Energizing charged particles by an orbit instability in a slowly rotating magnetic field

Eric Palmerduca, Hong Qin, Samuel A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stability of charged particle motion in a uniform magnetic field with an added spatially uniform transverse rotating magnetic field (RMF) is studied analytically. It is found that the stability diagram of a single particle's orbit depends critically on the chosen boundary conditions. We show that for many boundary conditions and wide regions in the parameter space, RMFs oscillating far below the cyclotron frequency can cause linear instabilities in the motion which break ? invariance and energize particles. Such energization may appear at odds with the adiabatic invariance of ?; however, adiabatic invariance is an asymptotic result and does not preclude such heating by magnetic fields oscillating at slow frequencies. This mechanism may contribute to heating in the edge plasma of field-reversed configurations (FRCs) in rotamak-FRC experiments. Furthermore, these RMF-driven instabilities may significantly enhance azimuthal current drive during the formation of FRCs in such devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045209
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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