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Alfvén cascade modes at high β in the National Spherical Torus Experiment

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Alfv́n cascade (AC) modes are observed in the National Spherical Torus Experiment [M. Ono, Nucl. Fusion 40, 557 (2000)] reversed shear plasmas over a wide range (up to ∼25% on axis, or ∼11% at minimum q) of Β (ratio of kinetic pressure to magnetic pressure). At low Β, the AC mode spectrum shows characteristics similar to conventional tokamaks. At higher Β, distinct Β and ∇Β effects are observed in the spectrum, including a significant reduction in the relative size of the frequency sweep and a toroidal mode number dependence in the minimum mode frequency. AC mode structure is obtained using reflectometry. Fast-ion loss associated with AC mode activity is observed. AC mode polarization at the plasma edge is consistent with expectation. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) spectroscopy is shown to be usable to determine qmin at both low Β and high Β. Observed AC mode structure and frequency are found to be consistent with calculations for the same plasma conditions and geometry using the linear, ideal MHD hybrid kinetic code NOVA-K [C. Z. Cheng, Phys. Rep. 211, 1 (1992)]. © 2008 American Institute of Physics.

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