Magnetic islands and singular currents at rational surfaces in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic equilibria

J. Loizu, S. Hudson, A. Bhattacharjee, P. Helander

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21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using the recently developed multiregion, relaxed MHD (MRxMHD) theory, which bridges the gap between Taylor's relaxation theory and ideal MHD, we provide a thorough analytical and numerical proof of the formation of singular currents at rational surfaces in non-axisymmetric ideal MHD equilibria. These include the force-free singular current density represented by a Dirac δ-function, which presumably prevents the formation of islands, and the Pfirsch-Schlüter 1/x singular current, which arises as a result of finite pressure gradient. An analytical model based on linearized MRxMHD is derived that can accurately (1) describe the formation of magnetic islands at resonant rational surfaces, (2) retrieve the ideal MHD limit where magnetic islands are shielded, and (3) compute the subsequent formation of singular currents. The analytical results are benchmarked against numerical simulations carried out with a fully nonlinear implementation of MRxMHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022501
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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