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Tokamak from Ferrofluid?

  1. Mar 10, 2012 #1

    Is it possible to use a ferrofluid to create a tokamak/spheromak? If not, then why?


    Ferrofluids can be composed of non-magnetic liquids containing magnetic particles in colloidal suspension.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2012 #2


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    No. Temperature.
  4. Mar 10, 2012 #3


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    What do you want to use the ferrofluid for? For generating the confining magnetic field? What advantages would it have over a simple coil?
  5. Mar 10, 2012 #4
    Re: Tokamak from Magnetic fluid?

    Well, what I was thinking of, was the idea of using a burning plasma as rocket propulsion.

    If you use an aneutronic fusion reaction to minimize harvesting losses, then you can recycle more energy back into the system.

    So the idea would be to use the burning plasma as an "energy container" rather than as an energy source. You would charge it up with energy while on the ground, and then rely on that plasma to keep burning for the time it takes to reach orbit.

    The idea would be to have a "disposable tokamak" which would be lighter in weight, and whose walls could be converted into exhaust gas by the burning plasma. Astronuc once said that the problem with nuclear rockets is in the "working fluid" (ie. the energetic nuclear material is not the same as the exhaust propellant material, and the bottleneck is in transferring power from one to the other). So that's where having liquid containment walls for your pseudo-tokamak would allow the supply of wall material to be replenished, while also serving as both propellant and "working fluid"

    Perhaps I should have said "magnetic fluid" instead of ferrofluid. After all, the Earth's molten core has magnetism even while being at a high temperature, although it's much weaker magnetism than a tokamak. I was wondering whether a suitable choice of liquid, or else a suitable choice of colloidal material, could be used to achieve the same magnetic field as a tokamak, while also acting as propellant.
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