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  1. Here, this tutorial describes mechanisms for separating ions in a plasma device with respect to their atomic or molecular mass for practical applications. The focus here is not on separating isotopes of a single atomic species but rather on systems with a much lower mass resolution and a higher throughput. These separation mechanisms include ion gyro-orbit separation, drift-orbit separation, vacuum arc centrifugation, steady-state rotating plasmas, and several other geometries. Generic physics issues are discussed such as the ion charge state, neutrals and molecules, collisions, radiation loss, and electric fields and fluctuations. Generic technology issues are also discussed such as plasmamore » sources and ion heating, and suggestions are made for future research.« less
  2. We report that gas puff imaging (GPI) observations made in NSTX have revealed two-point spatial correlations of edge and scrape-off layer turbulence in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field. A common feature is the occurrence of dipole-like patterns with significant regions of negative correlation. In this paper, we explore the possibility that these dipole patterns may be due to blob-hole pairs. Statistical methods are applied to determine the two-point spatial correlation that results from a model of blob-hole pair formation. It is shown that the model produces dipole correlation patterns that are qualitatively similar to the GPI data inmore » several respects. Effects of the reference location (confined surfaces or scrape-off layer), a superimposed random background, hole velocity and lifetime, and background sheared flows are explored and discussed with respect to experimental observations. Additional analysis of the experimental GPI dataset is performed to further test this blob-hole correlation model. A time delay two-point spatial correlation study did not reveal inward propagation of the negative correlation structures that were postulated to correspond to holes in the data nor did it suggest that the negative correlation structures are due to neutral shadowing. However, tracking of the highest and lowest values (extrema) of the normalized GPI fluctuations shows strong evidence for mean inward propagation of minima and outward propagation of maxima, in qualitative agreement with theoretical expectations. Finally, other properties of the experimentally observed extrema are discussed.« less
  3. The 2D radial vs. poloidal cross-correlation functions of edge plasma turbulence were measured near the outer midplane using a gas puff imaging (GPI) diagnostic on NSTX. These correlation functions were evaluated at radii r = 0 cm, ±3 cm, and ±6 cm from the separatrix and poloidal locations p = 0 cm and ±7.5 cm from the GPI poloidal center line for 20 different shots. The ellipticity ε and tilt angle φ of the positive cross-correlation regions and the minimum negative cross-correlation “cmin” and total negative over positive values “neg/pos” were evaluated for each of these cases. The average resultsmore » over this dataset were ε = 2.2 ± 0.9, φ = 87° ± 34° (i.e., poloidally oriented), cmin =-0.30 ± 0.15, and neg/pos = 0.25 ± 0.24. Thus, there was a significant variation in these correlation results within this database, with dependences on the location within the image, the magnetic geometry, and the plasma parameters. In conclusion, possible causes for this variation are discussed, including the misalignment of the GPI view with the local B field line, the magnetic shear of field lines at the edge, the poloidal flow shear of the turbulence, blob-hole correlations, and the neutral density 'shadowing' effect in GPI.« less
  4. A region of steep plasma gradients, the so-called ”narrow-feature”, has been found in the near scrape-off layer (SOL) of inner-wall limited (IWL) discharges. Dedicated IWL discharges were carried out in Alcator C-Mod [E.S. Marmar et al., Nucl. Fusion 55, (2015)] to study this phenomenon, allowing detailed observations of the plasma profiles and fluctuations. Langmuir probe (LP) measurements show a clear two decay length n e and T e profile structure at the outer midplane. The Gas-Puff Imaging (GPI) diagnostic shows large turbulent fluctuations across the last closed flux-surface, hence supporting the hypothesis that turbulent phenomena play a role in settingmore » the profile steepness. We have carried out the flux-driven non-linear turbulence simulations of two C-Mod discharges which allows a three-way comparison between LP, GPI, and simulation data. Observations and simulations correlate the steep gradient region characterizing the narrow feature with sheared poloidal flows and a deviation of the plasma potential from its floating value. Furthermore, the E x B shear rate exceeds the linear ballooning growth rate, indicating that the narrow feature could result from the effects of sheared flows, although causality could not be established. The fluctuation level in the narrow feature remains of order unity across the entire SOL, indicating that the transport reduction in the near-SOL cannot result from a simple quench rule.« less
  5. The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) has undergone a major upgrade, and the NSTX Upgrade (NSTX-U) Project was completed in the summer of 2015. NSTX-U first plasma was subsequently achieved, diagnostic and control systems have been commissioned, the H-mode accessed, magnetic error fields identified and mitigated, and the first physics research campaign carried out. During ten run weeks of operation, NSTX-U surpassed NSTX record pulse-durations and toroidal fields (TF), and high-performance ~1 MA H-mode plasmas comparable to the best of NSTX have been sustained near and slightly above the n = 1 no-wall stability limit and with H-mode confinement multipliermore » H 98y,2 above 1. Transport and turbulence studies in L-mode plasmas have identified the coexistence of at least two ion-gyro-scale turbulent micro-instabilities near the same radial location but propagating in opposite (i.e. ion and electron diamagnetic) directions. These modes have the characteristics of ion-temperature gradient and micro-tearing modes, respectively, and the role of these modes in contributing to thermal transport is under active investigation. The new second more tangential neutral beam injection was observed to significantly modify the stability of two types of Alfven eigenmodes. Improvements in offline disruption forecasting were made in the areas of identification of rotating MHD modes and other macroscopic instabilities using the disruption event characterization and forecasting code. Finally, the materials analysis and particle probe was utilized on NSTX-U for the first time and enabled assessments of the correlation between boronized wall conditions and plasma performance. These and other highlights from the first run campaign of NSTX-U are described.« less
  6. Here, we studied the energy exchange dynamics across the low-to-high-confinement (L–H) transition in NSTX discharges using the gas-puff imaging (GPI) diagnostic. The investigation focused on the energy exchange between flows and turbulence to help clarify the mechanism of the L–H transition. We applied this study to three types of heating schemes, including a total of 17 shots from the NSTX 2010 campaign run. Results show that the edge fluctuation characteristics (fluctuation levels, radial and poloidal correlation lengths) measured using GPI do not vary just prior to the H-mode transition, but change after the transition. Using a velocimetry approach (orthogonal-dynamics programming), velocity fields of amore » $$24\times 30$$ cm GPI view during the L–H transition were obtained with good spatial (~1 cm) and temporal (~2.5 μs) resolutions. Analysis using these velocity fields shows that the production term is systematically negative just prior to the L–H transition, indicating a transfer from mean flows to turbulence, which is inconsistent with the predator–prey paradigm. Moreover, the inferred absolute value of the production term is two orders of magnitude too small to explain the observed rapid L–H transition. These discrepancies are further reinforced by consideration of the ratio between the kinetic energy in the mean flow to the thermal free energy, which is estimated to be much less than 1, suggesting again that the turbulence depletion mechanism may not play an important role in the transition to the H-mode. Although the Reynolds work therefore appears to be too small to directly deplete the turbulent free energy reservoir, order-of-magnitude analysis shows that the Reynolds stress may still make a non-negligible contribution to the observed poloidal flows.« less
  7. Gas puff imaging (GPI) is a diagnostic of plasma turbulence which uses a puff of neutral gas at the plasma edge to increase the local visible light emission for improved space-time resolution of plasma fluctuations. This paper reviews gas puff imaging diagnostics of edge plasma turbulence in magnetic fusion research, with a focus on the instrumentation, diagnostic cross-checks, and interpretation issues. The gas puff imaging hardware, optics, and detectors are described for about 10 GPI systems implemented over the past similar to 15 years. Comparison of GPI results with other edge turbulence diagnostic results is described, and many common featuresmore » are observed. Here, several issues in the interpretation of GPI measurements are discussed, and potential improvements in hardware and modeling are suggested.« less
  8. The chemical inhomogeneity of nuclear waste makes chemical separations difficult, while the correlation between radioactivity and nuclear mass makes mass-based separation, and in particular plasma-based separation, an attractive alternative. Here, we examine a particular class of plasma mass filters, namely filters in which (a) species of different masses are collected along magnetic field lines at opposite ends of an open-field-line plasma device and (b) gyro-drift effects are important for the separation process. Using an idealized cylindrical model, we derive a set of dimensionless parameters which provide minimum necessary conditions for an effective mass filter function in the presence of ion-ionmore » and ion-neutral collisions. Through simulations of the constant-density profile, turbulence-free devices, we find that these parameters accurately describe the mass filter performance in more general magnetic geometries. We then use these parameters to study the design and upgrade of current experiments, as well as to derive general scalings for the throughput of production mass filters. Most importantly, we find that ion temperatures above 3 eV and magnetic fields above 104 G are critical to ensure a feasible mass filter function when operating at an ion density of 10 13 cm –3.« less
  9. A rich variety of field-aligned fluctuations has been revealed using fast imaging of D α emission from Alcator C-Mod's lower X-point region. Field-aligned filamentary fluctuations are observed along the inner divertor leg, within the Private-Flux-Zone (PFZ), in the Scrape-Off Layer (SOL) outside the outer divertor leg, and, under some conditions, at or above the X-point. The locations and dynamics of the filaments in these regions are strikingly complex in C-Mod. Changes in the filaments’ generation appear to be ordered by plasma density and magnetic configuration. Filaments are not observed for plasmas with n/nGreenwald ≲ 0.12 nor are they observed inmore » Upper Single Null configurations. In a Lower Single Null with 0.12 ≲ n/nGreenwald ≲ 0.45 and Bx∇B directed down, filaments typically move up the inner divertor leg toward the X-point. Reversing the field direction results in the appearance of filaments outside of the outer divertor leg. With the divertor targets “detached”, filaments inside the LCFS are seen. Lastly, these studies were motivated by observations of filaments in the X-point and PFZ regions in MAST, and comparisons with those observations are made.« less
  10. Turbulence and plasma parameter data from the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) is examined and interpreted based on various theoretical estimates. In particular, quantities of interest for assessing the role of turbulent transport on the midplane scrape-off layer heat flux width are assessed. Because most turbulence quantities exhibit large scatter and little scaling within a given operation mode, this paper focuses on length and time scales and dimensionless parameters between operational modes including Ohmic, low (L), and high (H) modes using a large NSTX edge turbulence database. These are compared with theoretical estimates for drift and interchange rates, profile modificationmore » saturation levels, a resistive ballooning condition, and dimensionless parameters characterizing L and H mode conditions. It is argued that the underlying instability physics governing edge turbulence in different operational modes is, in fact, similar, and is consistent with curvature-driven drift ballooning. Saturation physics, however, is dependent on the operational mode. Five dimensionless parameters for drift-interchange turbulence are obtained and employed to assess the importance of turbulence in setting the scrape-off layer heat flux width λ q and its scaling. An explicit proportionality of the width λ q to the safety factor and major radius (qR) is obtained under these conditions. Lastly, quantitative estimates and reduced model numerical simulations suggest that the turbulence mechanism is not negligible in determining λ q in NSTX, at least for high plasma current discharges.« less

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