S. L. Newton

S. L. Newton
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S. L. Newton

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Physics - Plasma Physics (11)

Publications Authored By S. L. Newton

We analyze the dynamics of fast electrons in plasmas containing partially ionized impurity atoms, where the screening effect of bound electrons must be included. We derive analytical expressions for the deflection and slowing-down frequencies, and show that they are increased significantly compared to the results obtained with complete screening, already at sub-relativistic electron energies. Furthermore, we show that the modifications to the deflection and slowing down frequencies are of equal importance in describing the runaway current evolution. Read More

Affiliations: 1Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, 2Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, 3Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, 4Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik

A potential threat to the performance of magnetically confined fusion plasmas is the problem of impurity accumulation, which causes the concentration of highly charged impurity ions to rise uncontrollably in the center of the plasma and spoil the energy confinement by excessive radiation. It has long been thought that the collisional transport of impurities in stellarators always leads to such accumulation (if the electric field points inwards, which is usually the case), whereas tokamaks, being axisymmetric, can benefit from "temperature screening", i.e. Read More

The bootstrap current and flow velocity of a low-collisionality stellarator plasma are calculated. As far as possible, the analysis is carried out in a uniform way across all low-collisionality regimes in general stellarator geometry, assuming only that the confinement is good enough that the plasma is approximately in local thermodynamic equilibrium. It is found that conventional expressions for the ion flow speed and bootstrap current in the low-collisionality limit are accurate only in the $1/\nu$-collisionality regime and need to be modified in the $\sqrt{\nu}$-regime. Read More

Due to their high cross field mobility, neutral atoms can have a strong effect on transport even at the low relative densities found inside the separatrix. We use a charge-exchange dominated model for the neutrals, coupled to neoclassical ions, to calculate momentum transport when it is dominated by the neutrals. We can then calculate self-consistently the radial electric field and predict the intrinsic rotation in an otherwise torque-free plasma. Read More

Due to their high cross-field mobility, neutrals can contribute to momentum transport even at the low relative densities found inside the separatrix and they can generate intrinsic rotation. We use a charge-exchange dominated solution to the neutral kinetic equation, coupled to neoclassical ions, to evaluate the momentum transport due to neutrals. Numerical solutions to the drift-kinetic equation allow us to cover the full range of collisionality, including the intermediate levels typical of the tokamak edge. Read More

In tokamak transport barriers, the radial scale of profile variations can be comparable to a typical ion orbit width, which makes the coupling of the distribution function across flux surfaces important in the collisional dynamics. We use the radially global steady-state neoclassical {\delta}f code Perfect to calculate poloidal and toroidal flows, and radial fluxes, in the pedestal. In particular, we have studied the changes in these quantities as the plasma composition is changed from a deuterium bulk species with a helium impurity to a helium bulk with a deuterium impurity, under specific profile similarity assumptions. Read More

Bremsstrahlung radiation is an important energy loss mechanism for energetic electrons in plasmas. In this paper we investigate the effect of bremsstrahlung radiation reaction on the electron distribution in 2D momentum space. We show that the emission of bremsstrahlung radiation leads to non-monotonic features in the electron distribution function and describe how the simultaneous inclusion of synchrotron and bremsstrahlung radiation losses affects the dynamics of fast electrons. Read More

Ions accelerated by electric fields (so-called runaway ions) in plasmas may explain observations in solar flares and fusion experiments, however limitations of previous analytic work have prevented definite conclusions. In this work we describe a numerical solver of the 2D non-relativistic linearized Fokker-Planck equation for ions. It solves the initial value problem in velocity space with a spectral-Eulerian discretization scheme, allowing arbitrary plasma composition and time-varying electric fields and background plasma parameters. Read More

Runaway particles can be produced in plasmas with large electric fields. Here we address the possibility that such runaway ions and electrons excite Alfv\'enic instabilities. The magnetic perturbation induced by these modes can enhance the loss of runaways. Read More

We have extended our study of the competition between the drive and stabilization of plasma microinstabilities by sheared flow to include electromagnetic effects at low plasma $\beta$ (the ratio of plasma to magnetic pressure). The extended system of characteristic equations is formulated, for a dissipative fluid model developed from the gyrokinetic equation, using a twisting mode representation in sheared slab geometry and focusing on the ion temperature gradient mode. Perpendicular flow shear convects perturbations along the field at the speed we denote as $Mc_s$ (where $c_s$ is the sound speed). Read More

The competition between the drive and stabilization of plasma microinstabilities by sheared flow is investigated, focusing on the ion temperature gradient mode. Using a twisting mode representation in sheared slab geometry, the characteristic equations have been formulated for a dissipative fluid model, developed rigorously from the gyrokinetic equation. They clearly show that perpendicular flow shear convects perturbations along the field at a speed we denote by $Mc_s$ (where $c_s$ is the sound speed), whilst parallel flow shear enters as an instability driving term analogous to the usual temperature and density gradient effects. Read More