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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Observation of Critical-Gradient Behavior in Alfvén-Eigenmode-Induced Fast-Ion Transport.

  • Author(s): Collins, CS
  • Heidbrink, WW
  • Austin, ME
  • Kramer, GJ
  • Pace, DC
  • Petty, CC
  • Stagner, L
  • Van Zeeland, MA
  • White, RB
  • Zhu, YB
  • DIII-D team
  • et al.

Experiments in the DIII-D tokamak show that fast-ion transport suddenly becomes stiff above a critical threshold in the presence of many overlapping small-amplitude Alfvén eigenmodes (AEs). The threshold is phase-space dependent and occurs when particle orbits become stochastic due to resonances with AEs. Above threshold, equilibrium fast-ion density profiles are unchanged despite increased drive, and intermittent fast-ion losses are observed. Fast-ion Dα spectroscopy indicates radially localized transport of the copassing population at radii that correspond to the location of midcore AEs. The observation of stiff fast-ion transport suggests that reduced models can be used to effectively predict alpha profiles, beam ion profiles, and losses to aid in the design of optimized scenarios for future burning plasma devices.

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