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Instabilities in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

Based on the unified nonlinear transport UNLT theory we compute the diffusion coefficient across a large scale magnetic field. To achieve analytical tractability we use a simple Gaussian approach to model the turbulent magnetic fields. We show that the perpendicular diffusion coefficient depends only on two parameters, namely the Kubo number and the parallel mean free path.

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We combine the aforementioned turbulence model with the UNLT theory and we solve the corresponding integral equation numerically to show how these two parameters control the perpendicular diffusion coefficient. Furthermore, we consider two extreme cases, namely the case of strong and suppressed pitch-angle scattering, respectively. For each case we consider small and large Kubo numbers to achieve a further simplification. All our analytical findings are compared with formulas which are known in diffusion theory. The effects of equilibrium geometry non-uniformities and finite mode radial width on the wave-particle nonlinear dynamics are discussed.

The occurrence of two different saturation regimes is shown. In the first regime, dubbed resonance detuning, that region is limited by the resonance radial width that is, the width of the region where the fast-ion resonance frequency matches the mode frequency.

In the second regime, called radial decoupling, the power exchange region is limited by the mode radial width. In the former regime, the mode saturation amplitude scales quadratically with the growth rate; in the latter, it scales linearly. The occurrence of one or the other regime can be predicted on the basis of linear dynamics: in particular, the radial profile of the fast-ion resonance frequency and the mode structure. Here, we discuss how such properties can depend on the considered toroidal number and compare simulation results with the predictions obtained from a simplified nonlinear pendulum model.

The 3. Continuum damping of such modes is one of the key factors that determine their excitation thresholds and saturation levels. The problem is largely motivated by the need to describe the continuum absorption in the frequency sweeping events. A key element of this problem is the negative interference of the two closely spaced continuum crossing points.

We explain why the lower and upper edges of the gap can have very different continuum absorption features. The difference is associated with an eigenmode whose frequency can be arbitrarily close to the upper edge of the gap whereas the lower edge of the gap is always a finite distance away from the closest eigenmode. Focus issue articles are invited-only contributions that are subject to the same review process and high standard as regular NJP articles and should be submitted in the same way.

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Analysis of a cyclotron maser instability with application to space and laboratory plasmas

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Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society | Plasma Science and Applications (PSAC)

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