Method and device to produce hot, dense, long-lived plasmas
Maier, William Bryan II
Nolting, Eugene Ellis
Snyder, Donald D.
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A device and method to produce a hot, dense, long-lived plasma. In one embodiment, a large electric current is passed through an outer tube enclosing in part a piston, a notched conducting rod and central electrode. Electromagnetic forces accelerate the piston to a point high enough to mechanically separate the conducting rod at the location of the notch before the conducting rod is melted. On separation, a plasma is generated by the passage of electric current though a gas produced by vaporization of the conducting rod and nearby materials. An insulator enclosed Within the tube prevents the plasma from shorting to the outer tube until the current flow has produced a sufficient magnetic field to contain the plasma. The piston is then accelerated by a combination of electromagnetic forces and mechanical pressure from the hot gas through which the electric current is passing.
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