The ambipolar trap
Experimental studies between 1978 and 2004 on
ambipolar (tandem) mirror traps are reviewed. Results on the
formation of ambipolar ion-confining barriers and the formation of thermal barriers for thermally insulating electrons in
ion barriers from plasma confined in a solenoid are discussed.
Achievements on improving longitudinal plasma confinement
and limiting transverse plasma losses in the trap are reviewed.
The reasons for the limited density of solenoid plasma in
TMX-U and GAMMA-10 machines are discussed. Some results on the MHD stabilization of plasma and on the suppression of plasma microinstabilities are reviewed. Prospects for
constructing ambipolar fusion reactors are discussed.