Effects of Boundary Conditions and Flow on the Kink Instability in a Cylindrical Plasma Column

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An experimental investigation of the kink instability is presented in a linear plasma column where one end is line-tied to the plasma source, and the other end is not line-tied and therefore free to slide over the surface of the end-plate. This latter boundary condition is a result of plasma sheath resistance that insulates, at least partially, the plasma from the end-plate. The helical m = 1 kink mode is observed to grow when the plasma current exceeds a threshold and, close to the criticality, is characterized by an axial mode structure with maximum displacement at the free axial boundary. ... continued below

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Furno, I; Intrator, T P; Lapenta, G; Dorf, L & Ryutov, D D February 6, 2007.

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An experimental investigation of the kink instability is presented in a linear plasma column where one end is line-tied to the plasma source, and the other end is not line-tied and therefore free to slide over the surface of the end-plate. This latter boundary condition is a result of plasma sheath resistance that insulates, at least partially, the plasma from the end-plate. The helical m = 1 kink mode is observed to grow when the plasma current exceeds a threshold and, close to the criticality, is characterized by an axial mode structure with maximum displacement at the free axial boundary. Azimuthal rotation of the mode is observed such that the helically kinked column always screws into the free axial boundary. The kink mode structure, rotation frequency and instability threshold are accurately reproduced by a recent kink theory [D. D. Ryutov, et al., Phys. Plasmas 13, 032105 (2006)], which includes axial plasma flow and one end of the plasma column that is free to move due to a perfect non-line-tying boundary condition which is experimentally verified. A brief review of the kink theory and its predictions for the boundary conditions relevant in the present experiments are presented.

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PDF-file: 13 pages; size: 0.7 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas, N/A, N/A, February 28, 2007, pp. 022103

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-227871
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 908899
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc891071

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  • February 6, 2007

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 5:28 p.m.

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Furno, I; Intrator, T P; Lapenta, G; Dorf, L & Ryutov, D D. Effects of Boundary Conditions and Flow on the Kink Instability in a Cylindrical Plasma Column, article, February 6, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc891071/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.