Speaker: Adil Hassam, University of Maryland, College Park
Abstract: An axisymmetric magnetic mirror, rotating azimuthally at supersonic speeds, centrifugally confines plasma to the midplane, closing off the mirror loss cone. The accompanying velocity shear can stabilize the destructive flute interchange mode. The electric potential well scales as the deep centrifugal potential and exponentially throttles parallel electron heat losses, allowing access to the Lawson Condition at Mach 4 to 5. An experiment at the University of Maryland, spinning at Mach 2.5, showed steady state quiescent conditions with a density drop of ~12 along the field, and showed velocity shear exceeding the ideal interchange growth rate. The centrifugally confined mirror system can be steady state, and has no abrupt disruptions. While key questions need answering, the system presents unique possibilities as a strategic element for fusion. The theoretical basis for this system will be discussed and results from the MCX will be presented.