Wave-particle interactions in rotating mirrors

Abraham J. Fetterman, Nathaniel J. Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Wave-particle interactions in E × B rotating plasmas feature an unusual effect: particles are diffused by waves in both potential energy and kinetic energy. This wave-particle interaction generalizes the alpha channeling effect, in which radio frequency waves are used to remove alpha particles collisionlessly at low energy. In rotating plasmas, the alpha particles may be removed at low energy through the loss cone, and the energy lost may be transferred to the radial electric field. This eliminates the need for electrodes in the mirror throat, which have presented serious technical issues in past rotating plasma devices. A particularly simple way to achieve this effect is to use a high azimuthal mode number perturbation on the magnetic field. Rotation can also be sustained by waves in plasmas without a kinetic energy source. This type of wave has been considered for plasma centrifuges used for isotope separation. Energy may also be transferred from the electric field to particles or waves, which may be useful for ion heating and energy generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055704
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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