Master’s programme Physics of Plasmas and Fusion (PPF)

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The former pathway « Plasmas : de l’espace au laboratoire » of the master’s program « Optics, Matter and Plasmas » and the two pathways « Magnetic confinement fusion» and « Inertial confinement fusion » of the master’s program « Sciences of fusion » are combined into a new master’s program when starting the 2015 university term.

This program is jointly operated in Paris area by several universities and engineer schools accredited by the French Ministery for high education and research : University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC) and University of Paris-Saclay with as operating institutions: University Paris Sud, Ecole Polytechnique (X), Centrale-Supelec and the national Institute for nuclear sciences and techniques (INSTN).

The pathway « Physics of Plasmas and Fusion (PPF) » aims at educating high level physicists keen on plasma sciences and technologies. The plasma – the fourth state of the matter – plays an increasing role in our society where applications are more and more numerous; from natural plasmas to cold plasmas for processes, from plasmas of fusion to laser-plasma interaction. It involves theory, simulation and experimentation within research labs and close to large national facilities: Tokamaks ITER et WEST, powerful lasers LMJ, Apollon, Petal, Laser X, pulsed power machines, space missions like Solar Orbiter, Magnetosphere Multiscale Mission.
Moreover, the plasma represents 99% of the visible matter in the universe and is therefore a key element in the studies of the astrophysical processes, like as examples, star birth, solar eruptions, heliosphere wind turbulences, les interplanetary shocks or boreal auroras.
During their optional courses, the students are gathered nearby the large facilities: Radio-telescope at Nançay, Tokamaks in Cadarache, LMJ and Petal lasers in Bordeaux, within the national framework of the federation «Education for sciences of Plasmas and Fusion» (FedSPF) to attend specialized courses and have hands-on using these research facilities.
The curriculum is aimed at educating plasma physicists with skills extend from experimentation to their computer and analytical modeling. The numerous labs, and large scale facilities and international projects (spatial missions) of Paris area region provide particular opportunities for this master’s program. This cross-training program will offer the students opportunities to integrate either a public research institution (after a PhD) or in a leading-edge research and development group in a private company.