Volume 22, Issue 7, July 2015
Index of content:
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923266View Description Hide Description
This paper attempts to bridge the gap between tokamak reactor design and plasma physics. The analysis demonstrates that the overall design of a tokamak fusion reactor is determined almost entirely by the constraints imposed by nuclear physics and fusion engineering. Virtually, no plasma physics is required to determine the main design parameters of a reactor: . The one exception is the value of the toroidal current , which depends upon a combination of engineering and plasma physics. This exception, however, ultimately has a major impact on the feasibility of an attractive tokamak reactor. The analysis shows that the engineering/nuclear physics design makes demands on the plasma physics that must be satisfied in order to generate power. These demands are substituted into the well-known operational constraints arising in tokamak physics: the Troyon limit, Greenwald limit, kink stability limit, and bootstrap fraction limit. Unfortunately, a tokamak reactor designed on the basis of standard engineering and nuclear physics constraints does not scale to a reactor. Too much current is required to achieve the necessary confinement time for ignition. The combination of achievable bootstrap current plus current drive is not sufficient to generate the current demanded by the engineering design. Several possible solutions are discussed in detail involving advances in plasma physics or engineering. The main contribution of the present work is to demonstrate that the basic reactor design and its plasma physics consequences can be determined simply and analytically. The analysis thus provides a crisp, compact, logical framework that will hopefully lead to improved physical intuition for connecting plasma physic to tokamak reactor design.
- Magnetically Confined Plasmas, Heating, Confinement
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923017View Description Hide Description
DIII-D experiments using new detailed magnetic diagnostics show that linear, ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) theory quantitatively describes the magnetic structure (as measured externally) of three-dimensional (3D) equilibria resulting from applied fields with toroidal mode number n = 1, while a nonlinear solution to ideal MHD force balance, using the VMEC code, requires the inclusion of n ≥ 1 to achieve similar agreement. These tests are carried out near ITER baseline parameters, providing a validated basis on which to exploit 3D fields for plasma control development. Scans of the applied poloidal spectrum and edge safety factor confirm that low-pressure, n = 1 non-axisymmetric tokamak equilibria are determined by a single, dominant, stable eigenmode. However, at higher beta, near the ideal kink mode stability limit in the absence of a conducting wall, the qualitative features of the 3D structure are observed to vary in a way that is not captured by ideal MHD.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923383View Description Hide Description
Effects of anisotropy on the geodesic acoustic mode (GAM) are analyzed by using gyro-kinetic equations applicable to low-frequency microinstabilities in a toroidally rotating tokamak plasma. Dispersion relation in the presence of arbitrary Mach number M, anisotropy strength σ, and the temperature ration τ is analytically derived. It is shown that when σ is less than 3 + 2τ, the increased electron temperature with fixed ion parallel temperature increases the normalized GAM frequency. When σ is larger than 3 + 2τ, the increasing of electron temperature decreases the GAM frequency. The anisotropy σ always tends to enlarge the GAM frequency. The Landau damping rate is dramatically decreased by the increasing τ or σ.
- Inertially Confined Plasmas, High Energy Density Plasma Science, Warm Dense Matter
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923435View Description Hide Description
The main objective of the work is to study the conversion of the laser pulse energy into the energy of the hydrodynamic motion of matter in a solid target following the initial absorption of laser radiation in a layer of porous material. Results of experiments on plane massive aluminum targets, coated with a layer of porous plastic with density greater than the critical density of the plasma created, are presented. Experiments were carried out on the laser installation ABC of the Research Center ENEA-Frascati; the targets were irradiated by a beam of the fundamental harmonic of Nd-laser radiation with an energy of about 50 kJ, intensity of 1013 W/cm2, and 3 ns duration. The experimental method consisted in measuring the volume of the craters created on the aluminum surface behind various thicknesses and densities of the porous absorber of laser radiation. On the basis of these measurements and of an advanced analytical model, quantitative conclusions are made on how the efficiency of laser energy transfer to the solid part of the target (laser-ablated loading) depends on thickness and density of the porous absorber.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923438View Description Hide Description
The scaling of the deceleration phase of inertial fusion direct-drive implosions is investigated for OMEGA and National Ignition Facility (NIF)-size targets. It is shown that the deceleration-phase Rayleigh–Taylor instability (RTI) does not scale hydro-equivalently with implosion size. This is because ablative stabilization resulting from thermal conduction and radiation transport in a spherically converging geometry is different on the two scales. As a consequence, NIF-scale implosions show lower hot-spot density and mass ablation velocity, allowing for higher RTI growth. On the contrary, stabilization resulting from density-gradient enhancement, caused by reabsorption of radiation emitted from the hot spot, is higher on NIF implosions. Since the RTI mitigation related to thermal conduction and radiation transport scale oppositely with implosion size, the degradation of implosion performance caused by the deceleration RTI is similar for NIF and OMEGA targets. It is found that a minimum threshold for the no-α Lawson ignition parameter of χ Ω ≈ 0.2 at the OMEGA scale is required to demonstrate hydro-equivalent ignition at the NIF scale for symmetric direct-drive implosions.
- Low-Temperature Plasmas, Plasma Applications, Plasma Sources, Sheaths
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923463View Description Hide Description
The influence of electron reflection and secondary electron emission due to electron impact from the anode on discharges driven by thermionic emission is studied by the self-consistent one-dimensional particle-in-cell Monte Carlo collisions model. Two regimes are considered. In the first regime, the two-stream instability is excited and large anode sheath potential is obtained. It is found that in this regime, the reflected electrons play a significant role. In the second regime, the instability is not excited and the anode sheath potential is small. The dominant anode process in this regime is the secondary electron emission. It is shown that in both regimes, the anode processes significantly influence the plasma parameters.
- Dusty Plasmas
Vertically aligned dust particles under the influence of crossed electric and magnetic fields in the sheath of a radio frequency discharge22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4923382View Description Hide Description
We present experiments on two dust particles with a size of a few microns that are levitated in the sheath region of an rf discharge in the presence of an external magnetic field transverse to the sheath electric field. The two particles are vertically aligned due to the ion focusing effect. First, it is observed that the magnetic field causes a displacement of the dust particles either in the - or in the opposite direction. Second, at a sufficiently large neutral gas pressure, the vertical alignment breaks up when the magnetic field strength is increased. The occurrence of this dissociation is described by the horizontal force balance on the two particles.