Chirping Alfvén modes are considered as potentially harmful for the confinement of energetic particles in burning tokamak plasmas. In fact, by changing their frequency, they are able to extract as much power as possible from these particles, possibly increasing their transport. In this paper, the nonlinear evolution of a single-toroidal-number chirping mode is analyzed by numerical particle simulation. The relevant resonant structures are identified by numerical techniques based on the use of a coordinate system including two constants of motion: the magnetic moment and a suitable function of the initial particle coordinates. The analysis is focused on the dynamics of two different resonant structures in the particle phase space: those yielding the largest drive during the linear and the nonlinear phase, respectively. It is shown that, for each resonant structure, a density-flattening region is formed around the respective resonance radius, with a radial width that increases as the mode amplitude grows. It is delimited by two steepened negative density gradients, drifting inwards and outward. If the mode frequency were constant, phase-space density flattening would quench the resonant-structure drive as the steepened gradients leave the original resonance region. The frequency chirping, however, causes the resonance radius and the resonance region to drift inwards. This drift, along with a relevant increase in the resonance width, delays the moment in which the inner density gradient reaches the inner boundary of the resonance region, leaving it. On the other hand, the island evolves consistently with the resonance radius; as a consequence, the steepened density gradient further moves inward. This process continues as long as it allows to keep the steepened gradient within the resonance region. When this is no longer possible, the resonant structure ceases to be effective in driving the mode. To further extract energy from the particles, the mode has to tap a different resonant structure, possibly making use of additional frequency variations.

Analysis of the nonlinear dynamics of a chirping-frequency Alfvén mode in a tokamak equilibrium

Briguglio S.;Di Troia C.;Falessi M.;Fogaccia G.;Fusco V.;Vlad G.;Zonca F.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Chirping Alfvén modes are considered as potentially harmful for the confinement of energetic particles in burning tokamak plasmas. In fact, by changing their frequency, they are able to extract as much power as possible from these particles, possibly increasing their transport. In this paper, the nonlinear evolution of a single-toroidal-number chirping mode is analyzed by numerical particle simulation. The relevant resonant structures are identified by numerical techniques based on the use of a coordinate system including two constants of motion: the magnetic moment and a suitable function of the initial particle coordinates. The analysis is focused on the dynamics of two different resonant structures in the particle phase space: those yielding the largest drive during the linear and the nonlinear phase, respectively. It is shown that, for each resonant structure, a density-flattening region is formed around the respective resonance radius, with a radial width that increases as the mode amplitude grows. It is delimited by two steepened negative density gradients, drifting inwards and outward. If the mode frequency were constant, phase-space density flattening would quench the resonant-structure drive as the steepened gradients leave the original resonance region. The frequency chirping, however, causes the resonance radius and the resonance region to drift inwards. This drift, along with a relevant increase in the resonance width, delays the moment in which the inner density gradient reaches the inner boundary of the resonance region, leaving it. On the other hand, the island evolves consistently with the resonance radius; as a consequence, the steepened density gradient further moves inward. This process continues as long as it allows to keep the steepened gradient within the resonance region. When this is no longer possible, the resonant structure ceases to be effective in driving the mode. To further extract energy from the particles, the mode has to tap a different resonant structure, possibly making use of additional frequency variations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/71314
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