We have extended our study of the competition between the drive and stabilization of plasma microinstabilities by sheared flow to include electromagnetic effects at low plasma β (the ratio of plasma to magnetic pressure). The extended system of characteristic equations is formulated, for a dissipative fluid model developed from the gyrokinetic equation, using a twisting mode representation in sheared slab geometry and focusing on the ion temperature gradient mode. Perpendicular flow shear convects perturbations along the field at the speed we denote as Mcs (where cs is the sound speed). is required to make the system characteristics unidirectional and inhibit eigenmode formation, leaving only transitory perturbations in the system. This typically represents a much larger flow shear than in the electrostatic case, which only needs M > 1. Numerical investigation of the region shows the driving terms can conflict, as in the electrostatic case, giving low growth rates over a range of parameters. Also, at modest drive strengths and low β values typical of experiments, including electromagnetic effects does not significantly alter the growth rates. For stronger flow shear and higher β, geometry characteristic of the spherical tokamak mitigates the effect of an instability of the shear Alfvén wave, driven by the parallel flow shear.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics
- plasma microinstabilities
- plasma simulation
- shear flow
- spherical tokamaks