Photo of magnet testing facility

The long road to 20 tesla on the SPARC Toroidal Field Model Coil: A magnet origin story

Zach Hartwig


Friday, January 21, 2022



IAP Seminars

In the early morning hours of September 5 2021, the SPARC Toroidal Field Model Coil (TFMC), a joint project of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Commonwealth Fusion Systems, achieved a peak magnetic field in excess of 20 tesla. This moment ushered in a new era of powerful high-field superconducting magnets for science and industrial applications and enabled a long-sought paradigm shift in fusion energy towards smaller, lower cost devices. But how did this come to be? What technologies and pioneers set the stage for the TFMC? How was it possible to execute a project of this scale and innovation in only two years? And why did this happen at MIT and not somewhere else? To answer these questions, this talk will attempt to map the century-long odyssey at MIT in high-field magnet research, development, and operations that laid the foundation for the success of the TFMC Project and then, with the technical and historical context firmly established, provide a more meaningful overview of the TFMC Project itself.

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