PPRC’s Dr. Hamid Yousefi visits LPP for 3 weeks, furthers scientific publication collaboration, proposal to IAEA on the horizon
This update was part of LPP's November 2012 progress newsletter. Download a PDF of the full newsletter here.
From October 14 to November 3, Dr. Hamid Yousefi, an internationally-known researcher in aneutronic fusion and long-time collaborator of LPP’s Chief Scientist Eric Lerner, visited LPP’s NJ lab and participated in its research activities. Dr. Yousefi is a professor at the Plasma Physics Research Center (PPRC) in Tehran, which recently agreed to collaborate with LPP on scientific publications in the field of aneutronic fusion. Collaboration for the purpose of publishing scientific papers is exempt from ongoing sanctions, and LPP with other scientists launched this "Fusion for Peace" effort in Spring 2012 in hopes that progress on fusion can help move us beyond conflicts relating to both fission technology and fossil fuels.
While here, Yousefi had long discussions with the LPP team on the details of the Focus Fusion effort. The scientists also finalized a first step in the collaboration agreement. This is to propose to two PhD plasma physics students at PPRC that they initiate theses based on analyses of neutron and x-ray data from LPP’s Focus Fusion-1 (FF-1) experiment. Through this effort, LPP will be able to obtain skilled analysis of data that we have simply not had time to study in detail, and PPRC students will get access to an unparalleled data set from a large plasma focus fusion experiment. (While Iran has several plasma focus groups--more than any other country!--none can use deuterium or other fusion fuels, due to the sanctions against Iran. No materials or funds are to be transferred between LPP and the PPRC.)
In addition, Dr. Yousefi and another PPRC colleague, Dr. Pejman Khorshid, who also paid a brief visit to LPP, have had discussions of the Fusion for Peace initiative with representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Based on these discussions, we are proposing to the IAEA the establishment of a Collaborative Research Project for Aneutronic Fusion. Such an international collaboration under IAEA auspices, if approved, will make it easier for many groups in the US, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere to collaborate with us and Iranian researchers without concerns about potential violations of the sanctions on Iran.
Below (l-r): LPP’s Derek Shannon and Eric Lerner smile for peace alongside Professor Hamid Yousefi of the Plasma Physics Research Center in Tehran—Hamid’s young son was very eager for pictures from his dad’s trip!