Helicity, relaxation, and dynamo in a laboratory plasma

S. C. Prager

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The toroidal laboratory plasma known as the reversed field pinch (RFP) is understood through magnetohydrodynamics to undergo an approximately helicity-conserving relaxation to a state which is near a minimum energy “Taylor state.” Experimental observation is consistent with this view. Measurements of the MHD dynamo (the alpha effect), obtained through various experimental measurements or inferences of the fluctuating plasma flow velocity, indicate that the MHD dynamo is active. Additional dynamo effects beyond the standard MHD model, such as pressure-driven or kinetic effects, are also under study experimentally, with some experimental support. However, the standard MHD model has motivated control experiments in which external adjustment of the mean fields leads to reduction in the fluctuation-induced relaxation and dynamo activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMagnetic Helicity in Space and Laboratory Plasmas, 1999
EditorsRichard C. Canfield, Alexei A. Pevtsov, Michael R. Brown
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781118664476
ISBN (Print)9780875900940
StatePublished - 1999

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
ISSN (Print)0065-8448
ISSN (Electronic)2328-8779

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics


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