Posted on: 14th May 2012

The JET project represents all of Europe, ITER represents over half of the world’s population, but the Golem project in the Czech Republic goes even further. It is a fusion experiment for everyone in the world! Golem is a training tokamak in the Czech Technical University that has been set up to allow students to learn how to run a fusion experiment from anywhere in the world, over the internet.

Golem, which was formerly a research tokamak known as Castor, is only 80 centimetres across, and has a plasma minor radius of 8.5 centimetres. It has been set up to be remote controlled, so anyone with an internet connection can set up and run experiments and watch the results unfold in their browser via a data and video feed. Although it has a maximum plasma current nearly a thousand times less than JET’s, it is still an authentic fusion experiment and gives real results, such as the spectrogram pictured above.

So far, students from twenty countries, as far afield as Mexico, 9000 km to the west and Korea, 8500 km to the east, have taken part. In the course they work through a program that includes breakdown studies, generating runaway electrons, magnetohydrodynamic activity observations, spectroscopic studies and video processing and analysis.

Not only does Golem training program allow students from anywhere to join in, it all takes place in less than three months – nothing compared with the years of training and experience you would need to acquire before being allowed to run JET or ITER!