Observation of a nonaxisymmetric magnetohydrodynamic self-organized state

Cothran, C. D.; Brown, M. R.; Gray, T.; Schaffer, M. J.; Marklin, G.; Lukin, V. S.
May 2010
Physics of Plasmas;May2010, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p055705
Academic Journal
A nonaxisymmetric stable magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium within a prolate cylindrical conducting boundary has been produced experimentally at Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) [M. R. Brown et al., Phys. Plasmas 6, 1717 (1999)]. It has m=1 toroidal symmetry, helical distortion, and flat λ profile. Each of these observed characteristics are in agreement with the magnetically relaxed minimum magnetic energy Taylor state. The Taylor state is computed using the methods described by A. Bondeson et al. [Phys. Fluids 24, 1682 (1981)] and by J. M. Finn et al. [Phys. Fluids 24, 1336 (1981)] and is compared in detail to the measured internal magnetic structure. The lifetime of this nonaxisymmetric compact torus (CT) is comparable to or greater than that of the axisymmetric CTs produced at SSX; thus suggesting confinement is not degraded by its nonaxisymmetry. For both one- and two-spheromak initial state plasmas, this same equilibrium consistently emerges as the final state.


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