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Theory of Turbulent Plasma Heating by Anomalous Absorption of Magnetosonic Waves
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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Theory and computer simulation experiments have shown the potential importance of the fluid-like, modified two stream instability as an ion heating mechanism in low beta plasmas. In order to take advantage of the strong ion heating which it can produce, the authors consider inducing the instability with large amplitude waves in order to convert the energy in the wave fields into ion thermal energy. Since the instability is driven by relative electron-ion drifts across a magnetic field Bo, and has a frequency comparable to the lower hybrid frequency omega sub LH a natural choice for the driver wave is a magnetosonic wave which propagates across Bo near the Alfven speed. As a specific example, the authors demonstrate that for the parameters of the Princeton ST-Tokamak it is theoretically possible to achieve thermonuclear temperatures by anomalously absorbing these waves via the modified two stream instability.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE