Saturation of Alfvén modes in tokamak plasmas investigated by Hamiltonian mapping techniques

S. Briguglio, M. Schneller, X. Wang, C. Di Troia, T. Hayward-Schneider, V. Fusco, G. Vlad, G. Fogaccia

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Nonlinear dynamics of single toroidal number Alfvén eigenmodes destabilised by the the resonant interaction with fast ions is investigated, in tokamak equilibria, by means of Hamiltonian mapping techniques. The results obtained by two different simulation codes, XHMGC and HAGIS, are presented for n = 2 Beta induced Alfvén eigenmodes and, respectively n = 6 toroidal Alfvén eigenmodes. Simulations of the bump-on-tail instability performed by a 1-dimensional code, PIC1DP, are also analysed for comparison. As a general feature, modes saturate as the resonant-particle distribution function is flattened over the whole region where mode-particle power transfer can take place in the linear phase. Such region is limited by the narrowest of resonance width and mode width. In the former case, mode amplitude at saturation exhibits a quadratic scaling with the linear growth rate; in the latter case, the scaling is linear. These results are explained in terms of the approximate analytic solution of a nonlinear pendulum model. They are also used to prove that the radial width of the single poloidal harmonic sets an upper limit to the radial displacement of circulating fast ions produced by a single-toroidal-number gap mode in the large n limit, irrespectively of the possible existence of a large global mode structure formed by many harmonics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number072001
Pages (from-to)-
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Briguglio, S., Schneller, M., Wang, X., Di Troia, C., Hayward-Schneider, T., Fusco, V., Vlad, G., & Fogaccia, G. (2017). Saturation of Alfvén modes in tokamak plasmas investigated by Hamiltonian mapping techniques. Nuclear Fusion, 57(7), -. [072001].