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Stability of neutral beam driven TAE modes in DIII-D


The observed characteristics of toroidicity induced Alfven eigenmodes (TAE) in DIII-D tokamak discharges are compared in detail with predictions of various theories of TAE mode stability, and good qualitative agreement is found. The observed range of unstable toroidal mode numbers (n approximately 3-6) is consistent with theoretical predictions. For DIII-D parameters, low mode numbers are damped by coupling to the stable Alfven continuum, while high mode numbers are clamped by electron kinetic effects including coupling to kinetic Alfven waves. A threshold for destabilization is observed experimentally at a fast ion beta of approximately 1%. The predicted driving and damping rates, estimated from experimental data, balance within about a factor of two for discharges at the threshold. It is demonstrated experimentally that the damping of TAE modes can be increased by current profile control, in this case with a peaked current profile produced by a negative current ramp, in qualitative agreement with theoretical predictions. A possible stabilizing effect of discharge elongation is also observed.

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