Current density and plasma displacement near perturbed rational surfaces

Boozer, Allen H.; Pomphrey, Neil
November 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2010, Vol. 17 Issue 11, p110707
Academic Journal
The current density in the vicinity of a rational surface of a force-free magnetic field subjected to an ideal perturbation is shown to be the sum of both a smooth and a delta-function distribution, which give comparable currents. The maximum perturbation to the smooth current density is comparable to a typical equilibrium current density and the width of the layer in which the current flows is shown to be proportional to the perturbation amplitude. In the standard linearized theory, the plasma displacement has an unphysical jump across the rational surface, but the full theory gives a continuous displacement. A resolution of the paradox of a jump in the displacement is required for interpreting perturbed tokamak equilibria.


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