Les Woods pictureWorkshop on the Theory of Magnetic Confinement for Fusion

in commemoration of Les Woods

22 September 2008 at Balliol College, Oxford

Bearing in mind the importance of energy research at the present time, we have organized a forward-looking one-day research workshop on the Theory of Magnetic Confinement for Fusion as a source of energy. The workshop will be very much in the spirit of Professor L.C. Woods who passed away last year and whose life and work it will also commemorate. Les Woods was a fiercely independent applied mathematician who criticized much of the modelling of fusion plasmas and we wish to encourage independent thought and promote new ideas in plasma physics and fusion.

Fusion is a field that has spawned its own scientific community over the past half a century. This workshop is aimed at an audience of able, open-minded physicists and mathematicians, some of whom will not be well-versed in the theory of magnetic confinement or indeed in other branches of plasma physics. Several speakers, including the Director-Elect of Culham, UKAEA and the Chief Scientist for Integrated Modelling at ITER, have been invited to explain the theoretical models that have been developed, and those that are being employed at present, for example in the design of ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor). The key features will be expounded with the purpose of stimulating new insights into the modelling and associated mathematical and numerical challenges. The speakers have been encouraged to explain the supporting theory and challenges to the community in terms that are understandable to capable physicists and mathematicians working in other fields. One objective of the workshop will be to encourage some of those not presently working in fusion to apply their own expertise in helping to solve the problems encountered with magnetically confined plasmas. This will be a very different kind of meeting from the usual “report on progress” type of workshop normally addressed primarily to researchers in the field. Around half of the scheduled time on the day will be devoted to panel discussions.

Invited Speakers (abstracts)

Bruno Coppi (MIT)
Steve Cowley (UCLA and Imperial College London)
Per Helander (Max Planck Institute, Griefswald, Germany)
Wayne Houlberg (ITER)


Numbers are limited to 90, so registration is essential. Lunch will be provided to all participants. There will also be a dinner in the Hall of Balliol College afterwards at a cost of about £40. Reservations for dinner must be made at the time of registering.

Some funds are available to assist graduate students and post-docs with travel costs.

To register for the meeting please contact John Allen ( john.allen@eng.ox.ac.uk ).

Acknowledgements for Support

Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (OCIAM)
The Culham Science Centre, UKAEA
Balliol College, Oxford
Oxford University Press
Institute of Physics (Plasma Physics group)
Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston