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Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth
FIGURE F.3The stellarator concept uses complex three-dimensional coil and magnetic-flux surfaces to create a quasi-symmetric configuration in which the magnetic field appears to be only two-dimensional in the frame of reference of a moving particle in the plasma. The conventional stellarator (a) has relatively simple helical symmetry and multiple harmonics in the field strength along a field line (b), which in turn gives rise to large particle losses. In contrast, the quasi-symmetric stellarator (c) eliminates the harmonics and produces a field line with single harmonic symmetry (d), effectively eliminating toroidal curvature (i.e., the long-period feature in (b)) and dramatically improving particle confinement. Courtesy of D.T. Anderson, University of Wisconsin at Madison.