The bumpy torus is a class of magnetic fusion energy devices that consist of a series of magnetic mirrors connected end-to-end to form a closed torus. Such an arrangement is not stable on its own, and most bumpy torus designs use secondary fields or relativistic electrons to create a stable field inside the reactor. The main disadvantage of magnetic mirror confinement, that of excessive plasma leakage, is circumvented by the arrangement of multiple mirrors end-to-end in a ring. It is described as "bumpy" because the fuel ions comprising the plasma tend to concentrate inside the mirrors at greater density than the leakage currents between mirror cells.
Bumpy torus designs were an area of active research starting in the 1960s and continued until 1986 with the ELMO (ELectro Magnetic Orbit) Bumpy Torus at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. One in particular has been described: "Imagine a series of magnetic mirror machines placed end to end and twisted into a torus. An ion or electron that leaks out of one mirror cavity finds itself in another mirror cell. This constitutes a bumpy torus." These demonstrated problems and most research on the concept has ended.
- Uckan, Dandl, Hendrick, Bettis, Lidsky, McAlees, Santoro, Watts, Yeh. "THE ELMO BUMPY TORUS (EBT) REACTOR". osti dot gov. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Retrieved June 1, 2017.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Cobble, Jim. "The ELMO Bumpy Torus Experiment, A Microwave-Driven, Steady-State Fusion Machine at ORNL" (PDF). iccworkshops dot org. Los Alamos National Laboratory, August 18, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
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