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A Re-Examination of Spheromak Experiments and Opportunities

E. Bickford Hooper, James H. Hammer, Cris W. Barnes, Juan C. Fernández, Fred J. Wysocki

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 29 / Number 2 / Pages 191-205

March 1996


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The results of spheromak experiments are reexamined in light of the hypothesis that the core energy confinement is considerably better than the global confinement and that it extrapolates favorably with magnetic Reynolds number S. The data in decaying spheromaks are found to be consistent with the hypothesis and with magnetic fluctuations scaling as S−1/2 and determining the electron thermal conductivity. No conclusion is drawn from the data for sustained spheromaks, indicating the importance of a new experiment to determine core energy confinement while helicity is injected. The characteristics of such an experiment are discussed, including the importance of using modern vacuum and wall-conditioning techniques and of minimizing magnetic field errors.

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