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Chaotic transport in reversed shear tokamaks

Nuclear Fusion
IOP Publishing
Publication Date
  • Magnetic-Field Lines
  • Scrape-Off Layer
  • Ergodic Divertor
  • Homoclinic Tangles
  • Drift Waves
  • Confinement
  • Dynamics
  • Plasmas
  • Perturbations
  • Stochasticity
  • Physics
  • Fluids & Plasmas
  • Physics
  • Nuclear
  • Mathematics


For tokamak models using simplified geometries and reversed shear plasma profiles, we have numerically investigated how the onset of Lagrangian chaos at the plasma edge may affect the plasma confinement in two distinct but closely related problems. Firstly, we have considered the motion of particles in drift waves in the presence of an equilibrium radial electric field with shear. We have shown that the radial particle transport caused by this motion is selective in phase space, being determined by the resonant drift waves and depending on the parameters of both the resonant waves and the electric field profile. Moreover, we have shown that an additional transport barrier may be created at the plasma edge by increasing the electric field. In the second place, we have studied escape patterns and magnetic footprints of chaotic magnetic field lines in the region near a tokamak wall, when there are resonant modes due to the action of an ergodic magnetic limiter. A non-monotonic safety factor profile has been used in the analysis of field line topology in a region of negative magnetic shear. We have observed that, if internal modes are perturbed, the distributions of field line connection lengths and magnetic footprints exhibit spatially localized escape channels. For typical physical parameters of a fusion plasma, the two Lagrangian chaotic processes considered in this work can be effective in usual conditions so as to influence plasma confinement. The reversed shear effects discussed in this work may also contribute to evaluate the transport barrier relevance in advanced confinement scenarios in future tokamak experiments.

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