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Title: Rotation profile flattening and toroidal flow shear reversal due to the coupling of magnetic islands in tokamaks

The electromagnetic coupling of helical modes, including those having different toroidal mode numbers, modifies the distribution of toroidal angular momentum in tokamak discharges. This can have deleterious effects on other transport channels as well as on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) stability and disruptivity. At low levels of externally injected momentum, the coupling of core-localized modes initiates a chain of events, whereby flattening of the core rotation profile inside successive rational surfaces leads to the onset of a large m/n = 2/1 tearing mode and locked-mode disruption. Furthermore, with increased torque from neutral beam injection, neoclassical tearing modes in the core may phase-lock to each other without locking to external fields or structures that are stationary in the laboratory frame. The dynamic processes observed in these cases are in general agreement with theory, and detailed diagnosis allows for momentum transport analysis to be performed, revealing a significant torque density that peaks near the 2/1 rational surface. However, as the coupled rational surfaces are brought closer together by reducing q95, additional momentum transport in excess of that required to attain a phase-locked state is sometimes observed. Rather than maintaining zero differential rotation (as is predicted to be dynamically stable by single-fluid, resistive MHD theory),more » these discharges develop hollow toroidal plasma fluid rotation profiles with reversed plasma flow shear in the region between the m/n = 3/2 and 2/1 islands. Additional forces expressed in this state are not readily accounted for, and therefore, analysis of these data highlights the impact of mode coupling on torque balance and the challenges associated with predicting the rotation dynamics of a fusion reactor-a key issue for ITER. Published by AIP Publishing.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [4] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [5]
  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  3. DIFFER, Rhinjuizen (Netherlands). Dutch Inst. for Fundamental Fusion Energy Research
  4. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
  5. General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-09CH11466; FC02-04ER54698; FG02-99ER54531; SC0012551
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 5; Conference: 57th Annual Meeting of the APS-Division-of-Plasma-Physics (DPP) , Savannah, GA (United States), 16-20 Nov 2015; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States); General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; toroidal plasma confinement; torque; magnetohydrodynamics; magnetic islands; bifurcations
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1247892; OSTI ID: 1372490; OSTI ID: 1460537