a1 University of Washington, Department of Earth and Space Science, Seattle, WA 98195, USA (email@example.com)
A dipole-like rotating magnetic field was produced by a pair of circular, orthogonal coils inside a metal vacuum chamber. When these coils were immersed in plasma, large currents were driven outside the coils: the currents in the plasma were generated and sustained by the rotating magnetic dipole (RMD) field. The peak RMD-driven current was at roughly two RMD coil radii, and this current (60 kA m−) was sufficient to reverse the ambient magnetic field (33 G). Plasma density, electron temperature, magnetic field and current probes indicated that plasma formed inside the coils, then expanded outward until the plasma reached equilibrium. This equilibrium configuration was adequately described by single-fluid magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium, wherein the cross product of the driven current and magnetic filed was approximately equal to the pressure gradient. The ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic field pressure, β, was locally greater than unity.
(Received January 24 2006)