Virtual Institute Members
The Virtual Institute currently has five main partners:
The host institute (IPP) was founded in 1960, and is an institute of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft as well as an associated member of the Hermann-von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft. Since 1961 it is associated with EURATOM. Scientific work at IPP is strongly embedded in the EU and worldwide fusion research programme. With roughly 1000 employees at its Garching and Greifswald sites it is one of the largest fusion research centres in Europe. Eleven scientific divisions work on the physics basis of a fusion reactor. The research includes, amongst other things, experiments on magnetic confinement, heating and particle fueling, plasma diagnostics, and plasma theory. The tokamak experiment ASDEX Upgrade is run at the Garching site of the institute, and a large stellarator experiment, Wendelstein 7-X, is under construction at the Greifswald site. IPP also plays a major role in educating young scientists in fusion plasma science and technology, with IPP staff lecturing at 13 German Universities and an average total of 70 Ph.D. students and Post Docs. IPP has also a long standing experience in microwave applications both for plasma heating and diagnostics. The Wendelstein stellarator line has been one of the pioneers in establishing high-power microwave heating (ECRH) in fusion research. Fundamental breakthroughs related to microwave diagnostics were achieved at IPP, such as the development of Doppler reflectometry or the first experiments using ECE correlation techniques to measure electron temperature fluctuations. Technically, these accomplishments are linked to common developments with IPF Stuttgart.
The plasma physics institute grew out a Working Group formed in 1956 to study the prospects of controlled nuclear fusion. In 1960 the institute became part of KFA Juelich, and today it is part of the institute for energy and climate research (IEK) in the Forschungszentrum Juelich. Since 1981 it has operated the Toroidal Experiment for Technical Oriented Research (TEXTOR) tokamak. From the beginning the plasma wall interaction has been a particular focus of the institute, which is also studied in material test stands and has since, together with modelling of the plasma boundary, become one of the main topics of the institute. Within the IEK-4 (plasma physics) the operation of microwave diagnostics with a focus on reflectometry has a long tradition starting already 1994 with a homodyne single channel system on TEXTOR. Since then, activities on reflectometry have increased, particularly in close collaboration with the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow.
The scientific activity of Institute of Interfacial Process Engineering and Plasma Technology (formaly IPF) is concentrated on the exploration of the fundamental properties and applications of plasmas. This work covers investigations of important new plasma properties and mechanisms, development of novel plasma sources and plasma diagnostic systems as well as applications of relevant results to various research and industrial projects. At present, 25 scientists and a technical staff of 22 persons are working at the institute.
The Institute for High-Frequency Engineering (HFT) is part of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and was founded in 1949. HFT carries out research in a variety of theoretical and experimental disciplines related to high-frequency electromagnetic fields. A particular focus is on research on numerical modelling techniques for electromagnetic radiation, scattering, and circuit problems. Currently, more than 20 scientists work at the institute.
Ecole Polytechnique is among the most prestigious institutions in France. The research campus hosts 22 laboratories covering all the major scientific disciplines and is organized jointly with the CNRS. 5 laboratories are involved in plasma physics; among them the Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas (LPP) and the Centre de Physique Theorique (CPhT) have a long tradition in magnetic fusion energy studies. The LPP research program is fully devoted to plasma physics, in a combined institute whose activities include fusion, space and low temperature plasmas. From this wide scientific spectrum the laboratory aims to improve the understanding of basic plasma phenomena, taking advantage of cross-disciplinary actions, in the field of R&D for diagnostics, turbulence in magnetized plasmas, and numerical simulation. At present, 32 scientists and a technical staff of 35 persons, 17 Ph.D. and 10 post-docs are working at LPP.
The CRPP has been active in plasma physics research since 1961, and is associated with EURATOM since 1979, handling the entire Swiss contribution to the European nuclear fusion programme. With a staff of 150, of whom 120 are on the site of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and the remainder at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen (PSI), the CRPP is strongly engaged in research on tokamak physics, materials for fusion reactors, superconductor development, plasma physics theory, basic experimental plasma physics, gyrotrons, and industrial plasmas. The largest facility at the CRPP is the TCV tokamak, which has been in operation since 1992. TCV is a medium-sized tokamak characterized by an extreme flexibility in plasma positioning and shaping, which has permitted the creation of highly elongated as well as strongly D-shaped plasmas with both positive and negative triangularities. Exotic configurations such as the snowflake divertor and the doublet (transiently) have been pioneered by TCV.
There are also currently two associate partners: