Poloidal Asymmetries in the Scrape-Off Layer Plasma of the Alcator C Tokamak

B. LaBombard*, B. Lipschultz

*Corresponding author for this work

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Large poloidal asymmetries in density, electron temperature, radial density e-folding length and floating potential have been measured in the plasma existing between the limiter radius and the wall of the Alcator C tokamak. Typically, variations in density by factors of about 4–20 and variations in radial density e-folding length by factors of about 3–8 are recorded in discharges which are bounded by poloidally symmetric ring limiters. These poloidal asymmetries show that pressure is a function of poloidal angle on open magnetic flux surfaces in this region of the plasma. Observations of toroidally symmetric MARFE phenomena further imply that density and perhaps pressure are also a function of poloidal angle on closed flux surfaces existing just inside the limiter radius. The magnitude of these poloidal asymmetries and their dependence on poloidal angle persists independent of machine parameters (central plasma density, plasma current, toroidal field, MARFE versus non-MARFE discharges). Analysis of the data indicates that these asymmetries are caused by poloidal variations in perpendicular particle and heat transport in both the main plasma and the scrape-off layer. A number of possible asymmetric perpendicular transport processes in the scrape-off layer plasma are examined, including diffusion and vec E×vec B plasma convection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-99
Number of pages19
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1987

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