Examining plasma trapping from the context of energy equilibrium yields new perspective on MHD independent of plasma microdynamics, a suggestion as to the form of equilibrium energy distributions and guidance as to how to construct plasma traps with better performance than the cusp- and mirror-derived devices commonly in use. We also see that the MHD equilibrium holds for systems with a magnetic null such as magnetic cusps. Gauge invariance, an intrinsic feature of the electromagnetic system, leads to the observation that the θ component of the vector potential in cylindrically symmetric neutral plasmas acts against confinement. A future paper will examine the design of an optimal trap for a force-free plasma.
Discuss the technical details of an "open source" community-driven design of a polywell reactor.
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