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I have never dug into fusion physics, but from what I gather one of the main problems is confining the fusion in a small region of space for long enough to get enough helium fused to counterbalance the expended energy.

It strikes me that proposed reactor designs (tokamak, stellarator...) have no moving parts - perhaps better confinement can be achieved by, say, moving the coils around at high speeds. Is that possible? Apart from engineering constraints (rotating nuclear reactors, heck), is that any different from what is being done now?

I presume this can be done by alternating currents instead of physically moving the wires, but I am pretty sure alternating currents at fixed location cannot model arbitrary magnetic/electric field profiles.

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It strikes me that proposed reactor designs (tokamak, stellarator...) have no moving parts - perhaps better confinement can be achieved by, say, moving the coils around at high speeds. Is that possible?

The plasma in the reactor consists of a mix of nuclei and electrons that are very (!!!) hot. Heat, at the atomic scale, is simply motion (well, kinetic energy to be precise).

So when you heat up the fuel to fusion temperatures, the nuclei are moving at about 1/10th the speed of light.

So things are moving just dandy already. :-)

The key to a stable plasma is, basically, to mix it constantly so it doesn't build up in any one area. Because it's already flying around the reactor so fast, you just shape the fields so that they circle around as you want. You don't have to move the field, the particles have all the motion you'll ever need.

In comparison to the speed of the particles, there's nothing you can do by moving the magnets that will have any noticeable effect... if you could come up with a system to move the magnets at 1000 kmh, that's still six orders of magnitude away from the speed it already has.

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