1,871 research outputs found

    Bootstrap current and parallel ion velocity in imperfectly optimized stellarators

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    The universal instability in general geometry

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    The "universal" instability has recently been revived by Landreman, Antonsen and Dorland [1], who showed that it indeed exists in plasma geometries with straight (but sheared) magnetic field lines. Here it is demonstrated analytically that this instability can be present in more general sheared and toroidal geometries. In a torus, the universal instability is shown to be closely related to the trapped-electron mode, although the trapped-electron drive is usually dominant. However, this drive can be weakened or eliminated, as in the case in stellarators with the maximum-JJ property, leaving the parallel Landau resonance to drive a residual mode, which is identified as the universal instability

    Distinct turbulence saturation regimes in stellarators

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    In the complex 3D magnetic fields of stellarators, ion-temperature-gradient turbulence is shown to have two distinct saturation regimes, as revealed by petascale numerical simulations, and explained by a simple turbulence theory. The first regime is marked by strong zonal flows, and matches previous observations in tokamaks. The newly observed second regime, in contrast, exhibits small- scale quasi-two-dimensional turbulence, negligible zonal flows, and, surprisingly, a weaker heat flux scaling. Our findings suggest that key details of the magnetic geometry control turbulence in stellarators.Comment: Erratum added to en

    Impurity transport in temperature gradient driven turbulence

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    In the present paper the transport of impurities driven by trapped electron (TE) mode turbulence is studied. Non-linear (NL) gyrokinetic simulations using the code GENE are compared with results from quasilinear (QL) gyrokinetic simulations and a computationally efficient fluid model. The main focus is on model comparisons for electron temperature gra- dient driven turbulence regarding the sign of the convective impurity velocity (pinch) and the impurity density gradient R/LnZ (peaking factor) for zero impurity flux. In particular, the scaling of the impurity peaking factors with impurity charge Z and with driving temper- ature gradient is investigated and compared with the results for Ion Temperature Gradient (ITG) driven turbulence. In addition, the impurity peaking is compared to the main ion peaking obtained by a self-consistent fluid calculation of the density gradients corresponding to zero particle fluxes. For the scaling of the peaking factor with impurity charge Z, a weak dependence is obtained from NL GENE and fluid simulations. The QL GENE results show a stronger dependence for low Z impurities and overestimates the peaking factor by up to a factor of two in this region. As in the case of ITG dominated turbulence, the peaking factors saturate as Z increases, at a level much below neoclassical predictions. However, the scaling with Z is weak or reversed as compared to the ITG case. The scaling of impurity peaking with the background temperature gradients is found to be weak in the NL GENE and fluid simulations. The QL results are also here found to significantly overestimate the peaking factor for low Z values. For the parameters considered, the background density gradient for zero particle flux is found to be slightly larger than the corresponding impurity zero flux gradient.Comment: 23 pages, 13 figures. Submitted to AIP: Physics of Plasma

    Collisionless microinstabilities in stellarators II - numerical simulations

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    Microinstabilities exhibit a rich variety of behavior in stellarators due to the many degrees of freedom in the magnetic geometry. It has recently been found that certain stellarators (quasi-isodynamic ones with maximum-JJ geometry) are partly resilient to trapped-particle instabilities, because fast-bouncing particles tend to extract energy from these modes near marginal stability. In reality, stellarators are never perfectly quasi-isodynamic, and the question thus arises whether they still benefit from enhanced stability. Here the stability properties of Wendelstein 7-X and a more quasi-isodynamic configuration, QIPC, are investigated numerically and compared with the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) and the DIII-D tokamak. In gyrokinetic simulations, performed with the gyrokinetic code GENE in the electrostatic and collisionless approximation, ion-temperature-gradient modes, trapped-electron modes and mixed-type instabilities are studied. Wendelstein 7-X and QIPC exhibit significantly reduced growth rates for all simulations that include kinetic electrons, and the latter are indeed found to be stabilizing in the energy budget. These results suggest that imperfectly optimized stellarators can retain most of the stabilizing properties predicted for perfect maximum-JJ configurations.Comment: 15 pages, 40 figure

    Magnetic compressibility and ion-temperature-gradient-driven microinstabilities in magnetically confined plasmas

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    The electromagnetic theory of the strongly driven ion-temperature-gradient (ITG) instability in magnetically confined toroidal plasmas is developed. Stabilizing and destabilizing effects are identified, and a critical βe\beta_{e} (the ratio of the electron to magnetic pressure) for stabilization of the toroidal branch of the mode is calculated for magnetic equilibria independent of the coordinate along the magnetic field. Its scaling is βeLTe/R,\beta_{e}\sim L_{Te}/R, where LTeL_{Te} is the characteristic electron temperature gradient length, and RR the major radius of the torus. We conjecture that a fast particle population can cause a similar stabilization due to its contribution to the equilibrium pressure gradient. For sheared equilibria, the boundary of marginal stability of the electromagnetic correction to the electrostatic mode is also given. For a general magnetic equilibrium, we find a critical length (for electromagnetic stabilization) of the extent of the unfavourable curvature along the magnetic field. This is a decreasing function of the local magnetic shear

    Constraints on dynamo action in plasmas

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    Upper bounds are derived on the amount of magnetic energy that can be generated by dynamo action in collisional and collisionless plasmas with and without external forcing. A hierarchy of mathematical descriptions is considered for the plasma dynamics: ideal MHD, visco-resistive MHD, the double-adiabatic theory of Chew, Goldberger and Low (CGL), kinetic MHD, and other kinetic models. It is found that dynamo action is greatly constrained in models where the magnetic moment of any particle species is conserved. In the absence of external forcing, the magnetic energy then remains small at all times if it is small in the initial state. In other words, a small "seed" magnetic field cannot be amplified significantly, regardless of the nature of flow, as long as the collision frequency and gyroradius are small enough to be negligible. A similar conclusion also holds if the system is subject to external forcing as long as this forcing conserves the magnetic moment of at least one plasma species and does not greatly increase the total energy of the plasma (i.e., in practice, is subsonic). Dynamo action therefore always requires collisions or some small-scale kinetic mechanism for breaking the adiabatic invariance of the magnetic moment

    Stellarator bootstrap current and plasma flow velocity at low collisionality

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    The bootstrap current and flow velocity of a low-collisionality stellarator plasma are calculated. As far as possible, the analysis is carried out in a uniform way across all low-collisionality regimes in general stellarator geometry, assuming only that the confinement is good enough that the plasma is approximately in local thermodynamic equilibrium. It is found that conventional expressions for the ion flow speed and bootstrap current in the low-collisionality limit are accurate only in the 1/ν1/\nu-collisionality regime and need to be modified in the ν\sqrt{\nu}-regime. The correction due to finite collisionality is also discussed and is found to scale as ν2/5\nu^{2/5}

    Impurity flows and plateau-regime poloidal density variation in a tokamak pedestal

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    In the pedestal of a tokamak, the sharp radial gradients of density and temperature can give rise to poloidal variation in the density of impurities. At the same time, the flow of the impurity species is modified relative to the conventional neoclassical result. In this paper, these changes to the density and flow of a collisional impurity species are calculated for the case when the main ions are in the plateau regime. In this regime it is found that the impurity density can be higher at either the inboard or outboard side. This finding differs from earlier results for banana- or Pfirsch-Schl\"uter-regime main ions, in which case the impurity density is always higher at the inboard side in the absence of rotation. Finally, the modifications to the impurity flow are also given for the other regimes of main-ion collisionality.Comment: 15 pages, 5 figures, submitted to Physics of Plasma