A discussion of the various approximations involved in the analysis of certain magnetohydrodynamic devices (namely, inverse pinch, Scylla, MAST). It is shown that estimates can readily be obtained if a simplified mechanical model of the plasma (snowplow model) is assumed and if the reaction of the plasma on the external circuit is neglected. When the reacion on the circuit is considered and a more realistic mechanical model is used, the analysis becomes more difficult but provides more detail.
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