Mr Eric Planas arrived to the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in early February as an undergraduate student seeking for an attractive topic for his final degree project. We are happy to announce that after 6 months he is now a graduate student and he has finished his bachelor studies in the best possible way… with flying colours!
It has been 4 months since the beginning of the confinement. Barcelona was stricken by the CoVid-19 as was the rest of the world. Fortunately, things are getting better and Barcelona ended the confinement the 21st of June together with the rest of Spain. It has been a difficult time for many who have seen their lifestyle seriously affected and their jobs frozen or even worse, cancelled. We still do not know what the economical magnitude of this situation will be or how the world is planning to recover from this.
However, the Fusion Group feels deeply privileged as our work has not been cancelled nor stopped at any point. We have been and are working remotely (from home), following the recommendations of the government. The main European fusion projects under EUROfusion we are working with, JET and AUG, have recently resumed their experimental activities and the modelling efforts have been increased during the confinement. Furthermore, in order to cover all the projects where the Fusion Group is involved, two new researchers have been recruited: Dr. Francisco Fernández and Dr. Julio Gutiérrez. They will work within the Ris3Cat FusionCAT project.
The Joint European Torus (JET) is the biggest operating tokamak in the world and the only one capable of performing deuterium-tritium (D-T) experiments. This plasma mixture, D-T, is specially relevant in magnetic confinement fusion as its fusion cross section peaks at relatively low energies as compared to other plasma compositions, in other words, it is easier to obtain a large number of fusion reactions. In fact, D-T experiments were already carried out at JET during the 90s, they are known in the community as the DTE1 experiments, and they have provided an invaluable source of experimental knowledge.
The opening Severo Ochoa Seminar of this month at BSC has been devoted to fusion. The guest speaker was David Taylor, the responsible officer of the CHAIN2 suite of codes at the Joint European Torus (JET), who gave a talk on one of the main modelling tools at JET.
The number of experiments that are carried out at JET during a campaign is huge. Therefore, there is a massive amount of data that needs to be processed and analysed. This is automatised using the so-called CHAIN2.
The realisation of a PhD has been a true adventure. It has been an experience that has helped me to improve in many aspects. It has shown me the path to make real research. I have also learned to seek relevant results for my research topic and, most importantly, I have contributed in a research field that has the potential to change the world. However, this adventure would have not been possible without the supervision and good advice from Prof. Mervi Mantsinen, she does deserve a big thank you.
Two members of our fusion group, Mervi Mantsinen and Dani Gallart, have collaborated in four recent peer-reviewed journal papers that has been recently published in Nuclear Fusion.
Nuclear Fusion is the acknowledged world-leading journal specializing in fusion. The journal covers all aspects of research, theoretical and practical, relevant to controlled thermonuclear fusion, and enjoys a high impact factor of 3.516 (2018).