Report to the IUPAP Council and Commission Meeting
September 28-29, 2001
During the past year plasma physics has developed quiet well. Especially the field of dusty plasmas continues to grow. The one large conference in the field of plasma physics held this year the International Conference on Phenomena in Ionised Gases convened in Nagoya, Japan. The conference was very well organized, However the relative number of participants from outside Japan was relatively low and came dangerously close the under limit of 30%. The next one will again be in Europe and then this flaw will very probably not repeat itself. Although Progress in understanding fusion plasmas is still growing rapidly the domain is still suffering from the political indecisiveness concerning the construction of ITER. The political climate in itself has ameliorated as well in the US as in Europe. So there is hope that the program can go along soon. The same is true with respect to inertial containment programs. These programs were long hampered by secrecy on the one hand and a lack of real development on the other. This situation seems to clear up also somewhat. Another interesting development is the growing interest of the fusion world for the behavior of plasmas near the edges and close to the wall of the containing vessel. This brings into focus the behavior at lower temperatures than the fusion community used to consider and thus contributes quite a bit to the integration of the different domains within the field.
Frans W. Sluijter