Description: The stability of a field reversed mirror plasma configuration is studied with an energy principle derived from the Vlasov equation. Because of finite orbit effects, the stability properties of a field-reversed mirror are different from the stability properties of similar magnetohydrodynamic equilibria. The Vlasov energy principle developed here is applied to a computer simulation of an axisymmetric field-reversed mirror state. It has been possible to prove that the l = 0 modes, called tearing modes, satisfy a sufficient condition for stability. Precessional modes, with l = 1, 2, are found to be unstable at low growth rate. This suggests possible turbulent behavior (Bohm confinement) in the experimental devices aiming at field reversal. Techniques for suppressing these instabilities are outlined, and the applicability of the Vlasov energy principle to more complicated equilibrium models is shown.
Date: January 1, 1979
Creator: Morse, E.C.
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