A 1905 study of pinches, where electric lightning was used to create plasma physics pdf books Z-pinch inside a metal tube. A pinch is the compression of an electrically conducting filament by magnetic forces. The conductor is usually a plasma, but could also be a solid or liquid metal. Pinches were the first device used by humankind for controlled nuclear fusion.

Pinches occur naturally in electrical discharges such as lightning bolts, the aurora, current sheets, and solar flares. This is a basic explanation of how a pinch works. Pinches apply a huge voltage across a tube. This tube is filled with fusion fuel, typically deuterium gas.

Current jumps across this gap. The current makes a magnetic field which is perpendicular to the current.