A shear Alfvén wave at slightly below the ion-cyclotron frequency overcomes the ion-cyclotron damping and grows because of the strong anisotropy of the ion temperature in the magnetic mirror configuration, and is called the Alfvén ion-cyclotron (AIC) wave. Density fluctuations caused by the AIC waves and the ion-cyclotron range of frequencies (ICRF) waves used for ion heating have been detected using a reflectometer in a wide radial region of the GAMMA 10 tandem mirror plasma. Various wave-wave couplings are clearly observed in the density fluctuations in the interior of the plasma, but these couplings are not so clear in the magnetic fluctuations at the plasma edge when measured using a pick-up coil. A radial dependence of the nonlinearity is found, particularly in waves with the difference frequencies of the AIC waves; bispectral analysis shows that such wave-wave coupling is significant near the core, but is not so evident at the periphery. In contrast, nonlinear coupling with the low-frequency background turbulence is quite distinct at the periphery. Nonlinear coupling associated with the AIC waves may play a significant role in the beta- and anisotropy-limits of a mirror-confined plasma through decay of the ICRF heating power and degradation of the plasma confinement by nonlinearly generated waves.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics