By John DeLooper
Welcome to the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics being held in Salt Lake City, Utah. This meeting is the biggest meeting in the U.S. for scientists to report their results when it comes to plasma science and fusion energy results. Over 1,650 individuals are here from around the world to give presentations and review information with their colleagues through poster sessions.
The meeting days are long. Today we started at 8 a.m. with a review talk. Then the meeting breaks up into sessions. This morning, there were three presentation sessions, a poster session and a mini-conference on geospace plasmas. One of the morning sessions was on the National Spherical Torus Experiment at PPPL. The room was filled with over 250 individuals while presentations were made by NSTX team members (both PPPL staff as well as a number of our collaborators).
This afternoon there was another session starting at 2 p.m. and going to 5 p.m. Then there was another meeting and presentation by the University Fusion Association that started at 7 p.m. Ed Synakowski, the Head of the US DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences made one of the presentations at this meeting.
This is very different from any other meetings I’ve attended. Everything is timed and listed in the program. So individuals may listen to one presenter in a particular session and then move to another session to specifically listen to another author. So it is not uncommon for fifty or so individuals to move after a particular presentation. The program book listing all of the talks and posters seems to weigh about 4 pounds!
Today is also a day of preparation. Tomorrow, we will be hosting teachers from the local school district for a day of professional development to learn about plasmas. I make a presentation to middle school teachers on plasma 101 and fusion energy. So today we have to find all of the supplies we shipped and get the material ready for teachers day. The wonderful news was our supplies had arrived and after checking them and moving them into my “classroom” everything worked after a few minor repairs.
--- November 14, 2011
John DeLooper is head of outreach and best practices at PPPL