A description of the status of reversed field pinch (RFP) research, as resulting from recent experiments on RFX and other devices, is presented. New physics understanding is illustrated leading to a reconsideration of critical issues in the field. For example, the role of the closely fitting shell on the magnetohydrodynamic properties of the configuration seems presently less critical while its impact on plasma-wall interaction has become clear. A novel method to overcome the problem of localized plasma-wall interaction is discussed. It relies on the use of an m = 0, n = 1 external field to induce toroidal rotation of the magnetic structure. The nonlinear nature of tearing mode interaction is highlighted in these experiments, which have clearly shown phase conjugation and harmonic generation phenomena. The possibility to interact with the dynamo mechanism, demonstrated in the experiments, opens new possibilities to improve the configuration with respect to its transport properties both reducing the amplitude of magnetic turbulence and its spectrum. The impact of sheared flow on the properties of the edge layer in a RFP is also addressed. © 1999 IOP Publishing Ltd.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics