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Identification of zonal flows in a toroidal plasma.

  • Author(s): Fujisawa, A
  • Itoh, K
  • Iguchi, H
  • Matsuoka, K
  • Okamura, S
  • Shimizu, A
  • Minami, T
  • Yoshimura, Y
  • Nagaoka, K
  • Takahashi, C
  • Kojima, M
  • Nakano, H
  • Ohsima, S
  • Nishimura, S
  • Isobe, M
  • Suzuki, C
  • Akiyama, T
  • Ida, K
  • Toi, K
  • Itoh, SI
  • Diamond, PH
  • et al.

This Letter presents experimental confirmation of the presence of zonal flows in magnetically confined toroidal plasma using an advanced diagnostic system--dual heavy ion beam probes. The simultaneous observation of an electric field at two distant toroidal locations (approximately 1.5 m apart) in the high temperature (approximately 1 keV) plasma provides a fluctuation spectrum of electric field (or flow), a spatiotemporal structure of the zonal flows (characteristic radial length of approximately 1.5 cm and lifetime of approximately 1.5 ms), their long-range correlation with toroidal symmetry (n=0), and the difference in the zonal flow amplitude with and without a transport barrier. These constitute essential elements of turbulence-zonal flow systems, and illustrate one of the fundamental processes of structure formation in nature.

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