Steven Caton


Research Projects at the UCLA Basic Plasma Science Facility


High Power RF

A Half Bridge composed of twelve 500 Volt 90 Amp Mosfets built with Patrick Prybil at the UCLA Basic Plasma Science Facility.


Plasma Source Design

Development of a Lanthanum Hexaboride Plasma Source with Patrick Prybil and Shreekrishna Tripathi at the UCLA Basic Plasma Science Facility.

Induction Heating

A time changing magnetic field can induce eddy currents into a nearby workpiece and raise its temperature through joule heating. This process is known as induction heating.


Solid State, Vacuum Tube, and Spark Gap Tesla Coils


Solid State Tesla Coils

Solid State Tesla Coils use modern power semiconductors, such as IGBT’s or MOSFETS, to drive the primary tank circuit. 


Vacuum Tube Tesla Coils

Vacuum Tubes control the flow of electrons between two electrodes via control grids. Vacuum tubes can be used to drive Tesla resonators.


Spark Gap Tesla Coils

The most basic types of Tesla Coils utilize a spark gap which breaks down and conducts after a certain voltage, thus transferring the capacitor’s energy into a tank circuit.


Miscellaneous Projects


Pulse Power

High Voltage Capacitors can be used to create extremely high current discharges. The intense magnetic field produced by these discharges can compress cans, launch projectiles, shrink coins, etc. 


High Voltage Sources

High Voltage sources include components such as Neon Sign Transformers, Cockcroft Walton Multipliers, and Marx Generators.



Often called “The Atomic Bomb of the Middle Ages” trebuchets use the potential energy of a counterweight to throw projectiles.


Round Road

A round road allows a massive concrete block to be rolled by keeping its center of mass moving in a horizontal line. 


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