Dedicated experiments in the DIII-D tokamak [J. L. Luxon, Nucl. Fusion, 42, 614 (2002)], the Joint European Torus (JET) [P. H. Rebut, R. J. Bickerton, and B. E. Keen, Nucl. Fusion 25, 1011 (1985)], and the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) [M. Ono, S. M. Kaye, Y.-K. M. Peng, Nucl. Fusion 40, 557 (2000)] reveal the commonalities of resistive wall mode (RWM) stabilization by sufficiently fast toroidal plasma rotation in devices of different size and aspect ratio. In each device the weakly damped n=1 RWM manifests itself by resonant field amplification (RFA) of externally applied n=1 magnetic fields, which increases with the plasma pressure. Probing DIII-D and JET plasmas with similar ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) stability properties with externally applied magnetic n=1 fields, shows that the resulting RFA is independent of the machine size. In each device the drag resulting from RFA slows the toroidal plasma rotation and can lead to the onset of an unstable RWM. The critical plasma rotation required for stable operation in the plasma center decreases with increasing q95, which is explained by the inward shift of q surfaces where the critical rotation remains constant. The quantitative agreement of the critical rotation normalized to the inverse Alfván time at the q=2 surface in similar DIII-D and JET plasmas supports the independence of the RWM stabilization mechanism of machine size and indicates the importance of the q=2 surface. At low aspect ratio the required fraction of the Alfván velocity increases significantly. The ratio of the critical rotation in similar NSTX and DIII-D plasmas can be explained by trapped particles not contributing to the RWM stabilization, which is consistent with stabilization mechanisms that are based on ion Landau damping. Alternatively, the ratio of the required rotation to the sound wave velocity remains independent of aspect ratio.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics