Theory for neoclassical toroidal plasma viscosity in tokamaks

K. C. Shaing, M. S. Chu, C. T. Hsu, S. A. Sabbagh, Jae Chun Seol, Y. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Error fields and magnetohydrodynamic modes break toroidal symmetry in tokamaks. The broken symmetry enhances the toroidal plasma viscosity, which results in a steady-state toroidal plasma flow. A theory for neoclassical toroidal plasma viscosity in the low-collisionality regimes is developed. It extends stellarator transport theory to include multiple modes and to allow for |m - nq| ∼ 1. Here, m is the poloidal mode number, n is the toroidal mode number and q is the safety factor. The bounce averaged drift kinetic equation is solved in several asymptotic limits to obtain transport fluxes. These fluxes depend non-linearly on the radial electric field except for those in the 1/ regime. Here, is the collision frequency. The theory is refined to include the effects of the superbanana plateau resonance at the phase space boundary and the finite ∇B drift on the collisional boundary layer fluxes. Analytical expressions that connect all asymptotic limits are constructed and are in good agreement with the numerical results. The flux-force relations that relate transport fluxes to forces are used to illustrate the roles of transport fluxes in the momentum equation. It is shown that the ambipolar state is reached when the momentum equation is relaxed. It is also shown that the origin of the momentum for plasma flow generated without momentum sources is the local unbalance of particles' momenta and is diamagnetic in nature regardless of the details of the theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124033
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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