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Alun Rees

Name: Alun Rees

Position: 3rd 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


Conference Location Date Presentation Type Content
HPL Christmas Conference Abingdon, UK 16th December 2019 Poster HPL Conference
CFSA Mini Seminar Online 15th April 2020 Powerpoint CFSA Seminar Y2
Warwick Poster Session Online 6th May 2020 Poster Warwick Poster
IoP Plasma Physics Conference Online/London 6th April 2021 Poster IoP ePoster
AWE Student Conference Online 14th April 2021 Poster AWE Poster
CFSA Seminar Online 28th July 2021 Powerpoint CFSA Seminar Y3
DSDS Conference Online 9th November 2021 Powerpoint Work-In-Progress

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 Guide

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