From September 2022 to April 2023, I did my internship at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, Germany. It was undoubtedly the most enriching period of my university experience, both in terms of scientific knowledge and personal growth.
I worked with the TOK group under the supervision of Dr. Di Siena and Prof. Emanuele Poli. My project involved studying the impact of a slowing-down distribution function for fast particles on the linear dynamics of Toroidal- Alfvén-Eigenmodes. Specifically, for my thesis work, I updated the gyrokinetic code GENE, which was developed in Garching under the guidance of Frank Jenko. I added a new module to the code to more realistically model the behavior of fast particles with a slowing-down distribution. All the simulations were performed on the institute's supercomputers, COBRA and TOKP.
During my stay, I also had the opportunity to participate in the Summer University organized by MPI in Greifswald, where the latest topics in fusion research were discussed. In the second phase of my internship, I implemented the slowing-down distribution module within GENE. This step required numerical studies and convergence analysis to ensure consistency.
While in Munich, I had the chance to meet numerous PhD students, researchers, and professors. I engaged in interesting discussions and exchanges on fusion-related topics, not just limited to my thesis. I also made new friends and had a great time socializing with them, often at the beautiful breweries in Munich.
I wholeheartedly recommend this experience. If I could go back in time, I would choose to do it a thousand times!