In order to progress toward practical thermonuclear devices, the principal objective must be to prolong containment times by improving the electrical conductivity of the plasma. Those pinch configurations which are grossly unstable are, of course, unsuitable for practical thermonuclear work. Therefore our purely dynamic experiments are conducted only to study basic shock heating and instability mechanisms. Our basic evaluation of progress in pinch-type experiments is the reduction of the dissipation rate of the magnetic fields. The present pessimistic viewpoint is that most of the pinch devices that depend upon high current density within the plasma are beset with an enhanced dissipation rate which is disastrous to pinch containment. This dissipation is derived either from an electron plasma current instability or from hydromagnetic turbulence. Both have been predicted in theory and observed in experiment. Studies have been presented for the following cases: linear and toroidal pinch experiments; sheet pinch devices of modest size; homopolar geometry; shock heating and screw dynamic pinch.
Colgate, Stirling A 
- University of California Radiation Laboratory, Livermore, CA (United States)