First light, then fusion: a journey into science

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March 14, 2018 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
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Dr Peta Foster presents First light, then fusion: a journey into science

Ever wondered what light is? How does the sun make light and how does it get to us on earth? Dr Peta Foster found herself on a journey into the world of physics driven by the curiosity these questions evoked. It led her to study for her MPhys in physics at York University, and then swayed her decision to follow this with her job as a physicist developing Gemini, the world’s highest intensity duel beam laser system. Here, Peta was able to explore some of the most extreme states of matter generated on earth using high intensity laser-plasma experiments. Her curiosity about light led to her diagnosing, characterising and enhancing high power laser pulses through her research into ultra-fast optical switches for which she was awarded her PhD in 2014 from Queens University Belfast.

Today, Peta is a senior experimental research scientist at First Light Fusion Ltd, where she is researching how to harness the energy mechanism powering the sun, Fusion energy, in the hope of turning the dream of clean and abundant fusion energy into a reality.

Peta tells the story of her journey into science, presents some of the interesting research she has been involved with along the way and talks about why Fusion energy development is so important in keeping the lights on into the future.

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