Press Release 28/2008

Everywhere in the Universe - but Hardly Investigated

The 2008 ICOPS International Plasma Conference Presents New Findings and Applications of the “Fourth State of Aggregation“
Under water discharge: Problematic waste water may be sterilized in an environmentally friendly manner by plasma discharges (photo by: Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe)

It is the second, that this renowned international conference held in English language takes place outside the USA. The topics covered range from atmospheric and space plasmas to plasmas for environmentally compatible energy generation by controlled nuclear fusion to their use in elementary particle accelerators to plasma-based rocket engines. The presentations will reflect the variety of applications of plasmas in industry, environmental technology, medicine, biology, and chemistry.

Today, plasmas are also used to produce thin protection and functional layers (corrosion protection, barrier layers, layers for tool hardening), to manufacture artificial diamonds, to etch finest structures onto semiconductor chips, and to develop novel plasma light sources and plasma flat screens with a low electricity consumption. Wound treatment with so-called cold plasmas open up new areas in medicine.

Karlsruhe scientists hold a record with their high-performance microwaves, the so-called gyrotron tubes developed by the KIT. These generators heat magnetically confined plasmas up to solar temperatures (100 million degrees) and stabilize them. The goal is to generate energy by nuclear fusion. As regards the energy and power - 1.7 million kilojoules at nearly 1 megawatt power - generated by such a gyrotron tube, the Karlsruhe scientists presently are the world champions. The heating power of the gyrotron developed by the KIT corresponds to about 1200 kitchen microwaves.

The organizers expect about 600 conference participants from 42 countries.

For detailed information on the program and lecturers, click:

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

lg, June 09, 2008

lg, June 09, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Prof. Manfred Thumm
Institut für Hochleistungsimpuls- und Mikrowellentechnik (IHM)
Tel.: +49 7247 82-2441
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The photo in the best quality available to us may be requested by
presse does-not-exist.kit edu or phone: +49 721 608-41105.