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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spectral gap of shear Alfv́n waves in a periodic array of magnetic mirrors

  • Author(s): Zhang, Y
  • Heidbrink, WW
  • Boehmer, H
  • McWilliams, R
  • Chen, G
  • Breizman, BN
  • Vincena, S
  • Carter, T
  • Leneman, D
  • Gekelman, W
  • Pribyl, P
  • Brugman, B
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License

A multiple magnetic mirror array is formed at the Large Plasma Device (LAPD) [W. Gekelman, H. Pfister, Z. Lucky, J. Bamber, D. Leneman, and J. Maggs, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 62, 2875 (1991)] to study axial periodicity-influenced Alfv́n spectra. Shear Alfv́n waves (SAW) are launched by antennas inserted in the LAPD plasma and diagnosed by B-dot probes at many axial locations. Alfv́n wave spectral gaps and continua are formed similar to wave propagation in other periodic media due to the Bragg effect. The measured width of the propagation gap increases with the modulation amplitude as predicted by the solutions to Mathieu's equation. A two-dimensional finite-difference code modeling SAW in a mirror array configuration shows similar spectral features. Machine end-reflection conditions and damping mechanisms including electron-ion Coulomb collision and electron Landau damping are important for simulation. © 2008 American Institute of Physics.

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