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Title: Study of Nonlinear Interaction and Turbulence of Alfven Waves in LAPD Experiments

The complete project had two major goals — investigate MHD turbulence generated by counterpropagating Alfven modes, and study such processes in the LAPD device. In order to study MHD turbulence in numerical simulations, two codes have been used: full MHD, and reduced MHD developed specialy for this project. Quantitative numerical results are obtained through high-resolution simulations of strong MHD turbulence, performed through the 2010 DOE INCITE allocation. We addressed the questions of the spectrum of turbulence, its universality, and the value of the so-called Kolmogorov constant (the normalization coefficient of the spectrum). In these simulations we measured with unprecedented accuracy the energy spectra of magnetic and velocity fluctuations. We also studied the so-called residual energy, that is, the difference between kinetic and magnetic energies in turbulent fluctuations. In our analytic work we explained generation of residual energy in weak MHD turbulence, in the process of random collisions of counterpropagating Alfven waves. We then generalized these results for the case of strong MHD turbulence. The developed model explained generation of residual energy is strong MHD turbulence, and verified the results in numerical simulations. We then analyzed the imbalanced case, where more Alfven waves propagate in one direction. We found that spectralmore » properties of the residual energy are similar for both balanced and imbalanced cases. We then compared strong MHD turbulence observed in the solar wind with turbulence generated in numerical simulations. Nonlinear interaction of Alfv´en waves has been studied in the upgraded Large Plasma Device (LAPD). We have simulated the collision of the Alfven modes in the settings close to the experiment. We have created a train of wave packets with the apltitudes closed to those observed n the experiment, and allowed them to collide. We then saw the generation of the second harmonic, resembling that observed in the experiment.« less
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DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of Wisconsin Madison
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States