The Levitated Dipole eXperiment                       
LDX Spinning
Welcome to the Levitated Dipole eXperiment (LDX) web site. LDX is a novel experimental device designed to explore the physics of plasma confinement in a magnetic dipole field. What makes it unique? Besides levitating a 1/2 ton superconducting ring, we have conducted the first experimental test on the theory of plasma confinement by adiabatic compressibility. Since the dipole field resembles the field of a planetary magnetosphere we can develop and test models of space weather using two state-of-the-art laboratory experiments, LDX at MIT and and CTX at Columbia. LDX is a collaboration between Columbia University's Dept. of Applied Physics and the MIT Plasma Science & Fusion Center and is funded by the NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering.
LDX Project News

Plasma Pinch leads to stationary profile

First observation of "pinch" leading to peaked density appears in Nature-Physics.

Columbia University and MIT PSFC announce a program for collaborative research in laboratory magnetospheric physics.

Slides added from 2011 EPS and DPP invited talks.

View documentary on LDX_first_shot. Video of first levitated plasma production shown on right. Observe 1) coil raised 2) launcher withdrawn as coil levitates, 3) chamber darkens and heating starts up plasma, 4) heating terminated and plasma dims and decays during several seconds.

LDX Overview
Explore a the workings of the Levitated Dipole Experiment through this presentation of the planned daily operation of the experiment. Macromedia Flash required. Visualization of fields without Helmholtz and with Helmholtz coils.

An older HTML overview is also available here. Further information about LDX experimental plans have been presented at various forums and are available here.

Call for Collaborators
Physicists: as our initial diagnostic set will be limited, we invite collaborators to work with us on this unique high beta plasma.


Io Plasma Torus
Publications and reports Explore the theoretical foundations of the LDX project, including tantalizing evidence from nature that the concept may be the answer to the fusion energy problem. Recent publications supporting LDX are available here.

Image courtesy: John Spencer, Lowell Observatory

Tritium suppressed D-D fusion The proposal for tritium-suppressed D-D fusion and the understanding of the turbulent pinch in magnetically confined plasma are new developments in fusion science that create an alternate and potentially advantageous technology pathway for fusion energy.

Ask the Experts
Students and educators: ask a scientist any question about LDX, plasma physics or fusion energy. Links to other fusion energy sites. Check out the amazing Levitated Cheerio Experiment.

Webmaster: D. Garnier Last updated: Wed, Aug 1, 2012