Fusion winter school in Budapest

Over the last decade the Hungarian Association of Physics Students (Mafihe) has been organizing an annual winter school. This event acts like a break for the physics students after the tough examination period, exploring a stimulating part of physics or related scientific area. The topics are usually chosen to be on the edge of the mainstream education subjects and current enough to attract the young audience.

Participants of the Fusion Winter School

This year MAFIHE organizers chose fusion plasma physics as the subject and the school was organized on a long weekend between 10-12 February 2017. The Institute of Nuclear Techniques of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics together with the Plasma Physics Department of Wigner Research Centre for Physics were asked to compose the scientific program. Just short of a hundred students registered for the event, which made it one of the most attended winter schools. The head of the organizing committee, Dr. Daniel Dunai (Wigner) described the winter course as:

Dr. Dániel Dunai opening the Winter School

“Our main goal was to introduce the students to fusion research, basic plasma physics and fusion technology. The winter school was only a long weekend so we chose an unusual approach to keep the fusion course both informative and interesting. The basic physics were introduced in parallel with fusion history, explaining where an important physics phenomenon appeared first and how it affected the path of fusion research. A weekend is too short for a detailed introduction to theory, therefore the theory talks were more focused on the basics. The evolution of fusion technology was also presented starting from the historical devices, through the present-day large devices to the future generation. We are very happy that Hartmut Zohm (Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics) had accepted our invitation and gave an insightful talk on ITER and DEMO.”

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Zohm(left) and Dr. Sándor Zoletnik

Fusion is still an exciting topic for the students, which was clearly shown by the high attendance rate. This year physics students from all over Hungary and also neighbouring countries applied for the event, additionally several non-physics students appeared at the lectures. Based on the success of the winter school, the institutes will consider organizing a compact fusion school in every 2 or 3 years.