Plasma and fusion will be taught here in January

When one mentions plasma physics, the name of Costa Rica does not immediately leap to mind. The same can be said of nuclear fusion.

That may change because the First Costa Rican Summer School on Plasma Physics will be held in San Carlos Jan. 20 to 24.  Sponsors are the Universidad Nacional, Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the Ad Astra Rocket Co. and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Plasma is a fourth state of matter and the energy that Franklin Chang Diaz is using for his Ad Astra spacecraft engine.

The school is mainly for Latin American students. Said an announcement: The major objective of this summer school is to cover a broad range of the
topics in plasma physics, gradually presented from the very basics towards the more advanced theoretical topics, followed by applications and reviews of the state-of-art.

The school will consist of 40 seminars with presenters from major universities, including Chang’s alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory, the University of Texas, the University of California at Berkley, the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, the United Kingdom’s Culham Centre Fusion Energy, the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology, Drexel University and KTH-Royal Institute of Technology.

Following the school from Jan. 27 to 29 there will be a research meeting in San José on small fusion devices. Fusion is what drives the sun.

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