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Title: Basic Physics of Tokamak Transport Final Technical Report.

The goal of this grant has been to study the basic physics of various sources of anomalous transport in tokamaks. Anomalous transport in tokamaks continues to be one of the major problems in magnetic fusion research. As a tokamak is not a physics device by design, direct experimental observation and identification of the instabilities responsible for transport, as well as physics studies of the transport in tokamaks, have been difficult and of limited value. It is noted that direct experimental observation, identification and physics study of microinstabilities including ITG, ETG, and trapped electron/ion modes in tokamaks has been very difficult and nearly impossible. The primary reasons are co-existence of many instabilities, their broadband fluctuation spectra, lack of flexibility for parameter scans and absence of good local diagnostics. This has motivated us to study the suspected tokamak instabilities and their transport consequences in a simpler, steady state Columbia Linear Machine (CLM) with collisionless plasma and the flexibility of wide parameter variations. Earlier work as part of this grant was focused on both ITG turbulence, widely believed to be a primary source of ion thermal transport in tokamaks, and the effects of isotope scaling on transport levels. Prior work from our researchmore » team has produced and definitively identified both the slab and toroidal branches of this instability and determined the physics criteria for their existence. All the experimentally observed linear physics corroborate well with theoretical predictions. However, one of the large areas of research dealt with turbulent transport results that indicate some significant differences between our experimental results and most theoretical predictions. Latter years of this proposal were focused on anomalous electron transport with a special focus on ETG. There are several advanced tokamak scenarios with internal transport barriers (ITB), when the ion transport is reduced to neoclassical values by combined mechanisms of ExB and diamagnetic flow shear suppression of the ion temperature gradient (ITG) instabilities. However, even when the ion transport is strongly suppressed, the electron transport remains highly anomalous. The most plausible physics scenario for the anomalous electron transport is based on electron temperature gradient (ETG) instabilities. This instability is an electron analog of and nearly isomorphic to the ITG instability, which we had studied before extensively. However, this isomorphism is broken nonlinearily. It is noted that as the typical ETG mode growth rates are larger (in contrast to ITG modes) than ExB shearing rates in usual tokamaks, the flow shear suppression of ETG modes is highly unlikely. This motivated a broader range of investigations of other physics scenarios of nonlinear saturation and transport scaling of ETG modes.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Columbia University
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY Tokamak; Fusion; Transport; ETG; ITG; Turbulence; Isotope Scaling; Zonal Flow