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Effects of toroidal rotation shear on toroidicity-induced Alfvén eigenmodes in the National Spherical Torus Experiment

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The effects of a sheared toroidal rotation on the dynamics of bursting toroidicity-induced Alfv́n eigenmodes are investigated in neutral beam heated plasmas on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) [M. Ono, Nucl. Fusion 40, 557 (2000)]. The modes have a global character, extending over most of the minor radius. A toroidal rotation shear layer is measured at the location of maximum drive for the modes. Contrary to results from other devices, no clear evidence of decorrelation of the modes by the sheared rotation is found. Instead, experiments with simultaneous neutral beam and radio-frequency auxiliary heating show a strong correlation between the dynamics of the modes and the instability drive. It is argued that kinetic effects involving changes in the mode drive and damping mechanisms other than rotation shear, such as continuum damping, are mostly responsible for the bursting dynamics of the modes on NSTX. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

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