Visiting Germany’s hottest spot

Virtual journey into the plasma vessel / 360-degree panorama of the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device

October 04, 2012

The internet site of Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) presents a 360-degree panorama leading you right at the site into the plasma chamber of the large-scale ASDEX Upgrade fusion research device at Garching near Munich.

At www.sonnenmaschine.eu this spectacular tour puts the observer right into the core of the device, otherwise accessible only to specialist personnel – to the hottest spot in Germany, where plasmas with temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees are produced. Access is also provided to the periphery of the device accommodating the technical facilities, or to the control room, from which the experiments are monitored.

Via PC, tablet computer or smartphone you can look into every corner and zoom onto every screw. In brief video interludes (in German language) PhD students at IPP talk about their work places: the scientists’ objective is to devise a power plant that provides energy from fusion of atomic nuclei – just like the sun does.

The panoramas were recorded by photographer Volker Steger, Munich. Recently, he was awarded the „German Prize for Science Photography 2012“ in the single-photo category for his spherical panorama projection of the plasma chamber ensuing from this work. The award photo shows the interior of ASDEX Upgrade with the mysterious appearance of a science fiction backdrop, as the jury put it.

Isabella Milch

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