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Title: Thermal island destabilization and the Greenwald limit

Magnetic reconnection is ubiquitous in the magnetosphere, the solar corona, and in toroidal fusion research discharges. A magnetic island saturates at a width which produces a minimum in the magnetic energy of the configuration is evident in a fusion device. At saturation, the modified current density profile, a function of the flux in the island, is essentially flat, the growth rate proportional to the difference in the current at the O-point and the X-point. Furthermore, modification of the current density profile in the island interior causes a change in the island stability and additional growth or contraction of the saturated island. Because field lines in an island are isolated from the outside plasma, an island can heat or cool preferentially depending on the balance of Ohmic heating and radiation loss in the interior, changing the resistivity and hence the current in the island. A simple model of island destabilization due to radiation cooling of the island is constructed, and the effect of modification of the current within an island is calculated. In addition destabilization effect is described, and it is shown that a small imbalance of heating can lead to exponential growth of the island. A destabilized magnetic island nearmore » the plasma edge can lead to plasma loss, and because the radiation is proportional to plasma density and charge, this effect can cause an impurity dependent density limit.« less
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  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X; PHPAEN
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY Disruptions; Impurities; Magnetic Islands; Radiation Effects