Asian African Association for Plasma Training

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The Asian African Association for Plasma Training, or AAAPT, is an organization/network founded on 7 June 1988 to provide facilities for plasma research by small research groups in developing countries. Originally, it consisted of nineteen institutions from 12 countries, but it has now grown to 41 institutions from 23 countries.

The AAAPT [1] is an affiliated network of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), receiving funding for its collaborative activities. Assistance in the form of travel and other fellowships had also been received from the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), UNESCO and several other organisations. The bulk of the contributions for its activities had come from the scientists from the member institutions in terms of expertise, time and effort and from the member institutions, in terms of infrastructural support.

Activities[edit]

Since its formation its primary success has been the coordination of the United Nations University / International Centre for Theoretical Physics Plasma Fusion Facility (UNU/ICTP PFF) network [2] which carries out research on 12 UNU/ICTP Dense Plasma Focus systems in 9 countries. The UNU/ICTP PFF was developed during a UNU Training Programme on Laser and Plasma Technology in 1985-86 [3] at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. During initial tests, this plasma focus system already proved to be very cost effective, yet producing plasmas of such intense conditions that copious multi-radiations, including fusion neutrons were emitted [4]. Six sets were constructed and given to the participants to be used as the core facilities to be installed in their new plasma focus laboratories back home. Due to this and subsequent training programmes, new plasma focus laboratories were started at Delhi University, Quaid-i-Azam University[5], Yogyakarta Nuclear Research Centre, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Prince of Songkla University and more recently in University of Zimbabwe and Chulalongkorn University[6]. Several more research groups were strengthened and the influence of the AAAPT's training project using the UNU/ICTP PFF has spread to plasma focus laboratories in Egypt, Syria and even to Chile, Poland and Italy. The Plasma Groups of Malaysia [7] and Singapore [8] have been prominent in the leadership of the AAAPT.The collaborative research work has produced more than 20 PhDs, 50 Masters and hundreds of research papers[9].

A numerical simulation package, the Lee Model [10], was developed for the network but has proven successful to simulate all plasma focus devices. Recently numerical experiments using this code have uncovered a pinch current limitation effect and given a fresh outlook to neutron scaling laws from sub-kJ to multi-megajoule devices. The latest version is now downloadable as Universal Plasma Focus Laboratory Facility based at Centre for Plasma Research, INTI International University [11]. In association with the AAAPT, the Institute for Plasma Focus Studies [12] was founded on 25 February 2008 to promote correct and innovative usage of the Lee Model and to encourage dense plasma focuus numerical experiments.

The activities of the AAAPT have covered many areas of experimental and theoretical plasma physics. To cater for the diverse research interest of the members the AAAPT had, up to July 2005, organised or co-sponsored 37 training activities, conferences, workshops and satellite meetings and coordinated numerous scientific exchange and attachment programmes. Besides developing the UNU/ICTP PFF, member institutions also developed the following equipment to assist in building up research resources:

  1. Nitrogen Laser teaching and applications package
  2. Optical Fibre Monochromator System
  3. 3.5-Channel diode x-ray spectrometer
  4. nanosecond Laser Shadowgraph demonstration and application package
  5. Multi-purpose Plasma Device
  6. Linear Theta Pinch Package

Altogether 32 packages of equipment were transferred in the equipment assistance program.

Leadership[edit]

The Inaugural Meeting in 1988 elected Professor Lee Sing (Malaysia) as the Foundation President with 4 Vice Presidents Prof T El Khalafawy, Prof G Murtaza, Prof M P Srivastava and Prof Tsai Shih Tung representing Egypt, Pakistan, India and the People’s Republic of China respectively. The Secretariat comprised Prof Lee Sing, Assoc Prof Moo Siew Pheng (Vice President), Assoc Prof Wong Chiow San (Hon Sec) and Assoc Prof Chew Ah Chuan (Hon Treasurer). The composition of the Council remained unchanged through another 3 elections (1991, 1995, 1998) except that Prof Tsai Shih Tung died in 1996 and was replaced by Prof Li Yin-an (P R China). In the 5th election in July 2004 Prof Wong Chiow San (Malaysia) was elected President, retaining the Presidency in the 6th election in July 2008. In the 7th election on 5 October in Bangkok, Assoc Prof Rajdeep Singh Rawat (Singapore) was elected the 3rd President of AAAPT with the following Vice-Presidents: Prof Saw Sor Heoh (Malaysia), Prof Tomader El Khalafawy (Egypt), Prof S Z Yang (China), Prof M Zakaullah (Pakistan) and Prof R Amrollahi (Iran). The Secretariat comprises the President, Assoc Prof Rajdeep Singh Rawat, Hon Secretary Assoc Prof Paul C K Lee (Singapore) and Assoc Prof S V Springham (Singapore). Professor Lee Sing is Advisor to the AAAPT.

External Links:

  • Asian African Association for Plasma Training

(http://www.aaapt.org)

  • United Nations University Plasma and Laser Training Programmes[13]
  • Initiating and Strengthening Plasma Research in Developing Countries [14]
  • Twelve Years of UNU/ICTP PFF-A Review [15]
  • Simple Facility for Teaching of Plasma Dynamics and Plasma Nuclear Fusion. [16]
  • University of Malaya Plasma Research Laboratory.[17]
  • NTU-NIE Plasma Radiation Laboratory.[18]
  • Numerical computation package, Lee Model [19][20]
  • INTI-International University, Centre for Plasma Research[21]
  • Institute for Plasma Focus Studies. [22]
  • Chulalongkorn University Plasma Laboratory[23]
  • Quaid-i-Azam University Plasma Laboratory

[24]