We present a series of numerical simulation experiments set up to illustrate the fundamental physics processes underlying the nonlinear dynamics of Alfvénic modes resonantly excited by energetic particles in tokamak plasmas and of the ensuing energetic particle transports. These phenomena are investigated by following the evolution of a test particle population in the electromagnetic fields computed in self-consistent MHD-particle simulation performed by the HMGC code. Hamiltonian mapping techniques are used to extract and illustrate several features of wave-particle dynamics. The universal structure of resonant particle phase space near an isolated resonance is recovered and analyzed, showing that bounded orbits and untrapped trajectories, divided by the instantaneous separatrix, form phase space zonal structures, whose characteristic non-adiabatic evolution time is the same as the nonlinear time of the underlying fluctuations. Bounded orbits correspond to a net outward resonant particle flux, which produces a flattening and/or gradient inversion of the fast ion density profile around the peak of the linear wave-particle resonance. The connection of this phenomenon to the mode saturation is analyzed with reference to two different cases: a Toroidal Alfvén eigenmode in a low shear magnetic equilibrium and a weakly unstable energetic particle mode for stronger magnetic shear. It is shown that, in the former case, saturation is reached because of radial decoupling (resonant particle redistribution matching the mode radial width) and is characterized by a weak dependence of the mode amplitude on the growth rate. In the latter case, saturation is due to resonance detuning (resonant particle redistribution matching the resonance width) with a stronger dependence of the mode amplitude on the growth rate.
|Titolo:||Analysis of the nonlinear behavior of shear-Alfvén modes in tokamaks based on Hamiltonian mapping techniques|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|