Several years ago, I saw a Google video (back before the YouTube acquisition) where the leader of a group studying an unusual approach to fusion gave a presentation. His approach centered on a relatively small apparatus where instead of attempting to maintain long term confinement of the plasma, fusion occurred in bursts. I've lost track of everything to do with the project but it was such an intriguing approach that I haven't been able to forget about it.
I'm hoping that from my description of the approach that someone can point me in the right direction so I can go catch up on the project (or not if it's discontinued.) I haven't been able to find anything about this project.
Description of the apparatus
In the center was a tube of copper surrounded a ring of circular copper bars. All there were embedded in a block of a material I don't recall, probably an insulator of some sort. I can't remember if the inner tube was a cathode or anode. A large current was sent into the outer ring of bars forming an electric field with the inner tube. The field travelled up the rods and tube in a fusionable atmosphere of hydrogen. When the field reaches the end of the rods, the energy in the field has to go somewhere so it curls up on itself, capturing some hydrogen and compressing it to fusion temperatures. The energy from fusion leaves the compression region in the form of two streams (can't remember what was in the streams).
The presenter claimed that small reactors like this could generate energy in the low megawatt range and leave behind only minimal radiation that would dissipate in a few hours.