Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) experiment

The exterior of the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) experiment at MIT's Plasma Science. At high temperatures plasmas are generally "frozen" to magnetic field lines. Plasmas can however break free rapidly in a process called "magnetic reconnection." The VTF experiment has enabled researchers to gain significant new insight into the fundamental mechanisms that allow magnetic field lines to break and reconnect at rapid rates. The animation shows the various parts of the VTF experiment, including the vacuum pumps, the microwave feed used to create and heat the plasma, and various instruments inserted into the containment vessel to measure the magnetic fields and densities in the plasma as reconnection occurs.

For more information, see Versatile Toroidal Facility