When omnigeneity fails

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. The amplification of the energy flux caused by a deviation of size $\epsilon$ is calculated and it is shown that the scaling with $\epsilon$ of the amplification factor can be as large as linear. In opposition to common wisdom, most of the transport is not due to particles trapped in ripple wells, but to the perturbed motion of particles trapped in the omnigeneous magnetic wells around their bounce points.

Comments: 6 pages, 2 figures

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