Intrinsic rotation driven by turbulent acceleration

M. Barnes, F. I. Parra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Differential rotation is induced in tokamak plasmas when an underlying symmetry of the governing gyrokinetic-Maxwell system of equations is broken. One such symmetry-breaking mechanism is considered here: the turbulent acceleration of particles along the mean magnetic field. This effect, often referred to as the 'parallel nonlinearity', has been implemented in the δf gyrokinetic code stella and used to study the dependence of turbulent momentum transport on the plasma size and on the strength of the turbulence drive. For JET-like parameters with a wide range of driving temperature gradients, the momentum transport induced by the inclusion of turbulent acceleration is similar to or smaller than the ratio of the ion Larmor radius to the plasma minor radius. This low level of momentum transport is explained by demonstrating an additional symmetry that prohibits momentum transport when the turbulence is driven far above marginal stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025003
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Gyrokinetics
  • Intrinsic rotation
  • Momentum transport


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