Magnetically confined plasmas

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

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    A paper in Nature shows how reinforcement learning can solve the problem of optimizing the magnetic field in a tokamak to create a variety of plasma configurations, including ones that haven’t been achieved before.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    Science diplomacy has become an important dimension of international relations. Here’s a take on the past, present and future of fusion science diplomacy and the role such big collaborative endeavours play in shaping the future of this field in the international political sphere.

    • Matteo Barbarino
  • Comments & Opinion |

    The assembly of the more than a million single parts of the ITER tokamak requires large-scale three-dimensional precision metrology. John Villanueva Jr gives us insights into the complexity of this project.

    • John Villanueva Jr
    Nature Physics 16, 1080
  • Comments & Opinion |

    The First Plasma discharge in the ITER tokamak is expected for 2025 with deuterium–tritium plasma operation ten years later. We spoke with ITER’s Director-General, Bernard Bigot, and Tim Luce, head of ITER’s Science & Operations Department, about the current status of the project and potential future directions in fusion research.

    • Stefanie Reichert
    Nature Physics 16, 895-897
  • Editorial |

    As the construction of the ITER tokamak enters its next phase — the machine assembly — now is a good time for a recap of the history and current status of nuclear fusion research.

    Nature Physics 16, 889
  • Comments & Opinion |

    Since the 1950s, international cooperation has been the driving force behind fusion research. Here, we discuss how the International Atomic Energy Agency has shaped the field and the events that have produced fusion’s global signature partnership.

    • Matteo Barbarino
    Nature Physics 16, 890-893