Edge topology and flows in the reversed-field pinch

G. Spizzo, M. Agostini, P. Scarin, N. Vianello, R.B. White, S. Cappello, M.E. Puiatti, M. Valisa

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Edge topology and plasma flow deeply influence transport in the reversed-field pinch as well as in all fusion devices, playing an important role in many practical aspects of plasma performance, such as access to enhanced confinement regimes, the impact on global power balance and operative limits, such as the density limit (Spizzo G. et al 2010 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 52 095011). A central role is played by the edge electric field, which is determined by the ambipolar constraint guaranteeing quasi-neutrality in a sheath next to the plasma wall. Its radial component is experimentally determined in RFX over the whole toroidal angle by means of a diagnostic set measuring edge plasma potential and flow with different techniques (Scarin P. et al 2011 Nucl. Fusion 51 073002). The measured radial electric field is used to construct the potential in the form (p, , ) (pradial coordinate, , angles), by means of the Hamiltonian guiding-centre code ORBIT. Simulations show that a proper functional form of the potential can balance the differential radial diffusion of electrons and ions subject to m=0 magnetic island O- and X-points. Electrons spend more time in the X-points of such islands than in O-points; ions have comparatively larger drifts and their radial motion is more uniform over the toroidal angle. The final spatial distribution of (p, , ) results in a complex 3D pattern, with convective cells next to the wall. Generally speaking, an edge topology dominating parallel transport with a given symmetry brings about an edge potential with the same symmetry. This fact helps us to build a first step of a unified picture of the effect of magnetic topology on the Greenwald limit, and, more generally, on flows in the edge of RFPs and tokamaks. © 2012 IAEA, Vienna.
Original languageEnglish
Article number054015
Pages (from-to)-
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Spizzo, G., Agostini, M., Scarin, P., Vianello, N., White, R. B., Cappello, S., ... Valisa, M. (2012). Edge topology and flows in the reversed-field pinch. Nuclear Fusion, 52(5), -. [054015]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0029-5515/52/5/054015