Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

Physics Of Plasmas


Formation and equilibrium studies have been performed on the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX). Spheromaks are formed with a magnetized coaxial plasma gun and equilibrium is established in both small (d(small)=0.16 m) and large (d(large)=3d(small)=0.50 m) copper flux conservers. Using magnetic probe arrays it has been verified that spheromak formation is governed solely by gun physics (in particular the ratio of gun current to flux, mu(0)I(gun)/Phi(gun)) and is independent of the flux conserver dimensions. It has also been verified that equilibrium is well described by the force free condition del xB=lambda B (lambda=constant), particularly early in decay. Departures from the force-free state are due to current profile effects described by a quadratic function lambda=lambda(psi). Force-free SSX spheromaks will be merged to study magnetic reconnection in simple magnetofluid structures. (C) 1998 American Institute of Physics.


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics and the American Institute of Physics.

Included in

Physics Commons