Turbulence in hot magnetized plasmas is shown to generate permeable localized transport barriers that globally organize into the so-called "ExB staircase" [G. Dif-Pradalier et al., Phys. Rev. E, 82, 025401(R) (2010)]. Its domain of existence and dependence with key plasma parameters is discussed theoretically. Based on these predictions, staircases are observed experimentally in the Tore Supra tokamak by means of high-resolution fast-sweeping X-mode reflectometry. This observation strongly emphasizes the critical role of mesoscale self-organization in plasma turbulence and may have far-reaching consequences for turbulent transport models and their validation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)