Shear Alfv́n wave continuous spectrum within magnetic islands

Alessandro Biancalani, Liu Chen, Francesco Pegoraro, Fulvio Zonca

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The radial structure of the continuous spectrum of shear Alfv́n waves is calculated in this paper within the separatrix of a magnetic island. Geometrical effects due to the noncircularity of the flux surface's cross section are retained to all orders. On the other hand, only curvature effects responsible for the beta-induced gap in the low-frequency part of the continuous spectrum are kept. Modes with different helicity from that of the magnetic island are considered. The main result is that, inside a magnetic island, there is a continuous spectrum very similar to that of tokamak plasmas, where a generalized safety factor q can be defined and where a wide frequency gap is formed, analogous to the ellipticity induced Alfv́n eigenmode gap in tokamaks. The presence of this gap is due to the strong eccentricity of the island cross section. The importance of the existence of such a gap is recognized in potentially hosting magnetic island induced Alfv́n eigenmodes (MiAE). Due to the frequency dependence of the shear Alfv́n wave continuum on the magnetic island size, the possibility of utilizing MiAE frequency scalings as a novel magnetic island diagnostic is also discussed. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122106
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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