3,412 research outputs found

    Simple, high current LaB_6 cathode

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    A cathode constructed of a thin, directly heated strip of LaB_6 is described. The cathode is simple to construct, requires modest heating power, has high current emission capability and is quite rugged. Construction details will be given and cathode performance data presented. The cathode has been used in tokamak dc current injection experiments

    Motion and equilibrium of a spheromak in a toroidal flux conserver

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    A number of experiments have been performed on spheromaks injected into the empty vacuum vessel of the Caltech ENCORE tokamak (i.e., without tokamak plasma) [Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 2144 (1990); Phys. Fluids B 2, 1306 (1990)]. Magnetic probe arrays (in a number of configurations) have been used to make single shot, unaveraged, in situ measurements of the spheromak equilibrium. These measurements are important because (i) they reveal for the first time the equilibrium structure of spheromaks in a toroidal geometry, (ii) they provide a reliable estimate of magnetic helicity and energy of spheromak plasmas used in injection experiments [Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 2144 (1990)], and (iii) they constitute the first measurements of spheromak motion across and interaction with static magnetic fields (which are useful in corroborating recent theories). Probe measurements in the tokamak dc toroidal field show for the first time that the spheromak exhibits a ``double tilt.''The spheromak first tilts while in the cylindrical entrance region, emerging into the tokamak vessel antialigned to the dc toroidal field, then expands into the tokamak vacuum vessel, and finally tilts again to form an oblate (nonaxisymmetric, m=1) configuration. In addition, the spheromak drifts vertically in the direction given by Jcenter×Btok, where Jcenter is the unbalanced poloidal current that threads the center of the spheromak torus. Probe arrays at different toroidal locations show that the spheromak shifts toroidally (horizontally left or right) in the direction opposite that of the static toroidal field. In the absence of toroidal flux, the m=1 object develops a helical pitch, the sense of the pitch depending on the sign of the spheromak helicity. The spheromak equilibrium in the toroidal vessel is well fit by a pressureless infinite cylindrical model; however, there is evidence of deviation from m=1 symmetry because of toroidal effects, nonuniform J/B profile, and finite beta. Experiments performed in a test facility consisting of the spheromak gun and a replica of the entrance region (with a closed end) show that the spheromak is generated with its axis coaxial with that of the gun. Coherent, m=2 magnetic modes are observed during the formation stage rotating in the E×B direction at about 125 kHz (rotation velocity corresponding to 40% of the Alfvén speed)

    Observations of fast anisotropic ion heating, ion cooling, and ion recycling in large-amplitude drift waves

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    Large-amplitude drift wave fluctuations are observed to cause severe ion temperature oscillations in plasmas of the Caltech Encore tokamak [J. M. McChesney, P. M. Bellan, and R. A. Stern, Phys. Fluids B 3, 3370 (1991)]. Experimental investigations of the complete ion dynamical behavior in these waves are presented. The wave electric field excites stochastic ion orbits in the plane normal (perpendicular to) to B, resulting in rapid perpendicular to heating. Ion-ion collisions impart energy along (parallel to) B, relaxing the perpendicular to-parallel to temperature anisotropy. Hot ions with large orbit radii escape confinement, reaching the chamber wall and cooling the distribution. Cold ions from the plasma edge convect back into the plasma (i.e., recycle), causing further cooling and significantly replenishing the density depleted by orbit losses. The ion-ion collision period tau(ii)similar to Tau(3/2)/n fluctuates strongly with the drift wave phase, due to intense (approximate to 50%) fluctuations in n and Tau. Evidence for particle recycling is given by observations of bimodal ion velocity distributions near the plasma edge, indicating the presence of cold ions (0.4 eV) superposed atop the hot (4-8 eV) plasma background. These appear periodically, synchronous with the drift wave phase at which ion fluid flow from the wall toward the plasma center peaks. Evidence is presented that such a periodic heat/loss/recycle/cool process is expected in plasmas with strong stochastic heating

    Observation of fast stochastic ion heating by drift waves

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    Anomalously fast ion heating has been observed in the Caltech Encore tokamak [Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 1436 (1987)], with the use of laser-induced fluorescence. This heating was found to be independent of electron temperature, but was well correlated with the presence of large-amplitude drift-Alfvén waves. Evidence is presented that suggests that the heating is stochastic and occurs when the ion displacement due to polarization drift becomes comparable to the perpendicular wavelength, i.e., when k[perpendicular] (mik[perpendicular] phi0/qB^2)~1. Stochastic heating may also be the cause of the anomalously high ion temperatures observed in reversed-field pinches