“Café con Ciencia” is an activity celebrated in Andalucía with the aim to organize different scientific gatherings with small groups of secondary school students and their teachers. These activities, which take place at universities, research centers and other public spaces, have the purpose of sharing experiences and bringing research closer to the younger sector of the population.

On this occasion, María Luque Porras, engineer at the Technical Office of IFMIF-DONES, has shared with young students a coffee at the University of Granada’s PTS canteen, as well as her technical knowledge and explained the scientific research that she currently conducts.

At the beginning, María addressed the basic principles of fusion energy and related technologies in particle accelerator engineering: equipment, dimensions, power, pressures, intensities, temperatures, remote maintenance, etc. Part of the talk focused on other laboratories, such as CERN, as well as the coordination and planning of international projects in this field.

María Luque, as member of a team of engineers working for the commissioning of IFMIF-DONES, explained that this is a facility included in Europe’s roadmap with the aim to achieve energy based on fusion. The students learned that, with these fusion plants, it is intended to replicate what occurs in the Sun, this is, ‘to generate an environment in which particles collide, forming other elements and releasing energy that can be used’.

Finally, the main objective of the facilities was explained to the students, which is the study and validation of the materials to be used in the devices that will make this possible. This is, in technical terms, a particle accelerator (deuterons) that, when impacting a lithium target, generates a flux of neutrons with which the sample materials will be radiated, replicating the conditions expected in the fusion power plant’.