It is strongly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, and deals with phenomena occurring in the Universe (stars, solar wind, interstellar nebulae, interplanetary space, star systems and galaxies), in laboratory (hot and low temperature plasmas) and in natural settings (lightning, auroras, ionosphere).
It covers an extremely large range of scales and parameters. Spatial scales range from nanoscale to galactic scale, temporal scales from attosecond to centuries, and plasma
parameters vary over more than ten orders of magnitude.
Despite the large diversity, plasmas exhibit common physical phenomena over these enormous ranges, and share common theoretical descriptions, basic science concepts, and experimental techniques.
This synergy enables advances in both science and technology. Plasma applications can have a quite large impact in our life and knowledge.
The Institute for Plasma Science and Technology – ISTP – investigates various aspects of the rich and diverse plasma science, addressing both fundamental phenomena and applied processes, developping technological applications, and promoting technology transfer.
ISTP conducts theoretical and experimental research on laboratory and natural plasmas. Research activities range from plasmas in controlled thermonuclear fusion to low-temperature plasmas, astrophysical plasmas and aerospace.
To advance in plasma science and technology, ISTP fosters an interdisciplinary contribution to the research, by involving industry towards innovative processes, and providing a forum of discussions with citizens and stakeholders. ISTP supports an educational programme for undergraduate and graduate students with degree and PhD courses as well as with a secondary school dedicated program of events.