OxCHEDS logo

AWE Physics Student Conference 2021

On the 14th and 15th of April, AWE held its first (virtual) Physics PhD conference coordinated by Professor Norman Godfrey, Deputy Chief Scientist of AWE.

Slide from Richard Moore's presentation on the history of AWE.
A slide from Richard Moore's historical presentation
indicating the infrastructure spending advised by Sir
Keith O'Nions, the then Chief Scientific Advisor,
which resulted in the approval to construct Orion.

The conference was open to all AWE-sponsored students in Physics. There was a total of 20 student talks and 5 student posters, together with opening and closing talks from AWE. Rob Lock commenced the conference with his presentation 'Physics, Mathematics and Science Based Stockpile Stewardship: How to be Sure Without Testing?, showing how verification of the reliability and safety of the nation's nuclear stockpile is now carried out using computer modelling supported by experiments; and AWE's historian, Richard Moore, gave the evening presentation '80 Years of AWE Physics in 20 Minutes', a fascinating talk highlighting key events that shaped AWE with examples from 1941 to 2001.

Many of the students from OxCHEDS, CIFS, Warwick, and York delivered presentations on plasma physics and high-energy-density science. There was also a presentation on the subject of target fabrication from Cranfield.

Two prizes of £250 made available by OxCHEDS were awarded to the best talk and the best poster. After careful deliberation, the prizes were awarded to Stuart Morris (University of York) for his talk 'Hybrid Particle-in-Cell Simulations of Bremsstrahlung X-ray Production in Ultrahigh Intensity Laser-Solid Interactions', and to James McHardy (University of Edinburgh) for his poster 'Direct X-ray Heating in a Diamond Anvil Cell at the European X-ray Free Electron Laser'.