The research field of controlled thermonuclear fusion of light atomic nuclei is at the advent of a crucial event: in a few years time, the construction, possibly in Cadarache (France), of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) will start.
This tokamak will either demonstrate man's capabilities to harness energy released from fusion reactions and the economical potential to rely on this process for future energy production or it will prove that another base-load and environmentally acceptable method of energy production will have to be identified and developed to satisfy society's energy needs once, a few decades from now, fossil fuels will be depleted. ITER 's success will non-negligibly depend on European scientists.
Facing this challenge requires preparing the future by optimally bundling present-day expertise and passing it on to the next generation of young researchers. Ample possibilities exist to acquire experimental experience on one of Europe's fusion machines. Because of the extensiveness of the physics and technological areas involved, universities cannot take up the task of lecturing extensively on these rather specialised topics, although basic courses on plasma theory are taught at various European universities.
Courses on a high level covering both basic and advanced concepts are required to complement experimental training. The CaroIus Magnus summer schools fill up this niche. Through its lecturers, it provides a deep physics insight both from the theoretical and practical standpoint.