The Sun on Earth

Come discover how physicists produce small stars in a large machine, with the aim of mastering a new source of energy, inexhaustible, safe and respectful of the environment.

Fusion is the process that generates energy in the stars. Fusion is at the origin of the energy that reaches the Earth, coming from the Sun. To achieve fusion, it is necessary to bring the ‘fuel’ to a temperature of the order of 100 million degrees. At these temperatures (even below!),

the matter is in the state of plasma.

The tokamak is the most promising device to reach these temperatures and to harness fusion on Earth. The EPFL tokamak, the largest research facility on campus, has specific features that make it unique worldwide.

Physicists and engineers of the Swiss Plasma Center will show you how to create and maintain a plasma at these temperatures, how to measure its characteristics, what are the remaining challenges to achieve fusion on Earth and what is the path towards the commercialization of fusion energy.

They will also show recent developments in basic plasma research and applications of these plasmas to society for industry, agriculture, biology and environment.

The following activities are offered:

  • The Sun on Earth – TCV Building – Guided tour of the tokamak
  • Fusion – TCV building – Didactic experiments highlighting principles of plasma physics
  • Plasma – PPH Building – Plasma demonstrations
  • The Sun on Earth – Conference on plasmas and fusion
  • Let There Be Light – TCV Building – Screening of the film on fusion research