how "large scale" is plasma physics I'm a physics undergrad right now, and I'm trying to pick out classes I want to take to get a better idea of what I'd like to do in grad school. I've wanted to work on fusion/plasma physics for a long time, and right now I'm reading a book on the history of fusion. It mentions that the large-scale experiments like JET, TFTR, etc. are so large that they're pretty much bureaucracies, with fleets of physicists, engineers, administration, etc. This doesn't really appeal to me at all! I do research in a nonlinear dynamics lab right now, and I really like how my entire experiment fits on a tabletop, and that I'm only working with two other people. So, my question is, does this kind of "tabletop physics" exist in plasma physics? I'm not dead-set on doing fusion research; I'm really interested in other aspects of plasma physics too, such as plasma processing and plasma thrusters, but it would definitely put a damper on my romantic idea of what plasma physics is. What about theorists? Do theorists in plasma physics work in bureaucracy too? While I'm at it, what other branches of physics have opportunities to do tabletop experiments? I know condensed matter is one, and my Electronics class this semester is getting me rather interested in semiconductor physics, so I might take a class in solid-state physics at next opportunity.