Magnetically confined plasmas

Definition

Magnetically confined plasmas are those plasmas that are trapped using magnetic fields. Magnetic fields can prevent high-temperature plasma coming into contact with solid materials that it could damage or destroy. Magnetically confined plasmas offer one possible route to sustained nuclear fusion.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Larmor coupling is a collisionless momentum exchange mechanism believed to occur in various astrophysical and space-plasma environments. The phenomenon is now observed in a laboratory experiment.

    • A. S. Bondarenko
    • , D. B. Schaeffer
    • , E. T. Everson
    • , S. E. Clark
    • , B. R. Lee
    • , C. G. Constantin
    • , S. Vincena
    • , B. Van Compernolle
    • , S. K. P. Tripathi
    • , D. Winske
    •  & C. Niemann
  • Research | | open

    Magnetic fusion reactors with higher ratio of plasma kinetic pressure to magnetic pressure are economically desirable. The authors demonstrate a path to such a reactor in a field reversed configuration that can attain microstability and reduced particle and thermal fluxes by manipulating the shear flow.

    • L. Schmitz
    • , D. P. Fulton
    • , E. Ruskov
    • , C. Lau
    • , B. H. Deng
    • , T. Tajima
    • , M. W. Binderbauer
    • , I. Holod
    • , Z. Lin
    • , H. Gota
    • , M. Tuszewski
    • , S. A. Dettrick
    •  & L. C. Steinhauer
  • Research | | open

    Early stellarator designs suffered from high particle losses, an issue that can be addressed by optimization of the coils. Here the authors measure the magnetic field lines in the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator, confirming that the complicated design of the superconducting coils has been realized successfully.

    • T. Sunn Pedersen
    • , M. Otte
    • , S. Lazerson
    • , P. Helander
    • , S. Bozhenkov
    • , C. Biedermann
    • , T. Klinger
    • , R. C. Wolf
    • , H. -S. Bosch
    • , The Wendelstein 7-X Team
    • , Ivana Abramovic
    • , Simppa Äkäslompolo
    • , Pavel Aleynikov
    • , Ksenia Aleynikova
    • , Adnan Ali
    • , Arturo Alonso
    • , Gabor Anda
    • , Tamara Andreeva
    • , Enrique Ascasibar
    • , Jürgen Baldzuhn
    • , Martin Banduch
    • , Tullio Barbui
    • , Craig Beidler
    • , Andree Benndorf
    • , Marc Beurskens
    • , Wolfgang Biel
    • , Dietrich Birus
    • , Boyd Blackwell
    • , Emilio Blanco
    • , Marko Blatzheim
    • , Torsten Bluhm
    • , Daniel Böckenhoff
    • , Peter Bolgert
    • , Matthias Borchardt
    • , Lukas-Georg Böttger
    • , Rudolf Brakel
    • , Christian Brandt
    • , Torsten Bräuer
    • , Harald Braune
    • , Rainer Burhenn
    • , Birger Buttenschön
    • , Victor Bykov
    • , Ivan Calvo
    • , Alvaro Cappa
    • , Andre Carls
    • , Bernardo Brotas de Carvalho
    • , Francisco Castejon
    • , Mark Cianciosa
    • , Michael Cole
    • , Stefan Costea
    • , Gabor Cseh
    • , Agata Czarnecka
    • , Andrea Da Molin
    • , Eduardo de la Cal
    • , Angel de la Pena
    • , Sven Degenkolbe
    • , Chandra Prakash Dhard
    • , Andreas Dinklage
    • , Marion Dostal
    • , Michael Drevlak
    • , Peter Drewelow
    • , Philipp Drews
    • , Andrzej Dudek
    • , Frederic Durodie
    • , Anna Dzikowicka
    • , Paul van Eeten
    • , Florian Effenberg
    • , Michael Endler
    • , Volker Erckmann
    • , Teresa Estrada
    • , Nils Fahrenkamp
    • , Joris Fellinger
    • , Yühe Feng
    • , Waldemar Figacz
    • , Oliver Ford
    • , Tomasz Fornal
    • , Heinke Frerichs
    • , Golo Fuchert
    • , Manuel Garcia-Munoz
    • , Benedikt Geiger
    • , Joachim Geiger
    • , Niels Gierse
    • , Alena Gogoleva
    • , Bruno Goncalves
    • , Dorothea Gradic
    • , Michael Grahl
    • , Silvia Groß
    • , Heinz Grote
    • , Olaf Grulke
    • , Carlos Guerard
    • , Matthias Haas
    • , Jeffrey Harris
    • , Hans- Jürgen Hartfuß
    • , Dirk Hartmann
    • , Dag Hathiramani
    • , Bernd Hein
    • , Stefan Heinrich
    • , Sophia Henneberg
    • , Christine Hennig
    • , Julio Hernandez
    • , Jim-Felix Lobsien
    • , George Hutch Neilson
    • , Thomas Wegner
    • , Thomas Windisch
    • , Reinhard Vilbrandt
    • , Marc Lewerentz
    • , Axel Könies
    • , Holger Lentz
    • , Oliver Schmitz
    • , Christoph Slaby
    • , Peter Traverso
    • , Yuriy Turkin
    • , Hiroshi Kasahara
    • , Jose-Luis Velasco
    • , Fernando Lapayese
    • , Maria Ester Puiatti
    • , Felix Köster
    • , Adelle Wright
    • , Luis Vela
    • , Oleksandr Marchuk
    • , Adrian von Stechow
    • , Jacek Kaczmarczyk
    • , Erhui Wang
    • , Alessandro Zocco
    • , Stefan Schmuck
    • , Ben Israeli
    • , Stefan Marsen
    • , Andreas Krämer-Flecken
    • , Victor Moncada
    • , Alexey Mishchenko
    • , Nengchao Wang
    • , Friedrich Wagner
    • , Gabor Kocsis
    • , Heike Laqua
    • , Jeanette Maisano-Brown
    • , Henning Maaßerg
    • , Masayuki Yokoyama
    • , Maarten Vergote
    • , Ignacio Pastor
    • , Jakob Svensson
    • , Bernd Schneider
    • , Jörg Wendorf
    • , Valeria Perseo
    • , Melanie Preynas
    • , Ulises Hidalgo
    • , Fabio Pisano
    • , Tamas Szabolics
    • , Andrea Pavone
    • , Daniel Lopez-Bruna
    • , Slowomir Jablonski
    • , Uwe Stridde
    • , Ireneusz Ksiazek
    • , Lutz Wegener
    • , Pavlos Xanthopoulos
    • , Frank Purps
    • , Humberto Trimino Mora
    • , Novimir Pablant
    • , Tamas Szepesi
    • , Matt Landreman
    • , Hartmut Jenzsch
    • , Johann-Peter Kallmeyer
    • , Sandor Zoletnik
    • , Olaf Neubauer
    • , Victoria Winters
    • , Michael Rack
    • , Holger Niemann
    • , Axel Lorenz
    • , Holger Viebke
    • , Aleix Puig Sitjes
    • , Taina Kurki-Suonio
    • , Joaquim Loizu Cisquella
    • , Thomas Mönnich
    • , David Kinna
    • , Tohru Tsuijmura
    • , Dirk Naujoks
    • , Håkan Smith
    • , Kian Rahbarnia
    • , Hauke Hölbe
    • , Michael Schröder
    • , Laurie Stephey
    • , Yanling Wie
    • , Torsten Stange
    • , Dirk Pilopp
    • , Bernd Schweer
    • , Albert Mollen
    • , Ichihiro Yamada
    • , Udo Höfel
    • , Mario Winkler
    • , Naoki Kenmochi
    • , Jef Ongena
    • , Joseph Mittelstaedt
    • , Sehyun Kwak
    • , Konrad Riße
    • , Fabian Wilde
    • , Roman Schrittwieser
    • , Uwe Wenzel
    • , Michael Houry
    • , Burkhard Wiegel
    • , Josefine Proll
    • , Luis Pacios
    • , Glen Wurden
    • , Peter Kurz
    • , Kerstin Rummel
    • , Jorge Sousa
    • , Kieran McCarthy
    • , Hans Oosterbeek
    • , Carlos Hidalgo
    • , Brian Standley
    • , Andreas Langenberg
    • , Monika Kubkowska
    • , Felix Warmer
    • , Wolfgang Schneider
    • , Marcin Jakubowski
    • , Winfried Kernbichler
    • , Lukas Rudischhauser
    • , Boudewijn van Milligen
    • , Peter Rong
    • , Paul McNeely
    • , Ekkehard Pasch
    • , Andreas Zimbal
    • , Yunfeng Liang
    • , Yaroslav Kolesnichenko
    • , Francisco Medina
    • , Seppo Sipilae
    • , Katja Küttler
    • , Codrina Ionita
    • , Jeremy Lore
    • , Manfred Zilker
    • , Jean-Marcel Travere
    • , Maciej Krychowiak
    • , Heinrich-Peter Laqua
    • , Jürgen Nührenberg
    • , Petra Kornejew
    • , Tran-Thanh Ngo
    • , Byron Peterson
    • , Joachim Rosenberger
    • , Hayato Tsuchiya
    • , Haruhiko Saitoh
    • , Rüdiger Krampitz
    • , Nerea Panadero
    • , Michel Vervier
    • , Shinsuke Satake
    • , Carolin Nührenberg
    • , Nikolai Marushchenko
    • , Ewa Pawelec
    • , Alf Hölting
    • , Jörg Riemann
    • , Marian Ochando
    • , Bernd Missal
    • , Gavin Weir
    • , Vadym Lutsenko
    • , Gabriel Plunk
    • , Hans Werner Schumacher
    • , Shaocheng Liu
    • , Suguru Masuzaki
    • , Priyanjana Sinha
    • , Georg Kühner
    • , Dusan Milojevic
    • , Timo Schröder
    • , Ralf König
    • , Daihong Zhang
    • , Andreas Werner
    • , Dmitry Moseev
    • , Matthias Hirsch
    • , Florian Köchl
    • , Ute Kamionka
    • , Norbert Rust
    • , Kunihiro Ogawa
    • , Ralf Kleiber
    • , Anett Spring
    • , Henning Thomsen
    • , Ralph Laube
    • , Michael Nagel
    • , Danilo Pacella
    • , Michael Laux
    • , Matthias Schneider
    • , Matthew Stoneking
    • , Lionello Marrelli
    • , Valentina Huber
    • , Carsten Killer
    • , Thomas Rummel
    • , Jörg Schacht
    • , Swetlana Valet
    • , Alexey Runov
    • , Ryosuke Seki
    • , Ralf Schröder
    • , Natalia Krawzyk
    • , Anton Jansen van Vuuren
    • , Leszek Ryc
    • , Angeles Pedrosa
    • , Ryo Yasuhara
    • , Ulrich Neuner
    • , Jens Knauer
    • , Thierry Kremeyer
    • , Tom Wauters
    • , Christian Perez von Thun
    •  & Yasuhiro Suzuki
  • Research |

    Substorms in the Earth’s magnetosphere lead to bright aurorae, releasing energy into the surrounding ionosphere. Ground- and space-based observations now reveal how that energy is dissipated and controlled by strong electric currents.

    • E. V. Panov
    • , W. Baumjohann
    • , R. A. Wolf
    • , R. Nakamura
    • , V. Angelopoulos
    • , J. M. Weygand
    •  & M. V. Kubyshkina
    Nature Physics 12, 1158–1163

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Energy-producing nuclear fusion reactions taking place in tokamaks cause radiation damage and radioactivity. Remote-handling technology for repairing and replacing in-vessel components has evolved enormously over the past two decades — and is now being deployed elsewhere too.

    • Rob Buckingham
    •  & Antony Loving
    Nature Physics 12, 391–393
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Construction of the ITER tokamak, arguably the largest scientific project ever, is well under way in the south of France. Nature Physics spoke with ITER's Director-General, Bernard Bigot, about the challenges ahead — a conversation about physics, engineering, politics and culture.

    • Bart Verberck
    Nature Physics 12, 395–397
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Fusion research is driven by the applied goal of energy production from fusion reactions. There is, however, a wealth of fundamental physics to be discovered and studied along the way. This Commentary discusses selected developments in diagnostics and present-day research topics in high-temperature plasma physics.

    • Alexander V. Melnikov
    Nature Physics 12, 386–390
  • Editorial |

    With a dedicated monthly column, Nature Physics draws attention to metrology. And a set of Commentaries in this issue focuses on various aspects of thermometry.