Permanent magnets akin to those used on refrigerators could speed the development of fusion energy – the same energy produced by the sun and stars. In principle, such magnets can greatly simplify the design and production of fusion devices called stellarators. Most stellarators use a set of complex twisted coils that spiral like stripes on a candy cane to produce magnetic fields that shape and control the plasma that fuels fusion reactions. Refrigerator-like permanent magnets could produce the hard part of these essential fields, allowing simple, non-twisted coils to produce the remaining part in place of the complex coils.
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