Three-dimensional direct numerical simulations are used to study the energy cascade rate in isothermal compressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. Our analysis is guided by a two-point exact law derived recently for this problem in which flux, source, hybrid and mixed terms are present. The relative importance of each term is studied for different initial subsonic Mach numbers M-S and different magnetic guide fields B-0. The dominant contribution to the energy cascade rate comes from the compressible flux, which depends weakly on the magnetic guide field B-0, unlike the other terms whose moduli increase significantly with M s and B-0. In particular, for strong B-0 the source and hybrid terms are dominant at small scales with almost the same amplitude but with a different sign. A statistical analysis undertaken with an isotropic decomposition based on the SO(3) rotation group is shown to generate spurious results in the presence of B-0, when compared with an axisymmetric decomposition better suited to the geometry of the problem. Our numerical results are compared with previous analyses made with in situ measurements in the solar wind and the terrestrial magnetosheath.
The nonlinear dynamics of magnetic electron drift mode turbulence are outlined and the generation of large-scale magnetic Structures in a non-uniform magnetized plasma by turbulent Reynolds stress is demonstrated. The loop-back of large-scale flows on the microturbulence is elucidated and the modulation of the electron drift mode turbulence spectrum in a, medium with slowly varying parameters is presented. The wave kinetic equation in the presence of large-scale flows is derived and it can be seen that the small-scale turbulence and the large-scale structures form a, self-regulating system. Finally. it is shown by the use of quasilinear theory that the shearing of microturbulence by the flows can be described by a diffusion equation in k-space and the corresponding diffusion coefficients are calculated.
The linear stability of drift waves in a poloidally rotating tokamak plasma is considered. The derived dispersion relation features a peaking of the diamagnetic frequency which gives the drift modes an irreducible two-dimensional character. We then show that inverse Landau damping can be suppressed and even stabilized, if the flow's shear is strong. Even though the instability, excited by the Landau resonance, is stronger at a high velocity shear for positive rotation velocities, effects due to the rotation of the plasma can reverse the sign and induce damping of the two-dimensional drift modes. This stabilizing mechanism works only for positive rotation velocities. For negative rotation velocities, we show that only modes with high poloidal mode numbers are unstable.
The problem of pressure driven infernal type perturbations near the plasma edge is addressed analytically for a circular limited tokamak configuration which presents an edge flattened safety factor. The plasma is separated from a metallic wall, either ideally conducting or resistive, by a vacuum region. The dispersion relation for such types of instabilities is derived and discussed for two classes of equilibrium profiles for pressure and mass density.
JET experiments have compared the efficacy of low-and high field side ion cyclotron resonance heating (ICRH) as an actuator to deliberately minimise the sawtooth period. It is found that low-field side ICRH with low minority concentration is optimal for saw tooth control for two main reasons. Firstly, low-field side heating means that any toroidal phasing of the ICRH (-90 degrees, +90 degrees or dipole) has a destabilising effect on the sawteeth, meaning that dipole phasing can be employed, since tins is preferable due to less plasma wall interaction from Resonant Frequency (RI) sheaths. Secondly, the resonance position of the low field side ICRH does not have to be very accurately placed to achieve saw tooth control, relaxing the requirement for real-time control of the RF frequency. These empirical observations have been confirmed by hybrid kinetic-magnetohydrodynamic modelling, and suggest that the ICRH antenna design for ITER is well positioned to provide a control actuator capable of having a significant effect on the sawtooth behaviour.
Plasma filamentation is often encountered in collisionless shocks and inertial confinement fusion. We develop a general analytical description of the two-dimensional relativistic filamentary equilibrium and derive the conditions for existence of potential-free equilibria. A pseudopotential equation for the vector-potential is constructed for cold and relativistic Maxwellian distributions. The role of counter-streaming is explained. We present single current sheet and periodic current sheet solutions, and analyze the equilibria with electric potential. These solutions can be used to study linear and nonlinear evolution of the relativistic filamentation instability.
A collisionless shock is a self-organized structure where fields and particle distributions are mutually adjusted to ensure a stable mass, momentum and energy transfer from the upstream to the downstream region. This adjustment may involve rippling, reformation or whatever else is needed to maintain the shock. The fields inside the shock front are produced due to the motion of charged particles, which is in turn governed by the fields. The overshoot arises due to the deceleration of the ion flow by the increasing magnetic field, so that the drop of the dynamic pressure should be compensated by the increase of the magnetic pressure. The role of the overshoot is to regulate ion reflection, thus properly adjusting the downstream ion temperature and kinetic pressure and also speeding up the collisionless relaxation and reducing the anisotropy of the eventually gyrotropized distributions.
We study the effect of negatively charged dust on the magnetic-field-aligned polarisation electrostatic field (E-parallel to) using Cassini's RPWS/LP in situ measurements during the `ring-grazing' orbits. We derive a general expression for E-parallel to and estimate for the first time in situ parallel to E-parallel to parallel to (approximately 10(-5) V m(-1)) near the Janus and Epimetheus rings. We further demonstrate that the presence of the negatively charged dust close to the ring plane (vertical bar Z vertical bar less than or similar to 0.11 R-s) amplifies parallel to E-parallel to parallel to by at least one order of magnitude and reverses its direction due to the effect of the charged dust gravitational and inertial forces. Such reversal confines the electrons at the magnetic equator within the dusty region, around 0.047 R-s above the ring plane. Furthermore, we discuss the role of the collision terms, in particular the ion-dust drag force, in amplifying E-parallel to. These results imply that the charged dust, as small as nanometres in size, can have a significant influence on the plasma transport, in particular ambipolar diffusion along the magnetic field lines, and so their presence must be taken into account when studying such dynamical processes.
Magnetic reconnection is one of the key processes in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas: it is the opposite of a dynamo. Looking at energy, a dynamo transforms kinetic energy in magnetic energy while reconnection takes magnetic energy and returns it to its kinetic form. Most plasma processes at their core involve first storing magnetic energy accumulated over time and then releasing it suddenly. We focus here on this release. A key concept in analysing reconnection is that of the separatrix, a surface (line in 2D) that separates the fresh unperturbed plasma embedded in magnetic field lines not yet reconnected with the hotter exhaust embedded in reconnected field lines. In kinetic physics, the separatrices become a layer where many key processes develop. We present here new results relative to the processes at the separatrices that regulate the plasma flow, the energization of the species, the electromagnetic fields and the instabilities developing at the separatrices.
The multiple-recycle fuel cycle for uranium-238 considered here, if practically realized, can bring revolutionary changes in nuclear energy. A full use of uranium-238 implies a practically infinite resource for power generation. Besides the energy, the fuel cycle net output is only fission products, which are co-products rather than waste. For the same amount of energy produced, the amount of fission products is two orders of magnitude less compared with the amount of spent nuclear fuel generated in currently exploited nuclear energy production scenarios. Using the simplest isotope balance model, key features of the multiple-recycle fuel cycle for uranium-238 are investigated. The repetition of this cycle results in smooth transformation of the initial fuel to 'stationary' fuel without strong variations in the fractional isotope content. Deficit of delayed neutrons is a threat of the fuel cycle considered as well as other fuel cycles that use plutonium. It has a dramatic impact on reactor controllability and safety. A solution to this threat could be a subcritical nuclear reactor with an external neutron source. In this paper, use of a stellarator-mirror (SM) fusion-fission hybrid for the multiple-recycle fuel cycle for uranium-238 is analysed. A summary of the experimental and theoretical studies on the SM hybrid is given. Preliminary results for principal design of a SM hybrid nuclear reactor for the multiple-recycle fuel cycle for uranium-238 are presented.
A newly developed numerical model calculating the distribution and damping of radiofrequency fields by sloshing ions is presented. The model solves time-harmonic Maxwell's equations written in terms of the electric field. It uses a two-dimensional grid and a Fourier series in the third coordinate and is based on a non-staggered mesh not aligned along the steady magnetic field. The numerical stability of the scheme is discussed, and the convergence analysis is presented.
A widely accepted scenario of magnetic reconnection in collisionless space plasmas is the breakage of magnetic field lines in X-points. In laboratory, reconnection is commonly studied in pinches, current channels embedded into twisted magnetic fields. No model of magnetic reconnection in space plasmas considers both nullpoints and pinches as peers. We have performed a particle-in-cell simulation of magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional configuration where null-points are present initially, and Z-pinches are formed during the simulation along the lines of spiral null-points. The non-spiral null-points are more stable than spiral ones, and no substantial energy dissipation is associated with them. On the contrary, turbulent magnetic reconnection in the pinches causes the magnetic energy to decay at a rate of similar to 1.5% per ion gyro period. Dissipation in similar structures is a likely scenario in space plasmas with large fraction of spiral null-points.
We carried out a 3D fully kinetic simulation of Earth's magnetotail magnetic reconnection to study the dynamics of energetic particles. We developed and implemented a new relativistic particle mover in iPIC3D, an implicit Particle-in-Cell code, to correctly model the dynamics of energetic particles. Before the onset of magnetic reconnection, energetic electrons are found localized close to current sheet and accelerated by lower hybrid drift instability. During magnetic reconnection, energetic particles are found in the reconnection region along the x-line and in the separatrices region. The energetic electrons are first present in localized stripes of the separatrices and finally cover all the separatrix surfaces. Along the separatrices, regions with strong electron deceleration are found. In the reconnection region, two categories of electron trajectory are identified. First, part of the electrons are trapped in the reconnection region, bouncing a few times between the outflow jets. Second, part of the electrons pass the reconnection region without being trapped. Different from electrons, energetic ions are localized on the reconnection fronts of the outflow jets.
The deviation from thermodynamic equilibrium of the ion velocity distribution functions (VDFs), as measured by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission in the Earth's turbulent magnetosheath, is quantitatively investigated. Making use of the unprecedented high-resolution MMS ion data, and together with Vlasov-Maxwell simulations, this analysis aims at investigating the relationship between deviation from Maxwellian equilibrium and typical plasma parameters. Correlations of the non-Maxwellian features with plasma quantities such as electric fields, ion temperature, current density and ion vorticity are found to be similar in magnetosheath data and numerical experiments, with a poor correlation between distortions of ion VDFs and current density, evidence that questions the occurrence of VDF departure from Maxwellian at the current density peaks. Moreover, strong correlation has been observed with the magnitude of the electric field in the turbulent magnetosheath, while a certain degree of correlation has been found in the numerical simulations and during a magnetopause crossing by MMS. This work could help shed light on the influence of electrostatic waves on the distortion of the ion VDFs in space turbulent plasmas.
The properties of zonal flows in the toroidal ion temperature gradient mode turbulence are investigated taking into account the polarization drift effects. The stability criterion and the characteristic oscillation frequency of the zonal flow are determined in terms of the spectra of turbulent fluctuations. The nonlinear evolution of zonal flows may lead to the formation of stationary long-lived coherent structures supporting stationary shear layers. These results indicate the existence of regions with reduced levels of anomalous transport attributed to zonal flows generalizing previous findings regarding zonal flows in electron drift turbulence.
Nonlinear wave-driven processes in plasmas are normally described by either a monochromatic pump wave that couples to other monochromatic waves, or as a random phase wave coupling to other random phase waves. An alternative approach involves a random or broadband pump coupling to monochromatic and/or coherent structures in the plasma. This approach can be implemented through the wave-kinetic model. In this model, the incoming pump wave is described by either a bunch (for coherent waves) or a sea (for random phase waves) of quasi-particles. This approach has been applied to both photon acceleration in laser wakefields and drift wave turbulence in magnetized plasma edge configurations. Numerical simulations have been compared to experiments, varying from photon acceleration to drift mode-zonal flow turbulence, and good qualitative correspondences have been found in all cases.
The nature of the turbulent energy transfer rate is studied using direct numerical simulations of weakly collisional space plasmas. This is done comparing results obtained from hybrid Vlasov-Maxwell simulations of collisionless plasmas, Hall magnetohydrodynamics and Landau fluid models reproducing low-frequency kinetic effects, such as the Landau damping. In this turbulent scenario, estimates of the local and global scaling properties of different energy channels are obtained using a proxy of the local energy transfer. This approach provides information on the structure of energy fluxes, under the assumption that the turbulent cascade transfers most of the energy that is then dissipated at small scales by various kinetic processes in these kinds of plasmas.