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Title: Physics of forced magnetic reconnection in coaxial helicity injection experiments in National Spherical Torus Experiment

We numerically examine the physics of fast flux closure in transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) experiments in National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). By performing resistive Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations with poloidal injector coil currents held constant in time, we find that closed flux surfaces are formed through forced magnetic reconnection. Through a local Sweet-Parker type reconnection with an elongated current sheet in the injector region, closed flux surfaces expand in the NSTX global domain. Simulations demonstrate outflows approaching poloidally Alfvénic flows and reconnection times consistent with the Sweet-Parker model. Critical requirements for magnetic reconnection and flux closure are studied in detail. These primary effects, which are magnetic diffusivity, injector flux, injector flux footprint width, and rate of injector voltage reduction, are simulated for transient CHI experiments. The relevant time scales for effective reconnection are τ{sub V}<τ{sub rec}≈τ{sub A}√(S)(1+Pm){sup 1/4}<τ{sub R}, where τ{sub V} is the time for the injector voltage reduction, τ{sub A} is the poloidal Alfvén transit time, τ{sub R} is the global resistive diffusion time, and Pm and S are Prandtl and Lundquist numbers.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Department of Astrophysical Sciences, and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544 (United States)
  2. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195 (United States)
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94526 (United States)
  4. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252935
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; CLOSURES; CURRENTS; DIFFUSION; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; MAGNETIC SURFACES; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; NSTX DEVICE; SIMULATION; SPHERICAL CONFIGURATION