Compression, Heating and Fusion of Colliding Plasmoids by a Z-theta Driven Plasma Liner
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A potentially promising approach to fusion employs a plasma shell to radially compress two colliding plasmoids. The presence of the magnetic field in the target plasma suppresses the thermal transport to the confining shell, thus lowering the imploding power needed to compress the target to fusion conditions. With the momentum flux being delivered by an imploding plasma shell, many of the difficulties encountered in imploding a solid metal liner are eliminated or minimized. The best plasma for the target in this approach is the FRC. It has demonstrated both high β, and robustness in translation and compression that is demanded for the target plasma. A high density compressed plasmoid is formed by a staged axial and radial compression of two colliding/merging FRCs where the energy that is required for the implosion compression and heating of the magnetized target plasmoid is stored in the kinetic energy of the plasmas used to compress it. An experimental apparatus is being constructed for the demonstration of both the target plasmoid formation as well as the compression of the plasmoid by a plasma liner. It is believed that with the confinement properties and the high β nature of the FRC, combined with the unique approach to be taken, that an nτE T i triple product ∼5 × 1017 m−3 s keV can be achieved.