Innovative Confinement

The mainline concept of magnetic confinement uses a magnetic "donut", called the tokamak. The General Atomics Theory Group also explores other innovative confinement concepts, in both magnetic and inertial confnement. Magnetic confinement uses the physics principle that charged particles tend to follow magnetic field lines, thereby containing the plasma in a "magnetic vessel." Inertial confinement keeps the plasma together by inertial forces alone, but requires enormous pulses of energy from a number of focused lasers or particle beams.

Our interest in this area includes: