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Terrestrial Fusion ~ Dr Tim Goldsack

The Sun has been doing it for 5 billion years but in 60 years of trying we have not  successfully generated energy from the fusion process.  Starting from first principles Tim Goldsack will explain the basic chemistry, plasma physics, and nuclear physics found in the fusion process.  He will touch on fission, and then talk about fusion describing briefly how lasers work and then discussing their role at the National Ignition Facility in the US.  Tim will outline their progress towards energy break-even, touching on alpha-heating and the deleterious effects of hydro mix.  Along the way he will explain the process of capsule manufacture and the competing approaches using Tokomaks etc.

About Dr. Tim Goldsack:  Dr Tim Goldsack did his PhD in plasma physics at Imperial College London, using the Vulcan laser at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. He joined AWE in 1982, working on the Helen laser there. During the early 1990’s he spent 18 months at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, performing hydrodynamic mix experiments on the Nova laser, then the world's biggest laser.  After a foray into the world of pulsed-power he came back to the laser world, leading the plasma-physics group at AWE. He is now working on other topics.

The strange case of the missing dwarf ~ David Pulley

The new SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has been used to search for a brown dwarf expected to be orbiting the unusual double star V471 Tauri. SPHERE has given astronomers the best look so far at the surroundings of this intriguing object and they found — nothing. The surprising absence of this confidently predicted brown dwarf means that the conventional explanation for the odd behaviour of V471 Tauri is wrong.

The Local Group