Observations on the National Spherical Torus eXperiment (NSTX) indicate
that externally applied non-axisymmetric magnetic perturbations (MP) can
reduce the amplitude of Toroidal Alfven Eigenmodes (TAE) and Global Alfven
Eigenmodes (GAE) in response to pulsed n=3 non-resonant fields. From
full-orbit following Monte Carlo simulations with the 1- and 2-fluid
resistive MHD plasma response to the magnetic perturbation included,
it was found that in response to MP pulses the fast-ion losses increased
and the fast-ion drive for the GAEs was reduced. The MP did not affect
the fast-ion drive for the TAEs significantly but the Alfven continuum
at the plasma edge was found to be altered due to the toroidal symmetry
breaking which leads to coupling of different toroidal harmonics. The
TAE gap was reduced at the edge creating enhanced continuum damping of
the global TAEs, which is consistent with the observations. The results
suggest that optimized non-axisymmetric MP might be exploited to control
and mitigate Alfven instabilities by tailoring the fast-ion distribution
function and/or continuum structure.
What mechanisms support our ability to estimate durations on the order of minutes? Behavioral studies in humans have shown that changes in contextual features lead to overestimation of past durations. Based on evidence that the medial temporal lobes and prefrontal cortex represent contextual features, we related the degree of fMRI pattern change in these regions with people's subsequent duration estimates. After listening to a radio story in the scanner, participants were asked how much time had elapsed between pairs of clips from the story. Our ROI analysis found that the neural pattern distance between two clips at encoding was correlated with duration estimates in the right entorhinal cortex and right pars orbitalis. Moreover, a whole-brain searchlight analysis revealed a cluster spanning the right anterior temporal lobe. Our findings provide convergent support for the hypothesis that retrospective time judgments are driven by 'drift' in contextual representations supported by these regions.
Linear and nonlinear kinetic-MHD hybrid simulations have been carried out to investigate linear stability and nonlinear dynamics of beam-driven fishbone instability in spherical tokamak plasmas. Realistic NSTX parameters with finite toroidal rotation were used. The results show that the fishbone is driven by both trapped and passing particles. The instability drive of passing particles is comparable to that of trapped particles in the linear regime. The effects of rotation are destabilizing and a new region of instability appears at higher qmin (>1.5) values, qmin being the minimum of safety factor profile. In the nonlinear regime,
the mode saturates due to flattening of beam ion distribution, and this persists after initial saturation while mode frequency chirps down in such a way that the resonant trapped particles move out radially and keep in resonance with the mode. Correspondingly, the flattening region of beam ion distribution expands radially outward. A substantial fraction of initially non- resonant trapped particles become resonant around the time of mode saturation and keep in resonance with the mode as frequency chirps down. On the other hand, the fraction of resonant passing particles is significantly smaller than that of trapped particles. Our analysis shows that trapped particles provide the main drive to the mode in the nonlinear regime.
A quasi-coherent mode with frequency f = 40 kHz is observed in Ohmic plasmas in NSTX with the gas puff imaging diagnostic (GPI). This mode is located predominantly just inside the separatrix, with a maximum fluctuation amplitude similar to that of the broadband turbulence in the same frequency range. The quasi-coherent mode has a poloidal wavelength 16 cm and a poloidal velocity 49 km/s in the electron diamagnetic direction, which are similar to the characteristics expected from a linear drift-wave like mode in the edge.
In one popular description of the L-H transition, energy transfer to the mean flows directly depletes turbulence fluctuation energy, resulting in suppression of the turbulence and a corresponding transport bifurcation. However, electron parallel force balance couples nonzonal velocity fluctuations with electron pressure fluctuations on rapid timescales, comparable with the electron transit time. For this reason, energy in the nonzonal velocity stays in a fairly fixed ratio to the free energy in electron density fluctuations, at least for frequency scales much slower than electron transit. In order for direct depletion of the energy in turbulent fluctuations to cause the L-H transition, energy transfer via Reynolds stress must therefore drain enough energy to significantly reduce the sum of the free energy in nonzonal velocities and electron pressure fluctuations. At low k, the electron thermal free energy is much larger than the energy in nonzonal velocities, posing a stark challenge for this model of the L-H transition.
Carlsson, J.; Wilson, J.R.; Hosea, J.; Greenough, N.; Perkins, R.
Third-order spectral analysis, in particular the auto bicoherence, was applied to probe signals from high-harmonic fast-wave heating experiments in the National Spherical Torus Experiment. Strong evidence was found for parametric decay of the 30 MHz radio-frequency (RF) pump wave, with a low-frequency daughter wave at 2.7 MHz, the local majority-ion cyclotron frequency. The primary decay modes have auto bicoherence values around 0.85, very close to the theoretical value of one, which corresponds to total phase coherence with the pump wave. The threshold RF pump power for onset of parametric decay was found to be between 200 kW and 400 kW.
Podesta, M.; M. Gorelenkova; E.D. Fredrickson; N.N. Gorelenkov
Integrated simulations of tokamak discharges typically rely on classical physics to model energetic particle (EP) dynamics. However, there are numerous cases in which energetic particles can suffer additional transport that is not classical in nature. Examples include transport by applied 3D magnetic perturbations and, more notably, by plasma instabilities. Focusing on the effects of instabilities, ad-hoc models can empirically reproduce increased transport, but the choice of transport coefficients is usually somehow arbitrary. New approaches based on physics-based reduced models are being developed to address those issues in a simplified way, while retaining a more correct treatment of resonant wave-particle interactions. The kick model implemented in the tokamak transport code TRANSP is an example of such reduced models. It includes modifications of the EP distribution by instabilities in real and velocity space, retaining correlations between transport in energy and space typical of resonant EP transport. The relevance of EP phase space modifications by instabilities is first discussed in terms of predicted fast ion distribution. Results are compared with those from a simple, ad-hoc diffusive model. It is then shown that the phase-space resolved model can also provide additional insight into important issues such as internal consistency of the simulations and mode stability through the analysis of the power exchanged between energetic particles and the instabilities.
Guttenfelder W.; S.M. Kaye; Y. Ren; W. Solomon; R.E. Bell; J. Candy; S.P. Gerhardt; B.P. LeBlanc; H. Yuh
This paper presents quasi-linear gyrokinetic predictions of the Coriolis momentum pinch for low aspect-ratio NSTX H-modes where previous experimental measurements were focused. Local, linear calculations predict that in the region of interest (just outside the mid-radius) of these relatively high-beta plasmas, profiles are most unstable to microtearing modes that are only effective in transporting electron energy. However, sub-dominant electromagnetic and electrostatic ballooning modes are also unstable, which are effective at transporting energy, particles and momentum. The quasi-linear prediction of transport from these weaker ballooning modes, assuming they contribute transport in addition to that from microtearing modes in a nonlinear turbulent state, leads to a very small or outward convection of momentum, inconsistent with the experimentally measured inward pinch, and opposite to predictions in conventional aspect ratio tokamaks. Additional predictions of a low beta L-mode plasma, unstable to more traditional electrostatic ion temperature gradient-trapped electron mode instability, show that the Coriolis pinch is inward but remains relatively weak and insensitive to many parameter variations. The weak or outward pinch predicted in NSTX plasmas appears to be at least partially correlated to changes in the parallel mode structure that occur at finite beta and low aspect ratio, as discussed in previous theories. The only conditions identified where a stronger inward pinch is predicted occur either in the purely electrostatic limit or if the aspect ratio is increased. As the Coriolis pinch cannot explain the measured momentum pinch, additional theoretical momentum transport mechanisms are discussed that may be potentially important.