The future of Fusion from world expert
Sixth Form Physics trip
Twenty Exeter School Sixth Form pupils were
privileged enough to attend a talk by
Professor Steve Cowley, a world expert on
nuclear fusion, on the history and the
future of fusion power.
Professor Cowley is currently the Chief Executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority but has also in the past been in charge of running the Joint European Torus (JET) as well as the UK’s partnership of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
Lower Sixth Former Matt Cox reported:
The lecture discussed the scientific structure of JET, the sun’s evolution and some of the main Physics processes involved. We were given a taste of the potential of nuclear physics: harnessing the theoretical energy released when just one kilogram of hydrogen is turned into helium would meet the energy demands for the average person for 10,000 years! Inspiring facts such as this, backed up by particle theory made the talk awe-inspiring to anyone at all interested in the future of scientific research.
The talk also briefly mentioned the contribution of the engineering and chemical scientific communities to what will essentially be one of mankind’s greatest scientific breakthroughs: finding a clean alternative to fossil fuels to produce almost limitless energy. The building of the ITER prototype power station is now well under way in France and we look forward to hopefully positive results from this £20 billion project in the coming decade.
The lecture was hosted by Blundell’s School and we would like to thank them for inviting to us to such an amazing talk.