Gyrokinetic simulations of the tearing instability

Numata, Ryusuke; Dorland, William; Howes, Gregory G.; Loureiro, Nuno F.; Rogers, Barrett N.; Tatsuno, Tomoya
November 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2011, Vol. 18 Issue 11, p112106
Academic Journal
Linear gyrokinetic simulations covering the collisional-collisionless transitional regime of the tearing instability are performed. It is shown that the growth rate scaling with collisionality agrees well with that predicted by a two-fluid theory for a low plasma beta case in which ion kinetic dynamics are negligible. Electron wave-particle interactions (Landau damping), finite Larmor radius, and other kinetic effects invalidate the fluid theory in the collisionless regime, in which a general non-polytropic equation of state for pressure (temperature) perturbations should be considered. We also vary the ratio of the background ion to electron temperatures and show that the scalings expected from existing calculations can be recovered, but only in the limit of very low beta.


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