M. A. Beer, G. W. Hammett, G. Rewoldt, E. J. Synakowski, M. C. Zarnstorff, and W. Dorland
APS invited talk, Phys. Plasmas 4, 1792 (1997).
The confinement improvement in reversed-shear experiments on the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor [Plasma Phys. Controlled Fusion 26, 11 (1984)] is investigated using nonlinear gyrofluid simulations including a bounce-averaged trapped electron fluid model. This model includes important kinetic effects for both ions and electrons, and agrees well with linear kinetic theory. Both reversed shear and the Shafranov shift reverse the precession drifts of a large fraction of the trapped electrons, which significantly reduces the growth rate of the trapped electron mode, found to be the dominant instability in the core. Two positive feedback transition mechanisms for the sudden improvement in core confinement are discussed: (1) Shafranov shift suppression of the trapped electron mode, and (2) turbulence suppression by radially sheared ExB flows. While both effects appear to be playing roles in the transition dynamics in most experiments, we show that Shafranov shift stabilization alone can cause a transition.
PACS numbers: 52.65.Tt, 52.35.Qz, 52.55.Fa, 52.35.Ra