This paper addresses a basic equilibrium/confinement question whether a field reversed configuration (FRC) with a balanced amount of magnetic and thermal energies is sustained solely by inductive magnetic flux (magnetic energy) injection of a centre solenoid coil. A new finding is that preferential injection of magnetic energy causes a significant increase in thermal energy of the FRC to maintain high-beta equilibrium. The FRC plasma is concluded to have the robustness needed to self-adjust the plasma heating power depending on the magnetic energy injection. In the flux ramped-up phase, i.e. in the phase where the applied inductive electric field did not penetrate into the core of the plasma, the J × B compression (pinch effect) was considered to be dominant for heating the FRC. On the other hand, after the applied inductive electric field penetrated into the core region the resistivity of the FRC increased up to 10-20 times larger than the classical spitzer resistivity. This anomalous heating was the most probable cause for sustainment of the high-beta FRC in this phase. A quasi-steady state of the high-beta (volume averaged beta ∼0.6-0.7) FRC for 0.15 ms (∼energy confinement time of conventional FRCs) was achieved by the use of the present low power centre solenoid current drive. This successful result leads us to the next stage steady sustainment experiment of an FRC by increased capacitor bank energy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics