Fusion Plasma Research Project

Spherical Rotamak chamber

Rotamak is a compact device for plasma confinement. The plasma is created in a pyrex chamber of spherical torus shape. The unique feature of Rotamak is that the plasma current is driven by application of a Rotating Magnetic Field, created by two 90-degree-dephased 400 kW RF generators. The Rotamak is capable to operate in field reversed configuration regime.

Experimental Program

  • The Rotamak delivered from Flinders University of Australia in 2001 has been rebuilt at PVAMU. Plasma experiments with current driven by a rotating magnetic field were conducted since 2002.
  • In 2006, another device has been built. The main goal is to study the  physics of magnetic reconnection. The plasma current is generated by Rotating Magnetic Field and severed into two current rings by brief application of external magnetic field at the midplane.
  • Typical plasma parameters:Te~ 20-40 eV, ne~ up to 2×1012 cm-3,  Iplasma~ up to 10 kA.

Laboratories and Equipment

Theory and ComputationsCylindrical chamber

  • A new model – the guiding field line model – has been developed. The model is powerful for calculating the current and flow velocity in plasma.
  • Numerical codes available:
    • Code for tracing the particle drift trajectories in a real 3D geometry of a tokamak.
    • Monte-Carlo simulation of Coulomb collisions and radio – frequency heating.
    • Ray-tracing code for description of propagation and damping of waves in toroidal plasmas.
    • MHD-e code for description of rotating magnetic field and current penetration into plasma.


  • T.S. Huang, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 105, p. 5541, (2000).
  • Yu. Petrov and T.S. Huang, Phys. Plasmas, Vol. 7, p. 4095, (2000).
  • Yu. Petrov and T.S. Huang, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol. 44, p. 1483, (2002).
  • Yu. Petrov and T.S. Huang, Nuclear Fusion, Vol. 43, p. 130, (2003).
  • F.C. Zhong, Yu. Petrov and T.S. Huang, Phys. Plasmas, N.4, p.L1-L4, (2004).
  • Yu. Petrov, F.C. Zhong, and T.S. Huang,Observation of the self-generated toroidal magnetic field in rotamak,Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 12, N.8, p. 082514, (2005).
  • T.S. Huang, Yu. Petrov, and F.C. Zhong,Comparison of rotamak plasmas in FRC and ST configurations,Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol. 47, N.9, p. 1517, (2005).

Team Members

  • Tian-Sen Huang  (Director)
  • Yuri Petrov
  • Xiaokang Yang

Research Collaboration

  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Flinders University

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