Dissipation range turbulent cascades in plasmas

P. W. Terry, A. F. Almagri, G. Fiksel, C. B. Forest, D. R. Hatch, F. Jenko, M. D. Nornberg, Stewart C. Prager, K. Rahbarnia, Y. Ren, J. S. Sarff

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Dissipation range cascades in plasma turbulence are described and spectra are formulated from the scaled attenuation in wavenumber space of the spectral energy transfer rate. This yields spectra characterized by the product of a power law and exponential fall-off, applicable to all scales. Spectral indices of the power law and exponential fall-off depend on the scaling of the dissipation, the strength of the nonlinearity, and nonlocal effects when dissipation rates of multiple fluctuation fields are different. The theory is used to derive spectra for MHD turbulence with magnetic Prandtl number greater than unity, extending previous work. The theory is also applied to generic plasma turbulence by considering the spectrum from damping with arbitrary wavenumber scaling. The latter is relevant to ion temperature gradient turbulence modeled by gyrokinetics. The spectrum in this case has an exponential component that becomes weaker at small scale, giving a power law asymptotically. Results from the theory are compared to three very different types of turbulence. These include the magnetic plasma turbulence of the Madison Symmetric Torus, the MHD turbulence of liquid metal in the Madison Dynamo Experiment, and gyrokinetic simulation of ion temperature gradient turbulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055906
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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