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Title: High power heating of magnetic reconnection in merging tokamak experiments

Significant ion/electron heating of magnetic reconnection up to 1.2 keV was documented in two spherical tokamak plasma merging experiment on MAST with the significantly large Reynolds number R∼10{sup 5}. Measured 1D/2D contours of ion and electron temperatures reveal clearly energy-conversion mechanisms of magnetic reconnection: huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and localized heating of electrons at the X-point. Ions are accelerated up to the order of poloidal Alfven speed in the reconnection outflow region and are thermalized by fast shock-like density pileups formed in the downstreams, in agreement with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. The magnetic reconnection efficiently converts the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic energy mostly into ion thermal energy through the outflow, causing the reconnection heating energy proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field B{sub rec}{sup 2}  ∼  B{sub p}{sup 2}. The guide toroidal field B{sub t} does not affect the bulk heating of ions and electrons, probably because the reconnection/outflow speeds are determined mostly by the external driven inflow by the help of another fast reconnection mechanism: intermittent sheet ejection. The localized electron heating at the X-point increases sharply with the guide toroidal field B{sub t}, probably because the toroidal field increases electron confinement andmore » acceleration length along the X-line. 2D measurements of magnetic field and temperatures in the TS-3 tokamak merging experiment also reveal the detailed reconnection heating mechanisms mentioned above. The high-power heating of tokamak merging is useful not only for laboratory study of reconnection but also for economical startup and heating of tokamak plasmas. The MAST/TS-3 tokamak merging with B{sub p} > 0.4 T will enables us to heat the plasma to the alpha heating regime: T{sub i} > 5 keV without using any additional heating facility.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656 (Japan)
  2. Kyusyu University, Fukuoka 819-0395 (Japan)
  3. CCFE, Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 3DB (United Kingdom)
  4. General Atomics Court, California 92186-5608 (United States)
  5. Australian National University, Canberra 0200 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22410377
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; ALFVEN WAVES; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ELECTRONS; ENERGY CONVERSION; HEATING; ION TEMPERATURE; IONS; KEV RANGE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; MAST TOKAMAK; PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS; PLASMA; PLASMA CONFINEMENT; REYNOLDS NUMBER; SPHERICAL CONFIGURATION