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Week 1: Closing thoughts

In this video we review the first week of the course and invite you to discuss your favourite topics.
And what a week it’s been. We learned about plasmas, from low-temperature plasmas in manufacturing and medicine, to the incredibly difficult but important work trying to recreate nuclear fusion, the energy source of the stars, in experiments like ITER and MAST Upgrade. Plasmas are a fascinating and important area of modern physics research. I’m biased I know, it’s my research area, but I think it’s pretty exciting stuff. To finish off the week, check out the extra links below – we’ve collected a bunch of interesting research stories that take these topics a bit further. Next week we’re going to delve into the world of the solid state, and discover how we can explore and manipulate materials right down at the atomic level.
And now it’s your turn. If you’ve got any questions about what we’ve covered, thoughts you’d like to share, or if you just want to check in with the rest of the students and tutors to say hi – then join in the discussion below.

This week we have discussed the application of plasma physics from fusion through to space propulsion. We hope that you have found the vast array of uses for plasma both surprising and inspiring.

We want to hear more about what you have enjoyed this week. Which use of plasma physics was the most exciting? Did you like the idea of lasers pulling electrons and positrons out of the vacuum? Perhaps you didn’t realise that the microchips, which are powering the computer or phone you are viewing this on, owe their existence to plasma physics?

Comment below and tell us what your favourite topic in week 1 has been.

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Frontier Physics, Future Technologies

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