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The evolution of the wave polarization during the propagation of electron cyclotron waves in hot plasmas is investigated. The coupled mode equations are solved in slab geometry, including the relativistic corrections to the dielectric tensor. This formalism is applied to purely ordinary or extraordinary modes, propagating obliquely with respect to the magnetic field in tokamak plasmas, in order to determine the rate of change of the mode purity due to finite temperature effects. It is found that such an alteration of the mode purity can be one to three orders of magnitude larger than in cold plasma. However, the overall effect remains tolerable for most applications and for typical parameters of magnetically confined plasmas.

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Authors: DUMONT R, CEA Cadarache, (FR);GIRUZZI G, CEA Cadarache, (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Physics of Plasmas, 6 (1999) 3, 660-665
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