Velocity scaling for filament motion in scrape-off layer plasmas

Kube, R.; Garcia, O. E.
October 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2011, Vol. 18 Issue 10, p102314
Academic Journal
The velocity scaling for isolated plasma filaments in non-uniformly magnetized plasmas with respect to filament amplitude and cross-field size has been investigated by means of numerical simulations. The model includes electric currents due to magnetic gradient and curvature drifts, polarization drifts, and parallel currents through sheaths, where the magnetic field lines intersect material walls. In the ideal limit, the radial velocity of the filament increases with the square root of its size. When sheath currents dominate over polarization currents, the filament velocity is inversely proportional to the square of its size. In the presence of sheath currents, the velocity is maximum for an intermediate filament size determined by the balance between diamagnetic, polarization, and sheath currents. The parameter dependence of this filament size and velocity is elucidated. The results are discussed in the context of blob-like structures in basic laboratory plasma experiments and in the scrape-off layer of magnetically confined plasmas.


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