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Tracing the Pathway from Drift-Wave Turbulence with Broken Symmetry to the Production of Sheared Axial Mean Flow


This study traces the emergence of sheared axial flow from collisional drift-wave turbulence with broken symmetry in a linear plasma device-the controlled shear decorrelation experiment. As the density profile steepens, the axial Reynolds stress develops and drives a radially sheared axial flow that is parallel to the magnetic field. Results show that the nondiffusive piece of the Reynolds stress is driven by the density gradient, results from spectral asymmetry of the turbulence, and, thus, is dynamical in origin. Taken together, these findings constitute the first simultaneous demonstration of the causal link between the density gradient, turbulence, and stress with broken spectral symmetry and the mean axial flow.

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