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'Catastrophic Instability' May Yield 'Low-Cost Confinement Scheme'.

Spheromak physics, which has intrigued plasma researchers for years because it depends on intrinsic three dimensionality and complexity, also offers "the possibility of turning what was previously considered catastrophic instability into the basis of a low-cost plasma confinement scheme," says the author of a new book on spheromaks.

Paul Bellan, California Institute of Technology, begins his book, Spheromaks: A Practical Application of Magnetohydrodynamic Dynamos and Plasma Self-Organization (Imperial College Press, 2000), with a review of the basic concepts of magnetohydrodynamics and toroidal magnetic configurations. He provides a detailed exposition of the three-dimensional topological concepts underlying spheromak physics: magnetic helicity, Taylor relaxation, force-free equilibria, and tilt stability.

The book examines spheromak formation techniques, driven and isolated configurations, dynamo concepts, practical experimental issues, diagnostics and applications.

It concludes by showing how spheromak ideas are closely related to the physics of solar prominences and interplanetary magnetic clouds.

The book, which provides a comprehensive overview of plasma self- organization and its applications, assumes the reader has a modest background in plasma physics but no prior knowledge of spheromaks, according to Bellan's preface.

Spheromaks can be ordered from: World Scientific Publishing Co., Suite 1B, 1060 Main Street, River Edge, NJ 07661; 57 Shelton St., Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9HE, UK; or P.O. Box 128, Farrer Road, Singapore 912805.

For further information, contact Paul Bellan at e-mail:
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Comment:'Catastrophic Instability' May Yield 'Low-Cost Confinement Scheme'.
Publication:Fusion Power Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2000
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