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Fluctuations in a tokamak plasma


Kubena, Randall Lynn (1978) Fluctuations in a tokamak plasma. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ncb6-bs51.


An experimental investigation of low frequency floating potential fluctuations (f ≤ 200 kHz) in a research tokamak plasma using two spatially separated electrostatic probes has been performed. The spectra, correlation length, and the phase velocity of the fluctuations in both the radial and azimuthal direction have been determined. The propagation velocity in the toroidal direction was also measured and was found to be in the direction of electron current flow. The waves traveled azimuthally in the ion diamagnetic drift direction, even after the usual E x B rotation was taken into account. The electron density fluctuations associated with these oscillations were large, δn/n ≃ 0.35 - 0.50.

The spectra were found to have regularly spaced peaks which seemed to be related to specific azimuthal modes (m =1,2,3,...,etc. ) A parametric study was made to determine what effect plasma parameters had on these peaks. During periods of high electron density in the first 2 msec of the plasma lifetime, strong sawtooth type oscillations were observed. These oscillations typically had frequencies of approximately 10 kHz and were also present when large amounts of neutral gas were added during the discharge by a process called "gas puffing."

The results are compared with experimental observations made on other plasma devices with electric and magnetic probes and with microwave and CO2 laser scattering techniques. (The scattering measurements are complimentary to the probe measurements since, in the former case, the wavelength is fixed by the scattering angle, but the oscillations could not be spatially localized.) The oscillations in the Caltech torus were probably related to a drift-tearing type instability which is thought to play a major role in the anomalous particle and energy flux observed in tokamaks. Comparisons are made between current theory and the experimental results. However, the theory for the observed oscillations is still in a rudimentary stage of development, and it is hoped that the present investigation will stimulate future analytical work.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Applied Physics ; tokamak plasma
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gould, Roy Walter
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:17 February 1978
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:07222014-154820206
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8591
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:23 Jul 2014 17:04
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:29

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