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  • Fusion world | Japan and Europe inaugurate largest tokamak in the world

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  • Stakeholders | ITER Director-General meets Prime Minister Kishida

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  • In memoriam | Bernard Pégourié, physicist and mountaineer

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    The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, opened on 30 November in Dubai's Expo City—a sprawling conference centre built two years ago for the W [...]

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Of Interest

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Outreach

Making fusion fun

Bringing ITER out into the community was the job of 14 volunteers in October, as the ITER Organization participated two weekends in a row in France's annual Festival of Science (Fête de la Science).

Balloons expand as the particles surrounding them are pumped out of the glass chamber to create a vacuum, making an ''invisible'' phenomenon visible to the young visitors at the ITER stand. A staple at ITER public events, this science experiment never fails to attract children. (Click to view larger version...)
Balloons expand as the particles surrounding them are pumped out of the glass chamber to create a vacuum, making an ''invisible'' phenomenon visible to the young visitors at the ITER stand. A staple at ITER public events, this science experiment never fails to attract children.
Kneeling at a table at children's height for hours on end is not for everyone, but for ITER's group of seasoned Fête de la Science volunteers it's just part of the job. Every October, in municipalities all around France, science is celebrated in public gardens, city halls, and community spaces—anywhere in fact that can receive thousands of interested members of the public. And scientific organizations of all stripes answer the call, setting up welcoming stands and thinking hard about the best way to share their domain of scientific activity in a way that is both understandable and fun.

For the ITER displays, which were set up in the local communities of Villeneuve-Loubet, Marseille and Manosque, this meant glowing plasma sticks, bags of marshmallows, and magnets for the youngest visitors ... and videos and documentation for the adults. There was also plenty of conversation, as the volunteers shared their specific area of expertise and answered questions about the project, the science and the engineering.

The children came away with a better understanding of scientific phenomena such as vacuum and magnetism, while the adults learned a little bit more about the world-spanning scientific collaboration for fusion that is just a few kilometres from their front doors.

 



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