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Title: Wave-particle dynamics in a hot inhomogenous fusion plasma
Author: Taylor, Michael Anthony
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 1996
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An outstanding problem in the field of nuclear fusion research is the precise mechanism by which a hot, magnetically inhomogeneous plasma is heated when illuminated by a constant beam of small amplitude radio waves matched in frequency to harmonics of the ion Larmor frequency. An accurate model must include microscopic dynamics and inevitably a kinetic theory is required. Highly energetic ions (> 1MeV) born from fusion reactions or powered by gyroresonance have large Larmor radii (> 10cm) which are comparable in size to the wavelength of the incident radiation. In particular we will focus on fast magnetosonic waves. Exact full wave equations describing a thermal plasma in a weakly inhomogeneous field are presently at least fourth order integro-differential equations (Sauter, 1992). These are computationally taxing. Recently a method was proposed to reduce the problem to a second order integro-differential equation at the expense of information related to the propagation of mode-converted waves (Holt, 1992). We present here a generalisation of the theory to allow for arbitrary velocity-dependent equilibria while at the same time retaining a general functional form for the field profile. We consider the specific case of a bi-Maxwellian plasma immersed in a linearly inhomogenous magnetic field. We find that thermal anisotropy produces resonance localisation when the perpendicular ion temperature is greater than that parallel to the ambient field. A study of the symmetry properties of the conductivity tensor reveals that the Onsager reciprocal relations are obeyed only for an isotropic plasma in an inhomogeneous field. This is a generalisation of the result obtained by Nambu (1995). We present a generalisation of the reduction method to include effects due to changes in wave amplitude. We find that we are able to include the odd-order field derivatives responsible for energy conservation. Our numerical study of fundamental Helium-3 gyroresonance in a majority Deuterium plasma reveals that we have > 99.9% energy conservation in all cases. We show that locally-uniform theory can be very inaccurate (≃ 70% in one case presented in our recent paper, Cairns et al., 1995) particularly for higher energy ions whose non-locality is more extreme. We present a representative sample of results for minority heating and mode conversion heating schemes. We report the appearance of an unexpected cut-off on the low field side of the minority gyroresonance which may have important consequences for antennae presently placed on the outside of Tokamaks.
Supervisor: Cairns, R. A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA927.P6T2 ; Wave-motion, Theory of