Zonal flow appears in toroidal, magnetically confined plasmas as part of the self-regulated interaction of turbulence and transport processes. For toroidal plasmas having a strong toroidal magnetic field, the zonal flow is predominately poloidally directed. This Letter reports the first observation of a zonal flow that is toroidally directed. The measurements are made just inside the last closed flux surface of reversed field pinch plasmas that have a dominant poloidal magnetic field. A limit cycle oscillation between the strength of the zonal flow and the amplitude of plasma potential fluctuations is observed, which provides evidence for the self-regulation characteristic of drift-wave-type plasma turbulence. The measurements help advance understanding and gyrokinetic modeling of toroidal plasmas in the pursuit of fusion energy.
|Journal||Physical review letters|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 15 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)