Fusion research in Padua started in 1958 with a small University group that in the seventies became a CNR Research Center operating within the framework of the European Programme.
From the initial theta pinch experiments the research moved towards the study of the Reversed Field Pinch configuration with Eta Beta I and Eta Beta II experiments.
The encouraging results obtained at the beginning of the eighties in Eta Beta II, in particular on "quiescent" plasma conditions, significantly contributed to prompt the research on the Reversed Field Pinch configuration, while the collaboration with the laboratories at that time operating in this field (Culham , Los Alamos, Padova and Tsukuba) was being consolidated .The advisability of constructing a machine of larger size was finally recognized.
In 1984 the construction of the RFX machine was approved with the support of Euratom, upon recognition of its priority level. It was constructed from 1985 to 1991.
The RFX Machine entered into operation in 1992 and since then it has produced a number of significant results in the understanding of unexplored phenomena, in the improvement of diagnostic systems, in the implementation of innovative technical solutions.
In 1996 Consorzio RFX was set up, by Consorzio RFX is a research organization promoted by CNR, ENEA, Università di Padova, Acciaierie Venete S.p.A. and INFN, in order to strengthen and give a more stable organization to the Padua Research Group.