Observation of long-distance radial correlation in toroidal plasma turbulence.
ABSTRACT This Letter presents the discovery of macroscale electron temperature fluctuations with a long radial correlation length comparable to the plasma minor radius in a toroidal plasma. Their spatiotemporal structure is characterized by a low frequency of ∼1-3 kHz, ballistic radial propagation, a poloidal or toroidal mode number of m/n=1/1 (or 2/1), and an amplitude of ∼2% at maximum. Nonlinear coupling between the long-range fluctuations and the microscopic fluctuations is identified. A change of the amplitude of the long-range fluctuation is transmitted across the plasma radius at the velocity which is of the order of the drift velocity.
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ABSTRACT: Physics of turbulence and turbulent transport has been developed on the central dogma that spatial gradients constitute the controlling parameters, such as Reynolds number and Rayleigh number. Recent experiments with the nonequilibrium plasmas in magnetic confinement devices, however, have shown that the turbulence and transport change much faster than global parameters, after an abrupt change of heating power. Here we propose a theory of turbulence in inhomogeneous magnetized plasmas, showing that the heating power directly influences the turbulence. New mechanism, that an external source couples with plasma fluctuations in phase space so as to affect turbulence, is investigated. A new thermodynamical force in phase-space, i.e., the derivative of heating power by plasma pressure, plays the role of new control parameter, in addition to spatial gradients. Following the change of turbulence, turbulent transport is modified accordingly. The condition under which this new effect can be observed is also evaluated.Scientific Reports 01/2012; 2:860. · 2.93 Impact Factor