An MIT staff member writes, "For 40 years MIT has been exploring nuclear fusion as a source of energy through a series of tokamaks, devices that use magnets to confine hot plasma in a donut-shaped chamber. Beginning in 1969 with the Alcator A tokamak, and continuing with Alcator C (1978-87) and Alcator C-Mod (1990 - present), MIT has been on the cutting edge of fusion research, collaborating with other fusion laboratories around the country and the world on a potentially endless source of energy. In addition, the Alcator series of experiments have played a unique role in the MIT educational program by training the next generation of fusion scientists and engineers.
"The Alcator experiments, distinct from other tokamaks because of their compact size and high confining fields, allow researchers access to plasmas with the highest pressures of any produced in magnetic confinement facilities. Indeed, Alcator C was the first device to produce the product of density times confinement time of hot plasma necessary for a useful fusion reaction.
"The most advanced of the three Alcator experiments, Alcator C-Mod, housed in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center's Nabisco Laboratory, is making world-leading contributions to development of fusion energy, and is helping to resolve key questions that may lead directly to the enhanced success of the first fusion burning tokamak, ITER, currently under construction through a worldwide collaboration."
MIT Plasma Science and Fusion CenterFusion Research at MIT