Shear Alfvén waves (SAW) play fundamental roles in thermonuclear plasmas of fusion interest, since they are readily excited by energetic particles in the MeV range as well as by the thermal plasma components. Thus, understanding fluctuation induced transport in burning plasmas requires understanding nonlinear SAW physics. There exist two possible routes to nonlinear SAW physics: (i) wave-wave interactions and the resultant spectral energy transfer; (ii) nonlinear wave-particle interactions of SAW instabilities with energetic particles. Within the first route, it is advantageous to understand and describe nonlinear processes in term of proximity of the system to the Alfvénic state, where wave-wave interactions are minimized due to the cancellation of Reynolds and Maxwell stresses. Here, various wave-wave nonlinear dynamics are elucidated in terms of how they break the Alfvénic state. In particular, we discuss the qualitative and quantitative modification of the SAW parametric decay process due to finite ion compressibility and finite ion Larmor radius. We also show that toroidal geometry plays a crucial role in the nonlinear excitation of zonal structures by Alfvén eigenmodes. Within the second route, the coherent nonlinear dynamics of structures in the energetic particle phase space, by which secular resonant particle transport can occur on meso- and macro-scales, must be addressed and understood. These «nonlinear equilibria» or «phase-space zonal structures» dynamically evolve on characteristic (fluctuation induced) turbulent transport time scales, which are generally of the same order of the nonlinear time scale of the underlying fluctuations. In this work, we introduce the general structure of nonlinear Schrödinger equations with complex integro-differential nonlinear terms, which govern these physical processes. To elucidate all these aspects, theoretical analyses are presented together with numerical simulation results. © 2014 American Institute of Physics.
|Titolo:||Nonlinear physics of shear Alfvén waves|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|