Large fusion experiments typically utilise a wide range of sophisticated instrumentation to diagnose the plasma performance. The interpretation of the large volume of data (several gigabytes per plasma pulse) generated by such instruments is an important part of fusion research. The course will introduce the skills necessary to interpret a range of diagnostic measurements routinely used on large fusion facilities. Using a suite of specialist software tools, students will be able to gain experience of analysing real data from leading inertial and magnetic confinement devices. The course will make use of the remote tokamak control room at York and will serve as excellent training for longer project work based at large facilities (for example at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy or the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory).
Plasmas are such complex systems that their dynamics are often not analytically tractable, and in these cases, computers are used to simulate their behaviour. The course will provide an introduction to the computer simulation of plasmas. Students will learn about both continuum (fluid) and discrete (particle) techniques, and identify which techniques are appropriate for a variety of specific problems. In the computational laboratory, students will gain practical experience of computational techniques.