University of Wisconsin–Madison


– News: 2018-06-04

Outreach activities on Plasma Physics commencing in Summer 2018.

Professor Schmitz has conceptualized in the past two years a number of outreach activities and these outreach activities are now commencing for the first time.


The declared goal of this program in the K-12 education arena is to bring Plasmas as a widely relevant state of matter to students of the entire basic education program. On Monday 06/04, he visited a first and a third-grade class at Glen Stephen’s Elementary, Madison, WI and presented a Plasma Show. This show takes the kids on a journey from basic plasma phenomenon and appearances to the basics of electrostatics and hands-on experiments on a giant Plasma Ball. Students learn about light emission from plasmas and how it is generated to magnetic fields used to contain plasmas. img_1833It is a great pleasure to experience the untampered, grand curiosity of children at that age, approaching to comprehend a totally unknown subject matter without any hesitation.

In summer 2018, Prof. Schmitz will also teach a two-week Research Experience for high school students guided by two high school teachers and later a one-week “Plasma Academy“, in which a group of six high-school students and six teachers will develop teaching modules for the Advanced Placing Physics curriculum in the state of Wisconsin. It is planned to continue the summer internship in a weekly internship project for high-school students starting this fall.

This K-12 outreach activity is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of Prof. Schmitz’s CAREER award under grant number PHYS-1455210. Teachers or students who are interested in either of these activities, please contact Prof. O. Schmitz.

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This is the group webpage for plasma edge physics and plasmas surface interactions in presence of three-dimensional (3D) plasma boundaries.Plasma edge layer at ITER transformed into a 3D system by application of small amplitude, external magnetic control fields.

This is a situation relevant to tokamak devices with resonant magnetic field perturbations applied and stellarators as inherently 3D systems.

We tackle the cutting edge topics in the field on large-scale facilities and address important basic plasma science questions such as generation of high-density plasmas with helicon waves. The later topic has become relevant recently for next-generation wakefield accelerators and we are a member of the AWAKE project at CERN.

We post the most recent developments in the group on this side – including recent scientific achievements, lab updates and publication updates.

An overview of group members and actual topics and devices can be found here.

Interested? Join the team!

Contact: Professor Oliver Schmitz | +1 (608) 263 1547