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Plasma Physics, Lasers and Nuclear Fusion

Welcome to the webpage of the Scientific Area of Plasmas, Lasers and Nuclear Fusion of the Department of Physics of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST). The faculty members of our scientific area are actively engaged in education, research and outreach programs in a wide range of topics covered by the fields of plasma physics, lasers and nuclear fusion, both from a fundamental perspective, and from a technological/engineering perspective.

The research of the faculty members is developed at the Institute of Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion, the only Physics (and IST) research unit to be evaluated as Outstanding.

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Recent News

2018 Nobel Prize in Physics celebrates lasers

2018 Nobel Prize in Physics celebrates lasers October 11 2018

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was shared between Gérard Mourou (École Polytechnique, France), Donna Strickland (University of Waterloo, Canada) and Arthur Ashkin (Bell Laboratories, USA). The work of the first two winners, who were awarded half the prize, consisted of the invention of the Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) technique in the mid-1980s, which enabled increasing the power of ultrashort lasers to previously unattainable levels.
Thanks to their invention, ultrashort, ultraintense lasers have become ubiquitous, paving the way for applications ranging from dermatology t...


AWAKE accelerates electrons with IST team

AWAKE accelerates electrons with IST team September 03 2018

In a paper published in the journal Nature, the AWAKE collaboration at CERN, which includes the teams of Prof. Luis O. Silva and Prof. Jorge Vieira, reports the first ever successful acceleration of electrons using a wave generated by protons zipping through a plasma. The acceleration obtained over a given distance is already several times higher than that of conventional technologies currently available for particle accelerators. First proposed in the 1970s, the use of plasma waves (or so called wakefields) has the potential to drastically reduce the size of accelerators in the next severa...


Recent Publications

  • New FPGA based hardware implementation for JET gamma-ray camera upgrade, Fernandes, A. et al., Fusion Engineering and Design (2018) DOI
  • Testing results of chopper based integrator prototypes for the ITER magnetics, Batista, A.J.N. et al., Fusion Engineering and Design (2018) DOI
  • Control and data acquisition software upgrade for JET gamma-ray diagnostics, Santos, B. et al., Fusion Engineering and Design (2018) DOI
  • Monitoring and Hardware Management for Critical Fusion Plasma Instrumentation, Carvalho, P.F. et al., EPJ Web of Conferences (2018) DOI
  • Remote inspection with multi-copters, radiological sensors and SLAM techniques, Carvalho, H., Vale, A., Marques, R., Ventura, R., Brouwer, Y., and Gonçalves, B., EPJ Web of Conferences (2018) DOI
  • Taking advantage of the intercommunication features of IPMCs in ATCA CDAQ systems, Rodrigues, A.P., Santos, B., Carvalho, P.F., Correia, M., Sousa, J., Correia, C.M.B., and Gonçalves, B., Fusion Engineering and Design (2018) DOI
  • Estimation of X-Mode Reflectometry First Fringe Frequency Using Neural Networks, Aguiam, D. E. et al., IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (2018) DOI
  • Full-Pulse Tomographic Reconstruction with Deep Neural Networks, Ferreira, D. R., Carvalho, P. J., Fernandes, H., Fusion Science and Technology (2018) DOI
  • Foundations of modelling of nonequilibrium low-temperature plasmas, Alves, L. L., Bogaerts, A., Guerra, V., and Turner, M. M., Plasma Sources Science and Technology (2018) DOI
  • Reply to Comment on 'The case for in situ resource utilisation for oxygen production on Mars by non-equilibrium plasmas', Vasco Guerra et al., Plasma Sources Science and Technology (2018) DOI
  • Kinetic study of low-temperature CO2 plasmas under non-equilibrium conditions. I. Relaxation of vibrational energy, Tiago Silva et al., Plasma Sources Science and Technology (2018) DOI
  • Ion acceleration in electrostatic collisionless shock: on the optimal density profile for quasi-monoenergetic beams, Boella, E., Fiuza, F., Stockem Novo, A., Fonseca, R. A., Silva, L. O., Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion (2018) DOI
  • The DEMO wall load challenge, Wenninger, R. et al., Nuclear Fusion (2017) DOI
  • Efficient generation of energetic ions in multi-ion plasmas by radio-frequency heating, Kazakov, Ye. O., and JET Contributors, Nature Physics (2017) DOI
  • Extremely intense laser-based electron acceleration in a plasma channel, Vranic, M., Fonseca, R. A., and Silva, L. O., Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion (2017) DOI