We report a table top experiment to investigate production and properties of a plasma confined by a dipole magnet. A water cooled, strong, cylindrical permanent magnet (NdFeB) magnetized along the axial direction and having a surface magnetic field of ∼0.5 T is employed to create a dipole magnetic field. The plasma is created by electron cyclotron resonance heating. Visual observations of the plasma indicate that radiation belts appear due to trapped particles, similar to the earth’s magnetosphere. The electron temperature lies in the range 2–13 eV and is hotter near the magnets and in a downstream region. It is found that the plasma (ion) density reaches a value close to 2 × 1011 cm−3 and peaks at a radial distance about 3 cm from the magnet. The plasma beta β (β = plasma pressure/magnetic pressure) increases radially outward, and the maximum β for the present experimental system is ∼2%. It is also found that the singly charged ions are dominant in the discharge.

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