During the week of April 21–26, 1981, a group of research physicists with a special interest in artificial particle beams as applied to space plasma studies met at a conference site at Geilo, in the mountains of central Norway. Major support was provided by NATO, and the meeting was the first of a new series known as NATO Advanced Research Institutes. The session format somewhat resembled the recent Chapman conferences held at Yosemite National Park. Sessions were held each morning, Tuesday through Saturday, and after a lunch and recreational break, continued in the afternoon and early evening, up to dinner hour. The attendance was limited to about 65 persons, who were encouraged to stay together for the entire conference period. The unique character of the meeting was the result of current interest in this very specialized topic, the international attendance, and the excellent accommodations at the Vestilia Høyfjellshotell. The conferees assembled in Oslo and traveled together by train on Monday, April 20, arriving at Geilo in about 4 hours. The fact that most participants remained for the entire week and the fact that the rather relaxed pace of the meeting gave ample time for discussion and interchange of ideas contributed much to its success.