Shear flow and drift wave turbulence dynamics in a cylindrical plasma device

Yan, Z.; Tynan, G. R.; Holland, C.; Xu, M.; Müller, S. H.; Yu, J. H.
March 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Mar2010, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p032302
Academic Journal
The experimental observations of the dynamics of the coupled drift wave turbulence (DWT)/sheared zonal flow (ZF) system in a cylindrical plasma device using a combination of Langmuir probe and fast-framing imaging measurements are reported. The results show the presence of an azimuthal ZF that exhibits low frequency (∼250 Hz) fluctuations. The envelope of the higher frequency (above 5 kHz) floating potential fluctuations associated with the DWT, the density gradient, and the turbulent radial particle flux are all modulated out of phase with the strength of the ZF. The divergence of the turbulent Reynolds stress is also modulated at the same slow time scale in a phase-coherent manner consistent with a turbulent-driven shear flow sustained against the collisional and viscous damping. The radial turbulence correlation length and cross-field particle transport are reduced during periods of strong flow shear. The results are qualitatively consistent with theoretical expectations for coupled DWT-ZF dynamics.


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