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Kolmogorov-Kraichnan scaling in the inverse energy cascade of two-dimensional plasma turbulence


Turbulence in plasmas that are magnetically confined, such as tokamaks or linear devices, is two dimensional or at least quasi two dimensional due to the strong magnetic field, which leads to extreme elongation of the fluctuations, if any, in the direction parallel to the magnetic field. These plasmas are also compressible fluid flows obeying the compressible Navier-Stokes equations. This Letter presents the first comprehensive scaling of the structure functions of the density and velocity fields up to 10th order in the PISCES linear plasma device and up to 6th order in the Mega-Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST). In the two devices, it is found that the scaling of the turbulent fields is in good agreement with the prediction of the Kolmogorov-Kraichnan theory for two-dimensional turbulence in the energy cascade subrange.

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