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Alun Rees

Name: Alun Rees

Position: 4th Year PhD student

Supervisor: Professor Tony Arber

Co-Supervisor: Dr Keith Bennett

Project Title: Synthetic Diagnostics for Laser Fusion Simulations


Experiments in the US and EU are currently trying to assess the feasibility of firing lasers directly at a deuterium-tritium fuel pellet to drive implosion and ultimately initiate fusion. This is all with a long-term goal of developing a laser driven fusion power source. One possible route forward is so called shock ignition. Here the laser power is kept low while the pellet is being compressed, to avoid deleterious plasma instabilities, and then the power is ramped up at the end to drive a final igniting shock. Warwick has a suite of simulation codes for modelling such experiments but these codes have either transport coefficients which are only approximately known or fast kinetic processes which are not directly observable. This project will develop synthetic diagnostics so that the simulations produce output which can be directly compared to the results of experiments. Going further the aim is to use the datasets from experiments in the US and France to see how well these help to constrain the unknowns in the simulations. The more tightly coupled simulation and experimental datasets will help understand more clearly what is happening in experiments and improve our modelling capability for future laser-fusion programmes.

Borrowed from:


MSc in Fusion Energy, York Plasma Institute, University of York, 2017.

MSc Project: "Synthetic VISAR diagnostic for Laser Fusion Simulations"

MPhys (Integrated Masters), Durham University, 2016.

MPhys Project: "Durham Radio Telescope: Measuring the mass of the Milky Way"

Work Contributions

  • Testing the Bremsstrahlung routine of the EPOCH Particle-In-Cell code
  • Raytracing synthetic diagnostic
  • X-ray backlighter synthetic diagnostic
  • Implementing 1D and Wedge boundary condition options for the Odin code
  • Running simulations of Omega experiments using Freyja and Odin codes
  • Implementing the refractive raytracing routine into Odin
  • Comparing simulations to experimental data of the 2019 OMEGA UK campaign
  • Running and analysing simulations of asymmetric ICF implosions


Conference Location Date Presentation Type Content
Pint of Science 2019 Coventry, UK 20th May 2019 Talk  
HPL Christmas Conference Abingdon, UK 16th December 2019 Poster HPL ConferenceLink opens in a new window
CFSA Mini Seminar Online 15th April 2020 Talk CFSA Seminar Y2Link opens in a new window
Warwick Poster Session Online 6th May 2020 Poster Warwick PosterLink opens in a new window
IoP Plasma Physics Conference Online/London 6th April 2021 Poster IoP ePosterLink opens in a new window
AWE Student Conference Online 14th April 2021 Poster AWE PosterLink opens in a new window
CFSA Seminar Online 28th July 2021 Talk CFSA Seminar Y3Link opens in a new window
Centre for Computational Plasma Physics Annual meeting Warwick, UK 25th March 2022 Talk  
IoP Plasma Physics Conference Liverpool, UK 11th April 2022 Talk  
Direct-Drive and Fast Ignition workshop Madrid, Spain 4th May 2022 Talk  
Physics PG Seminar Warwick, UK 12th May 2022 Talk  
CFSA Seminar Warwick, UK 27th June 2022 Talk  
ECLIM 2022 Frascati, Italy 19th September 2022 Poster  


PX149 Mathematics for Physicists

I was a class tutor for the PX149 problem classes between 2018 and 2021. As part of the role then I marked assignments and lead classes of 6-8 students, going through the weekly assignments as well as helping them to understand new topics and how they tie in with problems in Physics. During lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, then I was required to switch to virtual classes and adapt my classes. As part of this, then I made presentations and used quiz software to encourage student interaction.

PX281 Computational Physics

During my final year, I assisted with the computational physics workshops. Assisting students with any problems that they were having with the weekly python assignments that were completed as Jupyter notebooks. This course was directed by Yorck Ramachers.

PX150 Physics Programming Workshop

In 2022 I assisted with the first year physics programming course, introducing the students to Python and the concept of programming. The workshops had ~60 students working at a desktop and me and several other assistant provided assistance and answered the questions of the students. This course was directed by Michal Kreps.

CFSA Computing

As part of my role as CFSA computing assistant, I developed a document to help students/staff that are new to using the CSC (Centre for Scientific Computing) computers. The document can be found here:

CFSA Computing GuideLink opens in a new window

Note that Sam Maloney has now taken over this role, and any CFSA computing questions should be directed to him.

Photo of Alun Rees

Contact Details


Office: PS1.17

Address: Department of Physics,

University of Warwick, Coventry,


Website: Github