Self-sustained magnetic islands
Numerical simulations of a single magnetic island evolution are presented in the regime where the island width is smaller than ion Larmor radius. It is shown that the island rotation is controlled by particle diffusion due to collisions or a background of microturbulence. More precisely, for vanishing density gradient, the sign of rotation frequency is determined by the off-diagonal diffusion term (ie by the coefficient of the temperature gradient in the particle flux). As expected from the theory of a stationary island, there exists cases where linearly stable magnetic perturbations are nonlinearly sustained. This situation corresponds to large poloidal beta and temperature gradient. The drive is due to diamagnetic frequency effects. However, this situation is not generic, and islands can also decay. It is found that a magnetic island is self-sustained for a negative off-diagonal diffusion coefficient. This case occurs in a tokamak if the inward particle pinch is due to the temperature gradient.
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 3 (1996) No. 12, pp. 4628-4636
Record Number: 199710069 / Last updated on: 1997-02-26
Original language: en
Available languages: en