I take no credit for the following information. It was compiled by Chris M. Bradley for the forum users at Talk-Polywell.org and it’s so good that I just have to share it with all of you. That and having this work spread around and on more servers is worthwhile.

The list is a naming of fusion technologies that Mr. Bradley has personally researched including those that were completely out of my own range. While blogging tends to jump on things that make news, this list invites the curious or determined due diligence researcher a solid basis for learning just what is out there. And there is a lot out there. Thus the list itself is news, I’m not aware of anyone else putting it together, and it needed done.

I’m repeating Mr. Bradley’s Notes upfront, as having them in mind will help make more sense of the list and the groupings. You may also want to click over to the page at Talk-Polywell and look through the other comments at the bottom of the page. I have also edited wee bits for clarity so to comply with Mr. Bradley’s copyrights. If you have an addition please join the Talk-Polywell forum and join in. Lets begin, it’s about as exciting as lists can get:


  1. I have included one meritorious example of each of the fusion methods. Some have many examples, some have just one. There is no implied order of merit or likelihood of success, etc.
  2. I have included methods that I feel differ from all the others in some particular distinct mechanistic way that might conceivably enable stable fusion in a unique manner to the others. A debate can be had over whether, e.g., a tokamak and a spherical tokamak should have separate entries and I am happy to delete examples of what come to be considered ‘the same type’ where it is correctly argued – but it’s my list so ultimately I decide!
  3. I have included only *actual physical experiments* that are in the public domain, that have been built in the past or are currently in use or assembly, and are also backed up by either a) numerical simulation, or b) measurements of fusion products. (I’ve included LENR and sonofusion as results of fusion products have been reported in peer-reviewed press, which is a sufficient standard of evidence for this list.)
  4. This is my list, and thus my © copyright, which I state simply so it doesn’t get reproduced elsewhere with the addition of someone’s ‘spark-in-a-bottle’ experiment. (Though that would already be included in ‘pulsed z-pinch’ anyway.) Let’s keep it an updated, studious piece here, under some sensible control.


Beam-target (Oliphant, 1934)
Magneto-electrostatic toroid trap (ATOLL, Artsimovich)
Convergent shock-waves (Huemul, Argentina)
Toroidal z-pinch (ZETA)
tokamak (T-1 to 10, Kurchatov Institute)


High beta tokamak (HBT-EP)
stellarator (Wendelstein W 7-X)
Compact stellarator (NCSX Princeton [cancelled])
reversed field pinch (RFX-Mod Italy)
spheromak (SSPX Lawrence Livermore)
spherical tokamak (MAST)
tandem mirror (Gamma-10 Japan)
Bumpy torus (ELMO, EBT, ORNL)
Galatea (Tornado)
Galatea [magnetic suspension] (Levitron)
accelerated FRC (TCS-U)
odd-parity RMF


Laser Inertial (NIF)
Heavy Ion fusion (HIFAR Lawrence Berkeley)


Pulsed z-pinch (Saturn, Sandia)
Staged Z-pinch (ZOT)
Wire array Z-pinch (Z-machine, Sandia)
High density Z-pinch (MAGPIE Imperial College)
Inverse Z-pinch


Fusor (Fusor, Farnsworth)
IEC (fusor, hirsh-meeks)
Polywell (WB-1 to 7, Bussard)
IEC, plasma electrode (PoF, Sanns)
IEC, beam/spherical capacitor (STAR, Sesselmann)


Flow Pinch (ZAP, Uni Washington)
CT Accel (CTIX, UC Davis)
magneto-kinetic (PHDX, Plasma Dynamic Lab)
magnetized target (AFRL, LANL)
magneto-inertial (OMEGA laser, LLE, Rochester)
levitated dipole [superconducting] (LDX, MIT, PSGC)
Maryland Centrifugal (MCX)
Sheared magnetofluid/Bernouilli confinement (MBX, Uni Texas)
Penning fusion (PFX, LANL)
plasma jets (HyperV, Chantilly)
magnetized target fusion with mechanical compression (General Fusion, Burnaby)
Field-reversed colliding beams (Tri-Alpha)
multi-beam accelerator (MIGMA)
Piezo/Lithium tantalate (UCLA, Putterman)
sonofusion (ORNL, Taleyarkhan)
LENR/electrolysis cell (need I say the names!!)
Muon catalysed fusion (Berkeley, Alvarez)
Focus fusion (DPF, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Lerner)
Rotating lithium wall (RWE, Maryland)

It’s quite impressive to see all of it in one listing. It also makes clearer the territorial actions of the various proponents and how funding can be intensely competitive leading to huge projects leaving much of the high merit, good possibilities starved. Its not as if there are only a few – there are several valid contenders.

Another point is at this date – so little is certain, particularly which might make the best power generation unit, or propulsion unit, or be small and compact, or lowest cost to build or lowest cost to run that choosing now is an error. Most need to be chosen, making the scattergun approach the most responsible choice for now. A few years or decades will show which funding paid off best. Saying one is certainly better than another might be more faith or intuition than factual. We have to put the ideas to the test, research and develop until the dead ends are obvious. Fusion is that important. The payoff is in a dimension that defies choosing an adjective or adverb.

A Great Big and Loud Thank You to Mr. Bradley!


3 Comments so far

  1. Matt on May 12, 2009 5:30 AM

    As I see articles of the $8 Billion ITER or the hugely expensive NIF – I can’t help but think about Philo Farnsworth and his little vacuum tube fusor made from TV parts – almost 60 years ago.

  2. Yordan Georgiev on May 12, 2009 10:59 PM


    I think that this list is so profound that it should be shared with the world by all possible means:

    I started an article in wikipedia by exactly copy pasting this list ( which is bad ; )

    unless you approve it by putting short note here:

    In case you do not approve it the article will be deleted by any of the watchdogs there …

    In case the article survives the list will be improved over time and possibly will rise the awareness about the fusion technology, which the humanity desperately needs.

    Thank you for the great post

  3. conveyancing solicitors on September 2, 2010 6:49 AM

    I will visit your blog frequently for some latest post.

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