Publications by Felix Parra Diaz

Dependence on ion temperature of shallow-angle magnetic presheaths with adiabatic electrons

Journal of Plasma Physics (0)

A Geraldini, FI Parra, F Militello

The magnetic presheath is a boundary layer occurring when magnetized plasma is in contact with a wall and the angle $\alpha$ between the wall and the magnetic field $\vec{B}$ is oblique. Here, we consider the fusion-relevant case of a shallow-angle, $\alpha \ll 1$, electron-repelling sheath, with the electron density given by a Boltzmann distribution, valid for $\alpha / \sqrt{\tau+1} \gg \sqrt{m_{\text{e}}/m_{\text{i}}}$, where $m_{\text{e}}$ is the electron mass, $m_{\text{i}}$ is the ion mass, $\tau = T_{\text{i}}/ZT_{\text{e}}$, $T_{\text{e}}$ is the electron temperature, $T_{\text{i}}$ is the ion temperature, and $Z$ is the ionic charge state. The thickness of the magnetic presheath is of the order of a few ion sound Larmor radii $\rho_{\text{s}} = \sqrt{m_{\text{i}} \left(ZT_{\text{e}} + T_{\text{i}} \right) } / ZeB$, where $e$ is the proton charge and $B = |\vec{B}|$ is the magnitude of the magnetic field. We study the dependence on $\tau $ of the electrostatic potential and ion distribution function in the magnetic presheath by using a set of prescribed ion distribution functions at the magnetic presheath entrance, parameterized by $\tau$. The kinetic model is shown to be asymptotically equivalent to Chodura's fluid model at small ion temperature, $\tau \ll 1$, for $|\ln \alpha| > 3|\ln \tau | \gg 1$. In this limit, despite the fact that fluid equations give a reasonable approximation to the potential, ion gyro-orbits acquire a spatial extent that occupies a large portion of the magnetic presheath. At large ion temperature, $\tau \gg 1$, relevant because $T_{\text{i}}$ is measured to be a few times larger than $T_{\text{e}}$ near divertor targets of fusion devices, ions reach the Debye sheath entrance (and subsequently the wall) at a shallow angle whose size is given by $\sqrt{\alpha}$ or $1/\sqrt{\tau}$, depending on which is largest.

Collisionality scaling of the electron heat flux in ETG turbulence

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion IOP Publishing: Hybrid Open Access (0)

GJ Colyer, AA Schekochihin, FI Parra, CM Roach, MA Barnes, Y-C Ghim, W Dorland

In electrostatic simulations of MAST plasma at electron-gyroradius scales, using the local flux-tube gyrokinetic code GS2 with adiabatic ions, we find that the long-time saturated electron heat flux (the level most relevant to energy transport) decreases as the electron collisionality decreases. At early simulation times, the heat flux "quasi-saturates" without any strong dependence on collisionality, and with the turbulence dominated by streamer-like radially elongated structures. However, the zonal fluctuation component continues to grow slowly until much later times, eventually leading to a new saturated state dominated by zonal modes and with the heat flux proportional to the collision rate, in approximate agreement with the experimentally observed collisionality scaling of the energy confinement in MAST. We outline an explanation of this effect based on a model of ETG turbulence dominated by zonal-nonzonal interactions and on an analytically derived scaling of the zonal-mode damping rate with the electron-ion collisionality. Improved energy confinement with decreasing collisionality is favourable towards the performance of future, hotter devices.

Radial penetration of flux surface shaping in tokamaks

ArXiv (0)

J Ball, FI Parra

Using analytic calculations, the effects of the edge flux surface shape and the toroidal current profile on the penetration of flux surface shaping are investigated in a tokamak. It is shown that the penetration of shaping is determined by the poloidal variation of the poloidal magnetic field on the surface. This fact is used to investigate how different flux surface shapes penetrate from the edge. Then, a technique to separate the effects of magnetic pressure and tension in the Grad-Shafranov equation is presented and used to calculate radial profiles of strong elongation for nearly constant current profiles. Lastly, it is shown that more hollow toroidal current profiles are significantly better at conveying shaping from the edge to the core.

Conditions for up-down asymmetry in the core of tokamak equilibria

ArXiv (0)

P Rodrigues, NF Loureiro, J Ball, FI Parra

A local magnetic equilibrium solution is sought around the magnetic axis in order to identify the key parameters defining the magnetic-surface's up-down asymmetry in the core of tokamak plasmas. The asymmetry is found to be determined essentially by the ratio of the toroidal current density flowing on axis to the fraction of the external field's odd perturbation that manages to propagate from the plasma boundary into the core. The predictions are tested and illustrated first with an analytical Solovev equilibrium and then using experimentally relevant numerical equilibria. Hollow current-density distributions, and hence reverse magnetic shear, are seen to be crucial to bring into the core asymmetry values that are usually found only near the plasma edge.

Radially global $δf$ computation of neoclassical phenomena in a tokamak pedestal

ArXiv (0)

M Landreman, FI Parra, PJ Catto, DR Ernst, I Pusztai

Conventional radially-local neoclassical calculations become inadequate if the radial gradient scale lengths of the H-mode pedestal become as small as the poloidal ion gyroradius. Here, we describe a radially global $\delta f$ continuum code that generalizes neoclassical calculations to allow stronger gradients. As with conventional neoclassical calculations, the formulation is time-independent and requires only the solution of a single sparse linear system. We demonstrate precise agreement with an asymptotic analytic solution of the radially global kinetic equation in the appropriate limits of aspect ratio and collisionality. This agreement depends crucially on accurate treatment of finite orbit width effects.

Turbulent momentum pinch of diamagnetic flows in a tokamak

ArXiv (0)

J Lee, FI Parra, M Barnes

The ion toroidal rotation in a tokamak consists of an $E\times B$ flow due to the radial electric field and a diamagnetic flow due to the radial pressure gradient. The turbulent pinch of toroidal angular momentum due to the Coriolis force studied in previous work is only applicable to the $E\times B$ flow. In this Letter, the momentum pinch for the rotation generated by the radial pressure gradient is calculated and is compared with the Coriolis pinch. This distinction is important for subsonic flows or the flow in the pedestal where the two types of flows are similar in size and opposite in direction. In the edge, the different pinches due to the opposite rotations can result in intrinsic momentum transport that gives significant rotation peaking.

Stellarators close to quasisymmetry

ArXiv (0)

I Calvo, FI Parra, JL Velasco, JA Alonso

Rotation is favorable for confinement, but a stellarator can rotate at high speeds if and only if it is sufficiently close to quasisymmetry. This article investigates how close it needs to be. For a magnetic field $\mathbf{B} = \mathbf{B}_0 + \alpha \mathbf{B}_1$, where $\mathbf{B}_0$ is quasisymmetric, $\alpha\mathbf{B}_1$ is a deviation from quasisymmetry, and $\alpha\ll 1$, the stellarator can rotate at high velocities if $\alpha < \epsilon^{1/2}$, with $\epsilon$ the ion Larmor radius over the characteristic variation length of $\mathbf{B}_0$. The cases in which this result may break down are discussed. If the stellarator is sufficiently quasisymmetric in the above sense, the rotation profile, and equivalently, the long-wavelength radial electric field, are not set neoclassically; instead, they can be affected by turbulent transport. Their computation requires the $O(\epsilon^2)$ pieces of both the turbulent and the long-wavelength components of the distribution function. This article contains the first step towards a formulation to calculate the rotation profile by providing the equations determining the long-wavelength components of the $O(\epsilon^2)$ pieces.

Extension of gyrokinetics to transport time scales

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra

Gyrokinetic simulations have greatly improved our theoretical understanding of turbulent transport in fusion devices. Most gyrokinetic models in use are delta-f simulations in which the slowly varying radial profiles of density and temperature are assumed to be constant for turbulence saturation times, and only the turbulent electromagnetic fluctuations are calculated. New massive simulations are being built to self-consistently determine the radial profiles of density and temperature. However, these new codes have failed to realize that modern gyrokinetic formulations, composed of a gyrokinetic Fokker-Planck equation and a gyrokinetic quasineutrality equation, are only valid for delta-f simulations that do not reach the longer transport time scales necessary to evolve radial profiles. In tokamaks, due to axisymmetry, the evolution of the axisymmetric radial electric field is a challenging problem requiring substantial modifications to gyrokinetic treatments. In this thesis, I study the effect of turbulence on the global electric field and plasma flows. By studying the current conservation equation, or vorticity equation, I prove that the long wavelength, axisymmetric flow must remain neoclassical and I show that the tokamak is intrinsically ambipolar, i.e., the radial current is zero to a very high order for any long wavelength radial electric field. Intrinsic ambipolarity is the origin of the problems with the modern gyrokinetic approach since the lower order gyrokinetic quasineutrality (if properly evaluated) is effectively independent of the radial electric field. I propose a new gyrokinetic formalism to solve for the global radial electric field.

Intrinsic rotation driven by non-Maxwellian equilibria in tokamak plasmas

ArXiv (0)

M Barnes, FI Parra, JP Lee, EA Belli, MFF Nave, AE White

The effect of small deviations from a Maxwellian equilibrium on turbulent momentum transport in tokamak plasmas is considered. These non-Maxwellian features, arising from diamagnetic effects, introduce a strong dependence of the radial flux of co-current toroidal angular momentum on collisionality: As the plasma goes from nearly collisionless to weakly collisional, the flux reverses direction from radially inward to outward. This indicates a collisionality-dependent transition from peaked to hollow rotation profiles, consistent with experimental observations of intrinsic rotation.

Experimental Signatures of Critically Balanced Turbulence in MAST

ArXiv (0)

Y-C Ghim, AA Schekochihin, AR Field, IG Abel, M Barnes, G Colyer, SC Cowley, FI Parra, D Dunai, S Zoletnik, TMAST Team

Beam Emission Spectroscopy (BES) measurements of ion-scale density fluctuations in the MAST tokamak are used to show that the turbulence correlation time, the drift time associated with ion temperature or density gradients, the particle (ion) streaming time along the magnetic field and the magnetic drift time are consistently comparable, suggesting a "critically balanced" turbulence determined by the local equilibrium. The resulting scalings of the poloidal and radial correlation lengths are derived and tested. The nonlinear time inferred from the density fluctuations is longer than the other times; its ratio to the correlation time scales as $\nu_{*i}^{-0.8\pm0.1}$, where $\nu_{*i}=$ ion collision rate/streaming rate. This is consistent with turbulent decorrelation being controlled by a zonal component, invisible to the BES, with an amplitude exceeding the drift waves' by $\sim \nu_{*i}^{-0.8}$.

Analytic fluid theory of beam spiraling in high-intensity cyclotrons

ArXiv (0)

AJ Cerfon, JP Freidberg, FI Parra, TA Antaya

Using a two-dimensional fluid description, we investigate the nonlinear radial-longitudinal dynamics of intense beams in storage rings and cyclotrons. With a multiscale analysis separating the time scale associated with the betatron motion and the slower time scale associated with space-charge effects, we show that the longitudinal-radial vortex motion can be understood in the frame moving with the charged beam as the nonlinear advection of the beam by the $\mathbf{E}\times\mathbf{B}$ velocity field, where $\mathbf{E}$ is the electric field due to the space charge and $\mathbf{B}$ is the external magnetic field. This interpretation provides simple explanations for the stability of round beams and for the development of spiral halos in elongated beams. By numerically solving the nonlinear advection equation for the beam density, we find that it is also in quantitative agreement with results obtained in PIC simulations.

Zero-Turbulence Manifold in a Toroidal Plasma

ArXiv (0)

EG Highcock, AA Schekochihin, SC Cowley, M Barnes, FI Parra, CM Roach, W Dorland

Sheared toroidal flows can cause bifurcations to zero-turbulent-transport states in tokamak plasmas. The maximum temperature gradients that can be reached are limited by subcritical turbulence driven by the parallel velocity gradient. Here it is shown that q/\epsilon (magnetic field pitch/inverse aspect ratio) is a critical control parameter for sheared tokamak turbulence. By reducing q/\epsilon, far higher temperature gradients can be achieved without triggering turbulence, in some instances comparable to those found experimentally in transport barriers. The zero-turbulence manifold is mapped out, in the zero-magnetic-shear limit, over the parameter space (\gamma_E, q/\epsilon, R/L_T), where \gamma_E is the perpendicular flow shear and R/L_T is the normalised inverse temperature gradient scale. The extent to which it can be constructed from linear theory is discussed.

Perpendicular momentum injection by lower hybrid wave in a tokamak

ArXiv (0)

J Lee, FI Parra, RR Parker, PT Bonoli

The injection of lower hybrid waves for current drive into a tokamak affects the profile of intrinsic rotation. In this article, the momentum deposition by the lower hybrid wave on the electrons is studied. Due to the increase in the poloidal momentum of the wave as it propagates into the tokamak, the parallel momentum of the wave increases considerably. The change of the perpendicular momentum of the wave is such that the toroidal angular momentum of the wave is conserved. If the perpendicular momentum transfer via electron Landau damping is ignored, the transfer of the toroidal angular momentum to the plasma will be larger than the injected toroidal angular momentum. A proper quasilinear treatment proves that both perpendicular and parallel momentum are transferred to the electrons. The toroidal angular momentum of the electrons is then transferred to the ions via different mechanisms for the parallel and perpendicular momentum. The perpendicular momentum is transferred to ions through an outward radial electron pinch, while the parallel momentum is transferred through collisions.

Turbulent transport and heating of trace heavy ions in hot, magnetized plasmas

ArXiv (0)

M Barnes, FI Parra, W Dorland

Scaling laws for the transport and heating of trace heavy ions in low-frequency, magnetized plasma turbulence are derived and compared with direct numerical simulations. The predicted dependences of turbulent fluxes and heating on ion charge and mass number are found to agree with numerical results for both stationary and differentially rotating plasmas. Heavy ion momentum transport is found to increase with mass, and heavy ions are found to be preferentially heated, implying a mass-dependent ion temperature for very weakly collisional plasmas and for partially-ionized heavy ions in strongly rotating plasmas.

Intrinsic rotation with gyrokinetic models

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, M Barnes, I Calvo, PJ Catto

The generation of intrinsic rotation by turbulence and neoclassical effects in tokamaks is considered. To obtain the complex dependences observed in experiments, it is necessary to have a model of the radial flux of momentum that redistributes the momentum within the tokamak in the absence of a preexisting velocity. When the lowest order gyrokinetic formulation is used, a symmetry of the model precludes this possibility, making small effects in the gyroradius over scale length expansion necessary. These effects that are usually small become important for momentum transport because the symmetry of the lowest order gyrokinetic formulation leads to the cancellation of the lowest order momentum flux. The accuracy to which the gyrokinetic equation needs to be obtained to retain all the physically relevant effects is discussed.

Scaling of spontaneous rotation with temperature and plasma current in tokamaks

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, MFF Nave, AA Schekochihin, C Giroud, JSD Grassie, JHF Severo, PD Vries, K-D Zastrow, JET-EFDA Contributors

Using theoretical arguments, a simple scaling law for the size of the intrinsic rotation observed in tokamaks in the absence of momentum injection is found: the velocity generated in the core of a tokamak must be proportional to the ion temperature difference in the core divided by the plasma current, independent of the size of the device. The constant of proportionality is of the order of $10\,\mathrm{km \cdot s^{-1} \cdot MA \cdot keV^{-1}}$. When the intrinsic rotation profile is hollow, i.e. it is counter-current in the core of the tokamak and co-current in the edge, the scaling law presented in this Letter fits the data remarkably well for several tokamaks of vastly different size and heated by different mechanisms.

Transport Bifurcation Induced by Sheared Toroidal Flow in Tokamak Plasmas

ArXiv (0)

EG Highcock, M Barnes, FI Parra, AA Schekochihin, CM Roach, SC Cowley

First-principles numerical simulations are used to describe a transport bifurcation in a differentially rotating tokamak plasma. Such a bifurcation is more probable in a region of zero magnetic shear than one of finite magnetic shear because in the former case the component of the sheared toroidal flow that is perpendicular to the magnetic field has the strongest suppressing effect on the turbulence. In the zero-magnetic-shear regime, there are no growing linear eigenmodes at any finite value of flow shear. However, subcritical turbulence can be sustained, owing to the transient growth of modes driven by the ion temperature gradient (ITG) and the parallel velocity gradient (PVG). Nonetheless, in a parameter space containing a wide range of temperature gradients and velocity shears, there is a sizeable window where all turbulence is suppressed. Combined with the relatively low transport of momentum by collisional (neoclassical) mechanisms, this produces the conditions for a bifurcation from low to high temperature and velocity gradients. The path of this bifurcation is mapped out using interpolation from a large number of simulations. Numerical simulations are also used to construct a parametric model which accurately describes the combined effect of the temperature gradient and the flow gradient over a wide range of their values. Using this parametric model, it is shown that in this reduced-transport state, heat is transported almost neoclassically, while momentum transport is dominated by subcritical PVG turbulence. It is further shown that for any given input of torque, there is an optimum input of heat which maximises the temperature gradient. The parametric model describes both the behaviour of the subcritical turbulence and the complicated effect of the flow shear on the transport stiffness. It may prove useful for transport modelling of tokamaks with sheared flows.

Sources of intrinsic rotation in the low flow ordering

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, M Barnes, PJ Catto

A low flow, $\delta f$ gyrokinetic formulation to obtain the intrinsic rotation profiles is presented. The momentum conservation equation in the low flow ordering contains new terms, neglected in previous first principles formulations, that may explain the intrinsic rotation observed in tokamaks in the absence of external sources of momentum. The intrinsic rotation profile depends on the density and temperature profiles and on the up-down asymmetry.

Phase-space Lagrangian derivation of electrostatic gyrokinetics in general geometry

ArXiv (0)

FI Parra, I Calvo

Gyrokinetic theory is based on an asymptotic expansion in the small parameter $\epsilon$, defined as the ratio of the gyroradius and the characteristic length of variation of the magnetic field. In this article, this ordering is strictly implemented to compute the electrostatic gyrokinetic phase-space Lagrangian in general magnetic geometry to order $\epsilon^2$. In particular, a new expression for the complete second-order gyrokinetic Hamiltonian is provided, showing that in a rigorous treatment of gyrokinetic theory magnetic geometry and turbulence cannot be dealt with independently. The new phase-space gyrokinetic Lagrangian gives a Vlasov equation accurate to order $\epsilon^2$ and a Poisson equation accurate to order $\epsilon$. The final expressions are explicit and can be implemented into any simulation without further computations.

Scaling of up-down asymmetric turbulent momentum flux with poloidal shaping mode number in tokamaks

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion IOP Publishing: Hybrid Open Access (0)

JR Ball, F Parra Diaz