Investigation of global Alfvén instabilities in the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor

K. L. Wong, R. Durst, R. J. Fonck, S. F. Paul, D. R. Roberts, E. D. Fredrickson, R. Nazikian, H. K. Park, M. Bell, N. L. Bretz, R. Budny, C. Z. Cheng, S. Cohen, G. W. Hammett, F. C. Jobes, L. Johnson, D. M. Meade, S. S. Medley, D. Mueller, Y. NagayamaD. K. Owens, S. Sabbagh, E. J. Synakowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Toroidal Alfvén eigenmodes (TAE) were excited by the energetic neutral beam ions tangentially injected into plasmas at low magnetic field in the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) [Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion Research (IAEA, Vienna, 1987), Vol. 1, p. 51]. The injection velocities were comparable to the Alfvén speed. The modes were identified by measurements from Mirnov coils and beam emission spectroscopy (BES). TAE modes appear in bursts whose repetition rate increases with beam power. The neutron emission rate exhibits sawtoothlike behavior and the crashes always coincide with TAE bursts. This indicates ejection of fast ions from the plasma until these modes are stabilized. The dynamics of growth and stabilization were investigated at various plasma currents and magnetic fields. The results indicate that the instability can effectively clamp the number of energetic ions in the plasmas. The observed instability threshold is discussed in light of recent theories. In addition to these TAE modes, intermittent oscillations at three times the fundamental TAE frequency were observed by Mirnov coils, but no corresponding signal was found in BES. It appears that these high-frequency oscillations do not have a direct effect on the plasma neutron source strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2122-2126
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics of Fluids B
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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