Neumann Vacuum

Simons Hidden Symmetries and Fusion Energy Collaboration Australian Retreat

The retreat will span all topics in the Simons Hidden Symmetries and Fusion Energy Collaboration, which focuses on the challenge of designing optimal stellarators - toroidally asymmetric magnetic field configurations – to realise sustained fusion energy.

schedule Date & time
4 Dec 2023 | 9am - 15 Dec 2023 | 5pm

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This collaboration focuses on the challenge of designing optimal stellarators - toroidally asymmetric magnetic field configurations – to realise sustained fusion energy. 

The tokamak, which is the leading magnetic fusion energy confinement concept in the world today, has the topology of a torus and continuous symmetry with respect to the toroidal angle, giving it good confinement properties. The stellarator, which is the leading alternative to the tokamak, the confining magnetic field is mostly produced by external current-carrying coils. In contrast to the tokamak, stellarators rely on symmetry breaking to realize the magnetic field needed to confine particles.

Our collaboration involves identifying and exploiting hidden symmetries to achieve comparable confinement performance to tokamaks.   The challenge encompasses mathematical and computational problems of great subtlety, straddling optimization theory, plasma physics, dynamical systems, and the analysis of partial differential equations.  

The two-week retreat will span all Simons collaboration topics but focus in areas in which the Australian team specialises:  MHD, field lines, particle transport, and computational methods.  The program will feature both broad plenary talks and focused sessions, include plenty of discussion and workshop time, and coding opportunities.  Canberra is the National Capital, with stunning bushland, many free national attractions, and is a 2hr drive to the beach.

To help the organisers collate a scientific program it would be helpful if you might enter a brief description of what you would like to contribute, and what you would like to see in the meeting

Registration deadline

1 September 2023 

Travel Policy

Travel support is available from the Simons Foundation to support participation in the event.  The travel policy spans three categories.

Category 1) Anyone from the 12 institutions directly funded by Hidden Symmetries (Maryland, Wisconsin, Princeton, Cornell, IPP, NYU, Columbia, ANU, Arizona, Colorado, Warwick, EPFL). Travel support for anyone in this category is left to the discretion of your institution's Simons PI. Expenses for anyone in this category can be charged to your institution's Hidden Symmetries account. If that institution needs extra funds to cover this travel, the institution's Simons PI can request supplemental money from our discretionary funds at the Foundation, which we can approve.

Category 2) We are able to cover reasonable travel expenses also for personnel who are not employed by the above 12 institutions, including staff of other universities, national laboratories, and private companies. For anyone in this category, we will handle reimbursement through Cornell University. The contact person there for travel expenses is Elizabeth Estabrook,  We will also need to have an estimate of these expenses some time before the workshop. Therefore, for anyone who anticipates needing travel expenses covered by Hidden Symmetries via Cornell, please check the appropriate box on the registration form. Approval of expenses for personnel in this category is subject to the discretion of the collaboration directors.

Cornell’s travel policy is at:

We recommend the per-diem method for meals.  Non-Cornell employees should submit hotel receipts along with their contact information:

  • Name
  • Home Address
  • Phone Number

If the trip is combined with a personal trip, all expenses must remove those costs associated with family or extra days. For example, if 1 hotel room for a person and their spouse costs $250, we will reimburse $125 with the hotel receipt. We will not reimburse expenses for any days not spent at your meeting.  Cornell covers economy class only. If first class airfare is booked, we will reimburse up to the economy class rate only. Receipts are required.  Reimbursements may be taxable or subject to tax withholding. It is up to the recipient to determine if they need to declare this reimbursement to their government/tax bureau.

 Category 3) People from any university, national lab, or private company who cover their own travel expenses are also welcome to attend the retreat.

 For people in both category 1 and 2: If you are combining business and personal travel on this trip, the policies of the institution handling the travel expenses apply. So for someone from Maryland, consult the University of Maryland's travel policy, whereas for someone from a private company, consult Cornell's travel policy.

Organsing committee

Prof. Matthew Hole

Em/Prof. Robert Dewar

Dr Arash Tavassoli

Sandra Jeyakumar

Dean Muir

Zoom Link



Image credit 

David Pfefferle




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