Workshop on Opportunities, Challenges, and Best Practices for Basic Plasma Science User Facilities


University of Maryland, College Park

Co-chairs: H.M. Milchberg (Univ. of Maryland), Earl Scime (West Virginia Univ.)

The Workshop will discuss the premiere intellectual opportunities and challenges in plasma physics that necessitate mid-scale or major user facilities. The Workshop will aim to address the following questions:

  • What are the important basic plasma science questions that require establishment and operation of user facilities that cannot be addressed by single-PI experimental facilities? Are they sufficiently compelling as science questions—that is, of strong interest to outside scientific communities--- to warrant establishment of new mid-scale and major user facilities?
  • Under constrained resources, what are the upsides and the downsides of investing in the operation of user facilities in each of the relevant plasma physics sub-fields?
  • What are the limiting factors, e.g., the size of the community of potential users or the flexibility and ease of operation, in establishing an experimental facility as a user facility?
  • Are there particular challenges to transparent and effective operation of user facilities specific to plasma science? If so, what are they and what modes of operation may be used to overcome such challenges?

Workshop presentations will be webcast with the opportunity for online commentary and Q&A with offsite participants. The Workshop will produce a publicly available report addressing the above questions.