The interaction between a lower hybrid wave and a fusion alpha particle displaces the alpha particle simultaneously in space and energy. This results in coupled diffusion. Diffusion of alphas down the density gradient could lead to their transferring energy to the wave. This could, in turn, put energy into current drive. An initial analytic study was done by Fisch and Rax. Here we calculate numerical solutions for the alpha energy transfer and study a range of conditions that are favourable for wave amplification from alpha energy. We find that it is possible for fusion alpha particles to transfer a large fraction of their energy to the lower hybrid wave. The numerical calculation shows that the net energy transfer is not sensitive to the value of the diffusion coefficient over a wide range of practical values. An extension of this idea, the use of a lossy boundary to enhance the energy transfer, is investigated. This technique is shown to offer a large potential benefit.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics