Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Has Captured a Picture of a Plasmoid in their Dense Plasma Focus Fusion Project

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On our first day of full functioning with the ICCD, we got our first picture of a plasmoid on shot 14. (This was a relatively small shot with a late pinch due to too much fill gas, or too little current for the gas. The current was 600 kA with 20 torr fill.) The image , Figure 1, slightly contrast-enhanced, is taken directly side-on, perpendicular to the axis of the device through the quartz view window.

The dark rectangular shadows at the top are two of the 3/8-inch cathode rods. The bright line across the image, separating the light from the dark areas, is the plasma sheath.

The plasmoid, the bright spot, can be seen at the tip of the twisted and kinking pinch column. The image gives evidence of the kinking which we and others feel leads to the plasmoid formation. It also gives a maximum radius for the plasmoid of about 700 microns. The plasmoid itself is smaller, and is buried within the bright spot.

Unfortunately we are still learning to use the software, and some data within the spot was lost when the image was saved. In addition, the ICCD observes the plasmoid in UV light, so may not be able to see all the way into the densest parts. We are working to get better images in the future

There is a slideshow of the ICCD camera here

The researchers are preparing to use boron in the experiments.

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