An enormous wave-particle diffusion coefficient along paths suitable for alpha channeling had been deduced in mode-converted ion Bernstein wave experiments on the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR). The only plausible explanation advanced for such a large diffusion coefficient was the excitation of internal cavity modes which induce particle diffusion along identical diffusion paths, but at much higher rates. Although such a mode was conjectured, it was never observed. However, recent detailed observations of high frequency compressional Alfvén eigenmodes (CAEs) on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) indirectly support the existence of the related conjectured modes on TFTR. The eigenmodes responsible for the high frequency magnetic activity can be identified as CAEs through the polarization of the observed magnetic field oscillations in NSTX and through a comparison with the theoretically derived frequency dispersion relation. Here, we show how these recent observations of high frequency CAEs lend support to this explanation of the long-standing puzzle of anomalous fast ion energy diffusion on TFTR. The support of the conjecture that these internal modes could have caused the remarkable ion energy diffusion on TFTR carries significant and favorable implications for the possibilities in achieving the alpha channeling effect with small injected power in a tokamak reactor.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics