Easily my favourite name for a fusion device.

The perhapsatron was a pinch confinement device: a large current in the plasma created a strong Lorentz force which pulled the plasma  in on itself. Jim Tuck built the perhapsatron at Princeton in 1958. The project finished in the early 60s.

I think the inspiration for pinch devices is fascinating, some engineers at an oil refinery in Australia noticed that a tubular lightening conductor had been crushed inwards under it’s own magnetic field:


Brian James [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

So why not try passing a massive current through plasma? Notice the huge primary coil inside the torus in the picture. That’s used to induce the plasma current; the device is essentially an elaborate transformer.