Runaway electrons in a tokamak: a free-electron maser
In Ohmic divertor plasma discharges of the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak a small population of runaway electrons is purposely generated at the beginning of the discharge. About 1.5 s after the runaways' generation fluctuating emission in the microwave region with a very narrow bandwidth is observed. The radiation can be explained by relativistic runaway electrons forming a free-electron maser in the tokamak. The dynamics of the runaways is simulated by taking into account the acceleration in the electric field, collisions with the plasma particles, synchrotron radiation losses and the resonances between the gyromotion and harmonics of the magnetic ripple field. According to this the runaways reach a final energy determined by the ripple resonance mechanism and are monoenergetic enough to form a cyclotron autoresonance maser. The guiding of the radiation along the bent path of the runaways is accomplished by nearly resonant runaways around the amplifying runaways. The emission frequency depends on the final energy of the runaways and the observed bandwidth via the maser's gain on their particle density. Analyzing the emitted fluctuating emission is thus a potentially new diagnostic for runaways.
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 68 (1997) No. 1, pp. 423-426
Record Number: 199710334 / Last updated on: 1997-04-14
Original language: en
Available languages: en