Laura Lauro-Taroni

Stipendiary Lecturer in Physics
Laurea in Physics, University of Genoa, Italy, Diploma in Pianoforte, Conservatory of Genoa, Italy

Laura Lauro

After completing the Liceo Classico, I had to make the difficult decision between scientific or classics for my higher studies. My compromise was doing something unorthodox and combining two of my strongest passions: physics at University while carrying on in parallel my musical studies in the Music Conservatory.

Another difficult choice came about when I had to drop the offer of a job in an Italian Conservatory to carry on with my Doctorate in Physics. Then, in random order, came my marriage to a scientist husband, my move to Great Britain,  two teenage step-daughters and two children, all along with huge efforts to develop a career, while coping with a growing family  (and an Italian enlarged family!).

Research Interests

My research has developed in the field of numerical simulations of plasmas, mainly for thermonuclear fusion, at the JET laboratory, Culham, Oxfordshire. I have developed and upgraded large fluid codes to describe the transport properties of plasmas, in particular how contaminants behave in plasmas. Impurities, particularly heavy ones, have to be kept to a minimum level in fusion plasmas, so it is important to reproduce experimental data in order to understand and possibly predict their behaviour to minimize their impact.

I enjoy team work very much and I find it very exciting to collaborate with scientists from across Europe and world-wide.

I have also worked on simulations on low-temperature plasmas, important for technological applications, in collaboration with scientists of the Open University.

I have also a keen interest in the popularization of science and have collaborated with Italian colleagues on projects on the relationship between music and science and, more recently, on Marconi.

Undergraduate Teaching

I am deeply involved with the organization of the in-college tutoring and the admissions and do my share of tutoring of the core compulsory courses for the Physics degree with my Colleagues, John March-Russell and Adrianne Slyz. Recently I have enjoyed teaching particularly the mathematics courses as well as the Electromagnetism courses. But the best part of tutoring at New College is the contact with our undergraduate students: it is always very rewarding and I am always amazed at how much I learn from them as I teach them!