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First Plasma on the Levitated Dipole Experiment 447

Posted by michael
from the more-power dept.
deglr6328 writes "In light of recent, somewhat disappointing news in the world of nuclear fusion research, it is worth noting that there are still reasons to keep up hope that some breakthroughs are yet to be made. At 12:53 pm on the 13th. of this month the Levitated Dipole Experiment achieved its first plasma. The Levitated Dipole Experiment(LDX), built at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center as a joint project of Columbia University and MIT, is a magnetic confinement fusion research device, that unlike all previous stellarator, reverse-field pinch and tokamak like experiments, uses a superconducting levitated torus to confine its plasma. The LDX's achievement of first plasma is, in a way, about 17 years in the making even though it has only been in construction since 1999. The concept for LDX was first considered by Akira Hasegawa as he was studying the data coming in from the Voyager missions which flew through the (dipole) magnetospheres of the outer planets. He noticed that unlike laboratory confined fusion plasmas which tended to be unstable, difficult to control, and which lost energy quickly, the plasma of a magnetosphere is intrinsically more quiescent, stable and actually reacts favorably (increases its density/temperature) to outside perturbations such as ie. bombardment by a solar storm. A highly informative and interesting video of operations on the day of first shot can be found here. Congratulations to the scientists and engineers who have worked very hard on getting the project to this point and here's looking forward to the possibility that LDX will reveal fundamentally new physics in the arduous quest for clean fusion energy."
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First Plasma on the Levitated Dipole Experiment

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  • The plasma fusion guys seem to have sucked down billions of dollars to build their huge ungainly and ultimately unworkable Rube Goldberg devices.

    If even 1% of that money were spent on cold fusion research, we would probably be having much more interesting results by now. The great physicist Richard Feynman once said that he didn't see any theoretical reason why cold fusion would not work.
    • by Solder Fumes (797270) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:42PM (#10034604)
      The great physicist Richard Feynman once said that he didn't see any theoretical reason why cold fusion would not work. Then again, there is no theoretical reason why every subatomic particle in your body could not simultaneously jump one foot to the left.
      • *sigh* (Score:2, Insightful)

        by K1-V116 (754806)

        Pons and Fleischmann style cold fusion does not and never has worked -- the excess heat the observed was an artifact from their calorimetery equipment caused by the fact that neither of them knew how to properly use it....and the pseudoscientists have been running with the idea since.

        Show me an independantly verifiable cold fusion experiment that gives a positive result, and _then_ it might be worth funding. Until then, so-called "hot" fusion is the way to go.

        • Re:*sigh* (Score:3, Informative)

          by Talez (468021)
          Ever heard of muon catalysed fusion [triumf.ca]?

          They've actually got it working. They just can't get breakeven yet.
          • Re:*sigh* (Score:3, Informative)

            The problem with that is that muons are expensive to get, and the muons often end up stuck to the ash, so it's hard to recycle them.
      • Then again, there is no theoretical reason why every subatomic particle in your body could not simultaneously jump one foot to the left.

        Yes there is. It's called entropy.

      • by orthogonal (588627) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @07:39PM (#10035100) Journal
        Then again, there is no theoretical reason why every subatomic particle in your body could not simultaneously jump one foot to the left.

        Oh yeah? Sure there is! Everyone knows that subatomic particles use the metric system not English measurements, and a displacment of of 3.048 E14 just isn't a round enough number to be likely.
    • Wow was he also able to see into the future? Feynman died in '88, the cold fusion nonsense didn't start until '89 [wikipedia.org].
    • by k98sven (324383) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:19PM (#10034774) Journal
      If even 1% of that money were spent on cold fusion research, we would probably be having much more interesting results by now.

      No we wouldn't. Nobody is going to throw money at trying to do in practice something which doesn't work in theory. There is no theoretical model considered valid in which cold fusion works.

      Paper and pencils don't cost much. Show the world a reasonable calculation proving from physics as we know it, that this is possible, and you can bet they'll get money.

      The great physicist Richard Feynman once said that he didn't see any theoretical reason why cold fusion would not work.

      Do you have a source for that? Besides which, that isn't relevant. There is a huge difference between showing something is possible and showing that it is not impossible.

      Feynman himself also made a lot of good statements about pseudoscience. Perhaps you should read them? Unlike you, I provide a reference [brocku.ca].

      • by AJWM (19027) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @07:42PM (#10035110) Homepage
        >If even 1% of that money were spent on cold fusion research, we would probably be having much more interesting results by now.[emphasis added]

        [...]There is no theoretical model considered valid in which cold fusion works.

        [...]Show the world a reasonable calculation proving from physics as we know it, that this is possible,


        You don't get interesting results but working from what we "know" (as witness hot-fusion's rather dismal track record). You get interesting results by closely examining phenomena which aren't explicable by "physics as we know it". That's how we went from Newtonian physics to relativity and quantum theory.

        Suppose the variation in Mercury's orbit had been dismissed as observational error or some drag effect of the solar atmosphere? Or that the odd lines and steps observed in hot-body spectra were dismissed as some filtering effect of the atmosphere or the spectrographic apparatus. They didn't fit within a Newtonian universe, after all.

        Enough diverse experiments that involve packing deuterium nuclei together in a metal crystal lattice (whether by electrolysis or high pressure) have showed odd results to be worth pursuing further. Semiconductor effects were observed decades before the invention of the transistor, we just didn't have the materials science or the theory to understand it properly.
        • by k98sven (324383) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:02PM (#10035200) Journal
          You don't get interesting results but working from what we "know" (as witness hot-fusion's rather dismal track record). You get interesting results by closely examining phenomena which aren't explicable by "physics as we know it". That's how we went from Newtonian physics to relativity and quantum theory.

          Well then you're going to have to explain to me why you don't think the laws of physics "as we know it" is a sufficient model for fusion. It certainly has provided us with relatively good models of the Sun, as well as predicted the Hydrogen bomb, and it also has shown to work with tokomak fusion.

          Newtonian physics did not correctly predict the orbit of Mercury. There was no real reason to assume it should.

          However, Newtonian physics did correctly predict,for instance, the motion of billard balls.

          Now say someone walks along and says billard balls don't work at all in the way Newtonian physics says they do. Yet noone is able to make the billard balls act that way. Would that grounds for abandoning Newtonian physics as a model of billard balls? Abandon for what?

          There is no alternative theory which allows cold fusion. If there was, people would be testing it.

          In the same way that physics "as we know it" 150 years ago provided an accurate model for billiard balls, we have every reason to believe physics "as we know it" today provides an accurate model for fusion.

          It is not the final model and it is probably not an accurate model for say, the inside of black holes and for sub-subatomic particles and the large-scale forces in the universe.
    • Then maybe they'd get more money?

      If cold fusion is feasible, then the scientists that claimed they achieved it did the field a disservice by lying about it. No one has been able to replicate the experiment, and it turned out to be just a bunch of lies to get media attention.
    • Re:how depressing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by deglr6328 (150198) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @07:45PM (#10035121)
      Perhaps I miscalculated in thinking that slashdot would be a good place to submit this news to. I had thought that the community here would be so much more scientifically literate and skeptical than, judging from comments here, it clearly is, and who would be a group which would enjoy hearing detailed news of an albeit small step toward a possible clean and infinite energy source of the future. Here we are ~150 posts in, and most are along the lines of "why are we wasting our time on this", "cold fusion is being suppressed", "it'll never work, we're wasting money", "ugh, too much reading" and all manner of other pseudoscientifically [slashdot.org] inclined rubbish. It's not merely that these posts exist that's depressing, it's that it's being MODDED UP.

      Is this truly the state of disaffection and ignorance that exists in the general public (and this is slashdot!) today toward fundamental scientific research and technological achievement? I simply can not imagine that this is actually the case and I stronly hope that what is seen here is not merely a product of intellectual laziness but is, instead, a result of a deep failure on the part of the scientific community to excite and educate the public about its pursuits. At least I HOPE this is the case, then perhaps something might be done to remedy the situation.

      Though, a small part of me suspects that this is not the case and that in the ever richer and more comfortable "west" we truly are slowly but surely slipping down a slope of scientific indifference and even hostility; and that subsequent generations may curse our graves for allowing a wide margin of the public to consistently indulge in such shameful, wilfull ignorance.
      • Re:how depressing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joe Tie. (567096) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @09:39PM (#10035546)
        I had thought that the community here would be so much more scientifically literate and skeptical than

        The lack of serious comments might in part be due to skepticisim. I'm coming from more of a medical perspective, but I'm sure in all fields that getting 'too' excited about promising initial results is a sure way to spend a huge amount of time severly let down. Aside from that, as the AC below mentioned, it's Saturday. I think many reading are doing so as a quick fix, rather than getting ready for serious reading.

        And for someone lacking in background on this, such as myself, it looks like a significant amount of reading to get the background needed to really appreciate this. You provided ten different links, some of which themselves require additional reading to first determine which links there need to be read in order to grasp their significance to the topic. The general information link on the Stellarator page didn't even work. Yes, I just proceeded to look up Stellarator on wikipedia. But I'm also blessed with an abundance of free time today. That said, I know it is difficult to properly gauage the amount of background information any group is going to have. Assume too little and it can come off as insulting 'plasma is a really hot thing, and would burn you if you tried to eat it!', too much and the audience might wind up too intimidated and just crack jokes instead of doing a little background reasearch in order to catch up. Also, while slashdot does have a scientific nature, it's 'very' heavily skewed to computer science. The further away from that, the more the main audience is going to be out of the area they have the most confidence speaking about. Many people won't speak up if they find themselves in a topic where their lack of knowledge is very apparent.

        That said, I hope you don't become too disheartened. While I came to this with very little understanding of the topic, I found a preliminary read of some of the information quite interesting and intend to look further into it. And if I am, I'm sure many others who are as ignorent of physics as myself will be doing so as well. We'll probaly just not comment, as there's little someone in our situation could really add to the discusion.

        I in part agree with your view of the moderation. I loaded the comments up hoping for additional clarification by people knowledgable on the subject, and instead most of the moderation was for funnies. I wouldn't be too disdainful of the cold fusion moderation though. Personally, I'm grateful it was moderated up just because it also brought the conflicting replies to my attention as well.
      • Re:how depressing (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RayBender (525745)
        Perhaps I miscalculated in thinking that slashdot would be a good place to submit this news to.

        Don't feel too bad. Most Slashdotters are out on the town on a Saturday night; it's just the losers who are still posting. As for the moderators - no-one understands how it ends up being what it is, but the leading theory is that most moderators are under the influence of some pretty serious drugs while moderating.

        Seriously though, congratulations on first plasma. I visited LDX about 8 months ago and you've c

  • by Anonymous Coward
    So can we now make a flux capacitor?
  • by Solder Fumes (797270) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:39PM (#10034592)
    Researchers were stunned on Saturday as they discovered that the key component of the new fusion bottle has gone missing. A late-night janitor reported hearing someone say "Mmmmmmm...levitating superconductive plasma donut" shortly before the crucial torus disappeared.
  • by Nebulaeus (459722) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:41PM (#10034599) Homepage
    Now we can all keenly anticipate the first episode of Enterprise to mention the almighty superconducting levitated torus that has powered Federation impulse drives all long.
    • Well the warp core does look like a stack of toruses (tori?) and it does contain plasma. Maybe they were onto something?

      /me retires to geek hole...
      • Maybe they were onto something?

        Crack.
      • Well not exactely, I was into Star Trek tech a couple of years ago and the blue/red lightshow doesn't contain plasma only the matter and antimatter stream respectively.

        It becomes plasma in the round thingy in the middle with help of the mighty dilithium crystals

        There's no fusion, no plasma and they're cylinders and not tori therefore, nope they weren't, at least not onto a levitated dipole experiment =)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:44PM (#10034611)
    is it just me, or does anyone else get a tad nervous when they see 'nuclear fusion' and 'akira' in the same context of an article discussing real world scientific research?
  • No matter.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by olman (127310) * on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:47PM (#10034627)
    No matter how well it will work. No matter how safe they can make it. No matter how efficient it will be. No matter how clean the process is.

    Greenpeace et al will still behave like this is the beast of apocalypse.

    Just as they do with nuclear power. Such a horror. Clean energy replacing coal/oil plants spewing hundreds of metric tons of fossil fuel waste into the atmosphere each and every year? Surely it must be evil.
    • Re:No matter.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Stevyn (691306) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:57PM (#10034674)
      Exactly. Groups like Greenpeace are so informed and ignorant they are hindering clean cheap energy. The amount of radioactive waste put into the atmosphere by coal is much greater than nuclear fission. Fission is clean and a lot more abundant than coal or oil. It will take some time but we should be gearing up for a hydrogen economy where hydrogen gas is used in everything from cars to cell phones. The hydrogen can come from nuclear power plants.

      Call me crazy, but I think this is a good solution.
      • Re:No matter.. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Icarus1919 (802533)
        The parent post is correct, the burning of coal does introduce radiation trapped in the coal into the atmosphere. The parent should be modded up.
      • Nuclear Fission is by no means the savior of humanity. Nuclear fission is not the answer. There is some hope with fusion, which would be a much safer alternative.

        Although modern fission reactors are pretty good and stable, it's just absurd to split atoms when you could be smashing them into eachother.

        WAY COOLER
      • Yes but until it's cheeper to make hydrogen from water than it is to make hydrogen from oil, were still going to end up being dependent on oil.
    • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by yem (170316) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @07:32PM (#10035068) Homepage
      "Greenpeace et al will still behave like this is the beast of apocalypse."

      The bile spewed by supposedly intelligent people when it comes to atomic energy is simply staggering. Greenies don't object to nuclear power on principle - the problem is safe transport and storage of fuel and waste. Take away that problem (as future fusion reactors could do, correct?) and I'm all for it.

      Enjoy your karma, whore.

      • further bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vena (318873)
        there have been numerous advancements in transport which have made the relocation of nuclear waste less dangerous than the floating ecological disasters in wait we call oil tankers. a quick google search reveals as much, i invite you to do some research.

        that said, there are granite statues littering washington, dc which emit more radiation than the yucca mountain storage facility's (where the US puts all their nuclear waste) radiation levels or that it is even allowed to come close to. in addition to thi
      • Re:Bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

        by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby AT comcast DOT net> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:39AM (#10036506)
        Bullshit all right, but it's your comment that's bullshit, not the one you responded to. Extremists groups like greenpeace are consistently the number one hinderance to having clean nuclear energy plants built today. If they really were interested they would try working in cooperation to solve these problems instead of doing everything they can to obstruct them. When is the last time you ever heard of greenpeace doing studies into the transportation and long term storage of nuclear waste? The answer is you haven't, because they have never tried to resolve the problem.

        For decades the threat considered most viable in the transportation of nuclear waste has been the green movement, not handling accidents, not terrorists, not even traffic accidents. Understand that greenpeace is a hinderance to clean energy and perhaps you might start helping to resolve the problem. Coal plants put out more radiation every day than three mile island ever did. We have coal power plants because it isn't feasible to build nuclear power plants (no plant has been built in the US since three mile island).

        The hard reality is greenpeace is opposed to nuclear energy because it puts a positive spin on the word "nuclear" and greenpeace is vehemently anti-military. They would rather seen tons of radiation pumped out worldwide from coal power plants than to allow the word nuclear to lose it's negative connotation. It's a power trip on the part of greenpeace, nothing more, nothing less.

        Fools

      • Eco-Bullshit (Score:3, Informative)

        by olman (127310) *
        Greenies don't object to nuclear power on principle - the problem is safe transport and storage of fuel and waste.

        Oh, that's just something they say to sound more rational. Now if you compare risks and accidents with conventional fossile fuel transportation such as oil tankers and gas pipes.. Suddenly carting around rather modest amounts of nuclear fuel/waste isn't such a big problem.

        Don't forget that the amount of uranium required to produce equivalent energy as coal is less than 1/1000.

        As for storage.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:47PM (#10034633) Homepage Journal
    it's nothing like the cool sun like plasma ball they showed in the spiderman 2. No indestructable antimagnetic hands with AI attached to some guy's back and head. I just watched the video and all they showed was some blue light through a looking glass in some ridiculous cylinder. They should take some pointers from the Hollywood producers and start making plasma balls in open space and have people with gigantic robot arms controlling it. Then maybe the will get more funding.

  • Yum, video! They should have asked the /. crowd for help. If we can just get a few more people, their molten server would become plasma!
  • by Ira Sponsible (713467) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:50PM (#10034642) Journal
    Too afraid to RTFA with a summary that long. Brain hurts, must go lie down now.
  • Yeah! That post made perfect sense to me.

    Reminds me of the Retro-Encabulator... [ebaumsworld.com]

    The original machine had a base plate of prefabulated amulite, surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two spurving bearings were in direct line with the pentametric fan. The latter consisted simply of six hydrocoptic marzelvanes, so fitted to the ambifacient lunar waneshaft that side fumbline was effectively prevented. The main winding was of the normal lotus-0-delta type placed in panendermi

  • by loconet (415875) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @05:56PM (#10034672) Homepage
    Columbia University and MIT have decided to join organizations to now be known as UAC ......

  • Mirror of the video. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kjellander (163404)

    So we don't turn the server into plasma, here's a mirror of the video:

    http://razor.csbnet.se/First_LDX_Plasma2.mov [csbnet.se]

  • Wow, that thing puts my blue LEDs to shame!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:16PM (#10034763)
    And it gets even more maddening every single year I see this tired nonsense with the wrong way to achieve Fusion trotted out like it's something new. It really doesn't matter what process these so called highly intelligent people at MIT etc..use, the process is still the same, you're working against the Plasma rather than with. It's the equivalent of using Rockets underwater verses using fins. It's almost as if they want to fail in some perverse way. So much intelligence being squandered on these absurd Fusion methods.


    The only clear way to do this is via Focus Fusion, which means one is working with the natural instabilities of Plasma rather than attempting to straightjacket them with massive Magnetic Fields. Nothing more really needs to be said about Focus Fusion from me so I'll just paste what they're saying here [focusfusion.org]:


    Focus fusion is the only known method that can achieve hydrogen-boron fusion. It also has other advantages over tokamak based deuterium-tritium fusion reactors. Focus fusion reactors will be much less expensive for the same amount of power. Tokamak reactors generate electricity by boiling water for a steam powered generator (high energy neutrons provide the heat.) This is the same method that coal power plants use. The only difference is the heat source. In a coal power plant the steam generator is the most expensive part of the plant so replacing the heat source will not result in a lot of savings. Also, this method of generating electricity is limited by the fundamental efficiency limits of heat engines. Focus fusion reactors do not require a heat engine. They generate electricity directly. After all, electricity is just moving charged particles. The particle decelerators in a focus fusion reactor merely transfer the electricity of charged particle beams into a wire. This process does not face the efficiency limits of heat engines.


    A focus fusion reactor should be able to economically generate power in quantities as small as 20MW from a power plant the size of a two car garage. This means they will be useful for powering individual villages in the third world where regional electricity grids are not as well developed. And in developed nations focus fusion power can be generated near where it will be used to reduce transmission losses and can be owned by the communities it serves to reduce dependence on speculative energy markets.

    If there are any financiers out there who have the backbone to do what is right in this world and do what is right for mankind, I urge you to fund this research to banish forever the specter of Fossil Fuel shortages and associated ecological damage and begin a new era in Human History.

    • by Aardpig (622459) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:39PM (#10034847)

      It's the equivalent of using Rockets underwater verses using fins.

      Bad analogy; squid, octopus and cuttlefish have no problem whatsoever utilizing a propulsion system that acts on the same principles as a rocket.

      Regarding the main thrust of your post, please could you outline the salient points of the conspiracy which currently stands in the way of the cheap, eco-friendly, limitless power which you describe? Extra points if you use the phrase 'zero-point energy'!

      • Bad analogy; squid, octopus and cuttlefish have no problem whatsoever utilizing a propulsion system that acts on the same principles as a rocket.

        While I agree with the thrust (har har) of your post, the principles of squid, octopus, etc. propulsion is much closer to jet than rocket propulsion. Rocket propulsion acts on the principle of conservation of momentum, aka action-reaction; water jets push against the water (by squeezing some internal muscle, I believe), just as manmade jets push against the air.
    • And it gets even more maddening every single year I see this tired nonsense with the wrong way to achieve Fusion trotted out like it's something new. It really doesn't matter what process these so called highly intelligent people at MIT etc..use, the process is still the same, you're working against the Plasma rather than with. It's the equivalent of using Rockets underwater verses using fins. It's almost as if they want to fail in some perverse way. So much intelligence being squandered on these absurd Fu

  • by Packet Fish (450451) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @06:40PM (#10034850)
    For those unfortunate slashdot readers of lesser ISP fortitude, slashdot is proud to offer the following descriptive video summery.

    Brought to you by The Undergraduate Research Assistants Pool - a statistically significant proportion of particle physicists agree, only Undergraduate Research Assistants can stand up to the kind of abuse a particle physicist demands.

    [TITLE SEQUENCE]

    [lively tour of facility]

    [8 minutes of reality-show-finally like filler including:
    [uncomfortable in-your-face interview with research assistant]

    [uncomfortable in-your-face interview with research assistant]

    [uncomfortable in-your-face interview with female research assistant]

    [uncomfortable in-your-face interview with research assistant in blue hard hat]

    [uncomfortable in-your-face interview with Physicist]

    [clip montage of scientific equipment]

    [uncomfortable in-your-face interview with research assistant in blue hard hat]

    ]

    [nasa tv style clip of scientists congratulating each other over inscrutable data on distant CRT's during and after triumphant success]

    [replay of triumphant success, this time with wholly satisfying video of glowing blue science goodness]

    [obligatory fade out to historical prospective text that scrolls by too quickly]

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming ...
  • Darth: For what it is worth, my room mate when I was working on Ph.D. at Cornell did his doctoral research on the feasability of using magnetically controlled plasma waves to create the equivalent of much smaller particle accelerators - use the troughs in the plasma waves, move the waves, and *poof* you are moving particles around.

    Makes one wonder if his thesis will be invoked at some point in this new endeavor.

    Meanwhile I was working on chronological developments in Biblical Hebrews and their applicability

  • by InterGuru (50986) <[moc.urugretni] [ta] [dhj]> on Saturday August 21, 2004 @09:55PM (#10035613) Homepage
    Thirty years ago, I worked at the University of Miami on Dan Wells' project, Trisops. We produced stable plasma rings with a force-free ( velocity and magnetic fields are parallel ) doughnut shaped configuration. They are sort of the magnetohydrodynamic equivalent of a smoke ring - which is a stable vortex structure. If you poke your finger through the hole of a smke ring, and then move it sideways across the ring, the ring will heal itself because of its stability.

    After producing two rings at the opposite end of a vacuum tube, they were guided by a magnetic field until they collided. At collision they repelled each other, and then were compressed. The rings heated up and stayed stable for 30 microseconds under compression ( which by plasma standards is a long time). The funding was cut off in 1978 because the concept was too far from the mainstream.

    In 1999 John Brandenburg received a grant from NASA to move the experiment from Miami to Lanham MD (near NASA Goddard). He moved it and reassembled it, but never received an money to operate it. It stands gathering dust.

    Right now, Paul Koloc is doing something similar in his garage, producing ball lightning ( a stable plasma structure that has been documented since Roman times). His project, Plasmak, has received some sbir [zyn.com] funding. For more details on the Plasmak, look here [google.com].

    From reading the white paper, I do not think the Trisops plasma is the same configuration as in the levitated dipole experiment. I do not have a clear idea of the structure of the Plasmak.

    I list the Trisops papers below for anyone who wants to follow up.

    Daniel R. Wells, Paul Edward Ziajka, and Jack L. Tunstall. Hydrodynamic confinement of thermonuclear plasmas TRISOPS VIII (plasma liner confinement). Fusion Tech., 9:83, 1986.

    Winston H. Bostick and Daniel R. Wells. Azimuthal magnetic field in the conical theta pinch. Phys. Fluids, 6(9):1325, 1963.

    "Simultaneous Electron Density and Ion Temperature Measurements of a Moderately Dense Plasma Using Doppler and Stark Broadened He-II Lines" (with others), Applied Optics (Letters) v 17, p1481, 1978.

    "High Temperature, High Density Plasma Production by Vortex Ring Compression" (with others), Physical Review Letters, v 41 #3, p166, 1978. "

    The Interaction between Two Force Free Plasma Vortices in the TRISOPS III Machine" (with others), Physics of Fluids, v 22, p379, 1979.

    • Interesting stuff, what kind of ion temperatures did you get (if you can remember such a thing from 30 years ago), how large was the experiment, what kind of heating techniques did you use on the plasma, did you ever go to D-T, did you see neutrons etc.? Sorry for so many questions but Trisops only gets like 14 hits on google and I dont have a subscription to PRL! :)
      • The ion temperatures were measured as 6 kev from Doppler broadening and D-D neutron production. The electron temperatures stayed at 50 ev. The configuration lasted 100 microseconds. One of the problem ( and one of the excuses for discontiuing the funding) was that the electron-ion equilibration time for this is 2 microseconds.

        We did not have the funds for a Thompson scattering laser, so we measured the density of 10^16 to 10^17 by differential Stark broadening between differenent ion levels of Ne.

        We

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