Overview of AAAPT Activities

Since its formation its primary success has been the coordination of the United Nations University / International Centre for Theoretical Physics Plasma Fusion Facility (UNU/ICTP PFF) network which carries out research on 12 UNU/ICTP Dense Plasma Focus systems in 9 countries. The UNU/ICTP PFF was developed during a UNU Training Programme on Laser and Plasma Technology in 1985-86 at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. During initial tests, this plasma focus system already proved to be very cost effective, yet producing plasmas of such intense conditions that copious multi-radiations, including fusion neutrons were emitted. Six sets were constructed and given to the participants to be used as the core facilities to be installed in their new plasma focus laboratories back home. Due to this and subsequent training programmes, new plasma focus laboratories were started at Delhi University, Quaid-i-Azam University, Yogyakarta Nuclear Research Centre, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Prince of Songkla University and more recently in University of Zimbabwe and Chulalongkorn University. Several more research groups were strengthened and the influence of the AAAPT's training project using the UNU/ICTP PFF has spread to plasma focus laboratories in Egypt, Syria and even to Chile, Poland and Italy. The Plasma Groups of Malaysia and Singapore have been prominent in the leadership of the AAAPT. The collaborative research work has produced more than 20 PhDs, 50 Masters and hundreds of research papers.

The details of activites for AAAPT during the first twelve years from year 1988 to about 2000 can be found in an excellent review complied by Prof Lee Sing, the Founding President and currently the Advisor of AAAPT. The review can be downloaded here. Download Review.

A numerical simulation package, the Lee Model, was developed for the network but has proven successful to simulate all plasma focus devices. It has been used extensively as a complementary facility in several machines, including: UNU/ICTP PFF, NX2, NX1. Information computed includes axial and radial dynamics, SXR emission characteristics and yield, design, optimization of machines and adaptation to Filippov-type DENA. Speed-enhanced PF was facilitated. PF neutron yield calculations, current and neutron yield limitations, neutron saturation, radiative collapse, current-stepped PF and extraction of diagnostic data and anomalous resistance data from current signals have been studied using the code. Latest results include bench-marking and scaling of ion beams from the plasma focus. The latest version is now downloadable as Universal Plasma Focus Laboratory Facility based at Centre for Plasma Research, INTI International University. In association with the AAAPT, the Institute for Plasma Focus Studies www.plasmafocus.net was founded on 25 February 2008 to promote correct and innovative usage of the Lee Model and to encourage dense plasma focus numerical experiments.

The activities of the AAAPT have covered many areas of experimental and theoretical plasma physics. To cater for the diverse research interest of the members the AAAPT had, up to July 2005, organised or co-sponsored 37 training activities, conferences, workshops and satellite meetings and coordinated numerous scientific exchange and attachment programmes. Besides developing the UNU/ICTP PFF, member institutions also developed the following equipment to assist in building up research resources:

  1. Nitrogen Laser teaching and applications package
  2. Optical Fibre Monochromator System
  3. A 5-Channel diode x-ray spectrometer
  4. nanosecond Laser Shadowgraph demonstration and application package
  5. Multi-purpose Plasma Device
  6. Linear Theta Pinch Package

Altogether 32 packages of equipment were transferred (as of June 1993) in the equipment assistance program.

Details of some these activities will be uploaded in due course of time.

In addition to collaborative research programmes, training schools, scientific exchanges etc.; starting from 2008 the AAAPT network group has organized annual workshops. The brief details of these workshops are given under the webpage “Workshop Series of AAAPT”.