Phillips, James A. Formerly, CTR Division Office, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Ampère's law
- Thermonuclear applications
- Experimental studies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A name given to manifestations of the magnetic self-attraction of parallel electric currents having the same direction. The effect at modest current levels of a few amperes can usually be neglected, but when current levels approach a million amperes such as occur in electrochemistry, the effect can be damaging and must be taken into account by electrical engineers. Since the late 1940s the pinch effect in a gas discharge has been studied intensively in laboratories throughout the world, since it presents a possible way of achieving the magnetic confinement of a hot plasma (a highly ionized gas) necessary for the successful operation of a thermonuclear or fusion reactor.
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