1945-1991: Cold War world Wiki

Tokamak confinement of a nuclear fusion plasma: The twisted magnetic field lines (green) required to confine the high temperature plasma (purple) are created by the currents in a set of planar coils (red) and a current flowing in the conductive plasma itself.

The control room of the Alcator C tokamak at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (at the time, the Plasma Fusion Center), in about 1982–1983.

The invention[]

A Toroidal matter control chamber is a form of nuclear fusion device that was to test the concept of fusion generated electricity. It was seen as a better option than nucliar fission, which produced waste matter. The original concept was laid out by Oleg Lavrentiev and this lead to the Soviet physicists Igor Tamm and Andrei Sakharov creating it in the early 1950s. A offical one was built at the Kurchatov Institute, Moscow by a group of Soviet scientists led by Lev Artsimovich in 1956. 2 more were built in Moscow, then the much larger T-4 was tested in 1968 in Novosibirsk, thus conducting the first ever quasistationary thermonuclear fusion reaction. 

Nuclear fusion research began soon after World War II and was initially classified those nations that were trying to make one as a scientific secret, until the 1955 United Nations International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva, when the programs were declassified and international scientific collaboration was allowed. Many othe coutrues like Switzerland, Japan and the Czech Republic now have them.


At the time, this unexpected Soviet scientific achievement raised concern in the West and scaired the bollocks out of the USA as did Sputnik in it's day. Sputnik was to ignite the issues of the missile gap, the Sputnik crisis and the space race. The successfully launch of anything from a still backward USSR was in stark contrast to the American Flopnik incident.


The word tokamak is a transliteration of the Russian word токамак, an acronym of either:

  • "тороидальная камера с магнитными катушками" (toroidal'naya kamera s magnitnymi katushkami) — toroidal chamber with magnetic coils (which can also be abbreviated in English as "tochamac");


  • "тороидальная камера с аксиальным магнитным полем" (toroidal'naya kamera s aksial'nym magnitnym polem) — toroidal chamber with axial magnetic field.

Also see[]

  1. American X-aircraft
  2. Space Satellites
  3. Space rockets
  4. Science
  5. Atomic accidents and disasters


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toroidal_and_poloidal
  3. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tokamak