Felix I. Parra

Felix I. Parra
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Felix I. Parra

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Physics - Plasma Physics (29)
Physics - Accelerator Physics (1)

Publications Authored By Felix I. Parra

Due to their capability to reduce turbulent transport in magnetized plasmas, understanding the dynamics of zonal flows is an important problem in the fusion programme. Since the pioneering work by Rosenbluth and Hinton in axisymmetric tokamaks, it is known that studying the linear and collisionless relaxation of zonal flow perturbations gives valuable information and physical insight. Recently, the problem has been investigated in stellarators and it has been found that in these devices the relaxation process exhibits a characteristic feature: a damped oscillation. Read More

Introducing up-down asymmetry into the tokamak magnetic equilibria appears to be a feasible method to drive fast intrinsic toroidal rotation in future large devices. In this paper we investigate how the intrinsic momentum transport generated by up-down asymmetric shaping scales with the mode number of the shaping effects. Making use the gyrokinetic tilting symmetry (Ball et al (2016) Plasma Phys. Read More

In general, the orbit-averaged radial magnetic drift of trapped particles in stellarators is non-zero due to the three-dimensional nature of the magnetic field. Stellarators in which the orbit-averaged radial magnetic drift vanishes are called omnigeneous, and they exhibit neoclassical transport levels comparable to those of axisymmetric tokamaks. However, the effect of deviations from omnigeneity cannot be neglected in practice. Read More

We develop a gyrokinetic treatment for ions in the magnetic presheath, close to the plasma-wall boundary. We focus on magnetic presheaths with a small magnetic field to wall angle, $\alpha \ll 1$ (in radians). Characteristic lengths perpendicular to the wall in such a magnetic presheath scale with the typical ion Larmor orbit size, $\rho_{\text{i}}$. Read More

Tokamaks with up-down asymmetric poloidal cross-sections spontaneously rotate due to turbulent transport of momentum. In this work, we investigate the effect of the Shafranov shift on this intrinsic rotation, primarily by analyzing tokamaks with tilted elliptical flux surfaces. By expanding the Grad-Shafranov equation in the large aspect ratio limit we calculate the magnitude and direction of the Shafranov shift in tilted elliptical tokamaks. Read More

Breaking the up-down symmetry of tokamaks removes a constraint limiting intrinsic momentum transport, and hence toroidal rotation, to be small. Using gyrokinetic theory, we study the effect of different up-down asymmetric flux surface shapes on the turbulent transport of momentum. This is done by perturbatively expanding the gyrokinetic equation in large flux surface shaping mode number. Read More

A poloidal tilting symmetry of the local nonlinear $\delta f$ gyrokinetic model is demonstrated analytically and verified numerically. This symmetry shows that poloidally rotating all the flux surface shaping effects with large poloidal mode number by a single tilt angle has an exponentially small effect on the transport properties of a tokamak. This is shown using a generalization of the Miller local equilibrium model to specify an arbitrary flux surface geometry. Read More

Intrinsic toroidal rotation in a tokamak can be driven by turbulent momentum transport due to neoclassical flow effects breaking a symmetry of turbulence. In this paper we categorize the contributions due to neoclassical effects to the turbulent momentum transport, and evaluate each contribution using gyrokinetic simulations. We find that the relative importance of each contribution changes with collisionality. Read More

The radial flux of toroidal angular momentum is needed to determine tokamak intrinsic rotation profiles. Its computation requires knowledge of the gyrokinetic distribution functions and turbulent electrostatic potential to second-order in $\epsilon = \rho/L$, where $\rho$ is the ion Larmor radius and $L$ is the variation length of the magnetic field. In this article, a complete set of equations to calculate the radial transport of toroidal angular momentum in any tokamak is presented. Read More

A stellarator is said to be omnigeneous if all particles have vanishing average radial drifts. In omnigeneous stellarators, particles are perfectly confined in the absence of turbulence and collisions, whereas in non-omnigeneous configurations, particle can drift large radial distances. One of the consequences of omnigeneity is that the unfavorable inverse scaling with collisionality of the stellarator neoclassical fluxes disappears. Read More

A set of flux tube gyrokinetic equations that includes the effect of the spatial variation of the density, temperature and rotation gradients on the turbulence is derived. This new set of equations uses periodic boundary conditions. In the limit $l_\bot/L \ll 1$, where $l_\bot$ is the characteristic perpendicular length of turbulent structures and $L$ is the characteristic size of the device, this new set of flux tube gyrokinetic equations is shown to be equivalent to the traditional global $\delta f$ gyrokinetic equations to an order higher in $l_\bot/L$ than the usual flux tube formulations. Read More

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. Read More

Quasisymmetric stellarators are a type of optimized stellarators for which flows are undamped to lowest order in an expansion in the normalized Larmor radius. However, perfect quasisymmetry is impossible. Since large flows may be desirable as a means to reduce turbulent transport, it is important to know when a stellarator can be considered to be sufficiently close to quasisymmetry. Read More

Self-consistent equations for intrinsic rotation in tokamaks with small poloidal magnetic field $B_p$ compared to the total magnetic field $B$ are derived. The model gives the momentum redistribution due to turbulence, collisional transport and energy injection. Intrinsic rotation is determined by the balance between the momentum redistribution and the turbulent diffusion and convection. Read More

Plasma flow is damped in stellarators because they are not intrinsically ambipolar, unlike tokamaks, in which the flux-surface averaged radial electric current vanishes for any value of the radial electric field. Only quasisymmetric stellarators are intrinsically ambipolar, but exact quasisymmetry is impossible to achieve in non-axisymmetric toroidal configurations. By calculating the violation of intrinsic ambipolarity due to deviations from quasisymmetry, one can derive criteria to assess when a stellarator can be considered quasisymmetric in practice, i. Read More

A generic non-symmetric magnetic field does not confine magnetized charged particles for long times due to secular magnetic drifts. Stellarator magnetic fields should be omnigeneous (that is, designed such that the secular drifts vanish), but perfect omnigeneity is technically impossible. There always are small deviations from omnigeneity that necessarily have large gradients. Read More

Recent work demonstrated that breaking the up-down symmetry of tokamak flux surfaces removes a constraint that limits intrinsic momentum transport, and hence toroidal rotation, to be small. We show, through MHD analysis, that ellipticity is most effective at introducing up-down asymmetry throughout the plasma. We detail an extension to GS2, a local $\delta f$ gyrokinetic code that self-consistently calculates momentum transport, to permit up-down asymmetric configurations. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

The induced electric field in a tokamak drives a parallel electron current flow. In an inhomogeneous, finite beta plasma, when this electron flow is comparable to the ion thermal speed, the Alfven mode wave solutions of the electromagnetic gyrokinetic equation can become nearly purely growing kink modes. Using the new "low-flow" version of the gyrokinetic code GS2 developed for momentum transport studies [Barnes et al 2013 Phys. Read More

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. Read More

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 $\mathbf{B}_0$. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

Recently, the electrostatic gyrokinetic Hamiltonian and change of coordinates have been computed to order $\epsilon^2$ in general magnetic geometry. Here $\epsilon$ is the gyrokinetic expansion parameter, the gyroradius over the macroscopic scale length. Starting from these results, the long-wavelength limit of the gyrokinetic Fokker-Planck and quasineutrality equations is taken for tokamak geometry. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

Two symmetries of the local nonlinear delta-f gyrokinetic system of equations in tokamaks in the high flow regime are presented. The turbulent transport of toroidal angular momentum changes sign under an up-down reflection of the tokamak and a sign change of both the rotation and the rotation shear. Thus, the turbulent transport of toroidal angular momentum must vanish for up-down symmetric tokamaks in the absence of both rotation and rotation shear. Read More

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. Read More