Tour Shows Students the Path from Nuclear and Plasma Physics to Clean Energy
By Stephen Flach
In December 2016, SFU Physics undergraduate students toured Burnaby-based clean energy company General Fusion. The company is currently developing the components of a magnetized target fusion system with the goal of building fusion power plants to produce useful energy in a way that is not harmful to the environment.
Organizer Prof. Nancy Forde commented that tour very clearly demonstrated the application of physics in an industrial setting. Students were not only shown how the company uses physics in the development of clean energy, but were also walked through the thought process from taking the idea of fusion technology into reality.
“This is really hard core physics with incredible benefits to the environment if they succeed”, noted Forde.
The General Fusion tour was organized as a field trip for the Physics 201 Undergraduate Seminar course, which exposes students to opportunities and skills beyond the traditional academic training of their courses. Previous class tours have included the TRIUMF subatomic physics laboratory, and D-Wave, the world’s first quantum computing company.