Personal webpage of Jack Hare

I am a physicist and outdoor enthusiast, currently living in Munich, Germany. I work on plasma, the hot matter which make up most of the universe. I am an experiment physicist, most comfortable in the lab looking at data and saying “huh, that’s odd.”

Fortunately, the Earth is not a plasma, which allows me to go hiking, canyoning, caving, skiing and show shoeing when I’m not in the lab doing physics!

This website is a mixture of information about my research, and the trips I’ve been on. Posts fall into one of the three broad categories below – the titles link to all the posts in that category.

Laboratory Astrophysics

A long exposure image of a plasma gun inside the MAGPIe vacuum chamber. Read more

I started this blog during my PhD at Imperial College London in the MAGPIE group of Sergey Lebedev. Here I worked on pulsed-power driven magnetic reconnection, creating high energy density plasmas from carbon rods (literally pencil leads!) in which strong magnetic fields were forced together and rapidly annihilated. Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in plasma physics, and it is key to understanding events such as coronal mass ejections from solar flares, which originate on the Sun’s surface and can pose a major hazard for satellites and then power grid on Earth.

Diagnostics for Fusion

The ITER Bolometry Vacuum test stand at IPP, a vacuum oven used to test bolometer prototypes for ITER.

After six years at Imperial, I moved to the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching bei München. Here I’m working on diagnostics for ITER, the massive international collaboration to build an experimental thermonuclear fusion reactor. I’m specifically working on bolometers (which measure the radiated power from the plasma) and pressure gauges (which measure the pressure of the neutral gas inside the vacuum vessel).

I try to write about my research in a way which is accessible to a wide audience. I have no training as a science communicator, and I have a huge amount of respect for those who have made this their life’s work. For me, this blog is a way to clarify thoughts in my head and to communicate to my friends and family what exactly it is I do all day. If you find any errors in what I’ve written of are looking for clarification, please let me know. All of the information on this blog is entirely my own opinion, and none of it should be construed as the official position of the ITER Organisation, Fusion for Energy or The Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics


Canyoning in Sardinia. Read more.

Fortunately I’m not always doing physics, and I escape as often as possible to the outdoors, where I enjoy hiking, cross country skiing, canyoning, caving, and cycling, among other things. I’ve found detailed trip reports extremely useful for planning my own trips, and many of these can be found on blogs, rather than tourist info sites or monolithic apps like Strava. I hope by blogging here that I can help others find more information which they can use to plan their adventures, and of course the blog acts as a good resource for me to remember what exactly it was that I did.