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Nuclear Engineering Vs Plasma Physics

  1. May 16, 2014 #1
    I am an electrical engineering student doing my third year. I am interested in doing research in making fusion energy a commercial energy source by doing research in current techniques and also interested in creating new techniques for making fusion process continuous and efficient than current techniques. For this whether doing graduate program in plasma physics or nuclear engineering will be helpful for me.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2014 #2
    Depends on what schools you're looking at. For example UWM, does research on fusion and they have a graduate nuclear engineering program that is based on fusion devices, meanwhile somewhere like NCSU has more research in fission reactor design and they have a lot of industry ties with companies like Westinghouse and GE.
  4. May 16, 2014 #3
    Thanks caldweab, but most nuclear engineering programs is concerned with both design of reactors and some amount of fusion research but the plasma physics program is concentrated only on the fusion research and not on design of reactors so i am confused to choose the correct one among the two programs.
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  5. May 16, 2014 #4

    Not exactly true. The school I go to partners with NCSU and UWM for the undergraduate nuclear engineering program. The big difference between the schools is the focus, Like I said NCSU is more reactor and fuel design. Not to say that they don't have some professors that do fusion research, it's just not what the school is known for. I'm actually heading to NCSU to finish up soon. The university of Wisconsin however has a graduate nuclear program that specifically focuses on fusion and designing fusion devices, I think MIT and Michigan have one also. Anyway if you want to design things go with engineering, plasma physics will give you the fundamental physics behind fusion but it won't teach you anything about designing things with that knowledge. Engineering will.
  6. May 17, 2014 #5
    I am in India , in my country Indian Institute of technology,kanpur is a very good collegeThey offer course in Nuclear Engineering & technology .This is the list of courses offered in Nuclear Engineering & technology.A professor in this department is doing research in fusion.

    The course work consists of a set of required courses covering the basic concepts of nuclear science and engineering, experimental techniques and a set of electives that may be taken from within or outside of the Programme. Some of the courses are listed below

    NT 612 Reactor Physics

    NT 602 Nuclear and Reactor Physics

    NT 611 Nuclear Power Engineering I

    NT 614 Nuclear Power Engineering II

    NT 615 Nuclear Power Engineering III

    NT 621 Nuclear Measurements Laboratory

    NT 631 Neutron Transport Theory

    NT 632 Radioisotope Application in Engineering

    NT 633 Nuclear Fusion

    NT 634 Nuclear Reaction and Interaction of Radiation with Matter

    NT 641 Introduction to Computerized Tomography

    NT 642 Nondestructive Evaluation

    NT 651 Fast Reactor Technology

    NT 652 Nuclear Fuel Cycle (Contents)

    NT 661 Nuclear Reactor Safety
    ME 681 Mathematical Methods in Engineering. Can you tell me whether this will be a good program for me ?
  7. May 17, 2014 #6

    Hard to tell without course descriptions. Although I have a good idea of what some of them are since I've taken them.
  8. May 24, 2014 #7
    I have asked them to give the course contents ,once i got it, i will post in this thread.
    Caldweab, can you give some tips to study about fusion .
  9. May 25, 2014 #8

    I haven't done any fusion studies. I understand the basic concepts but I haven't done any in depth studies
  10. Jul 8, 2014 #9
    I wouldn't worry about what the degree is in so much. Instead focus on the programs that do fusion research. In the US for magnetic confinement fusion, Wisconsin-Madison (in a number of departments), Princeton, U-Washington, and MIT come to mind. Other schools that have smaller programs include UCLA, WVU, Auburn, and Caltech. There's many more that have tiny programs, and a whole slew that do inertial confinement relevant things (MIT, Rochester, Princeton, Cornell, Michigan to name a few in a non-exhaustive list - I am less familiar with the inertial side of things).

    Your degree from most of these schools will be in different departments, but at the end, you'll be a fusion scientist.
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