A compact toroid inductively stores the energy released by a capacitor bank
as it is being accelerated. This energy can be stored for a period of more
than ten microseconds and then transferred to a load on a much shorter tim
e scale. This article presents framing camera images of the radial compress
ion of plasma trailing behind a compact toroid as the compact toroid leaves
its inner electrode. This compression illustrates the basic principles of
a compact toroid plasma opening switch which could be used to drive fast z
pinches. (C) 2001 American Institute of Physics.