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Snake instability in the plasma of the Globus-M spherical tokamak

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Experiments with the limiting density of a plasma generated in the Globus-M spherical tokamak operating in the ohmic heating regime show that, when the plasma density reaches a certain value at the center of the plasma filament, snake-type strong magnetohydrodynamic instability exciting the m/n = 1/1 mode arises. A further rise in the density causes an internal disruption of the plasma. Numerical simulation of the instability dynamics is performed, and the results of simulation are compared with experimental and theoretical data. Experimental and theoretical data are in good agreement. It is shown that the instability is associated with an increased amount of impurities in the plasma and that the limit in density is of a “technological,” rather than of a fundamental, character. With the vacuum chamber cleaned more thoroughly, this limit disappears and the snake instability is not observed. Accordingly, a plasma filament density of 1 × 1020 m−3 was attained with a Greenwald number as high as 95%.

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Original Russian Text © M.I. Patrov, Yu.V. Petrov, V.K. Gusev, G.S. Kurskiev, A.N. Novokhatskii, S.A. Sakharov, S.Yu. Tolstyakov, 2011, published in Zhurnal Tekhnicheskoĭ Fiziki, 2011, Vol. 81, No. 9, pp. 38–44.

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Patrov, M.I., Petrov, Y.V., Gusev, V.K. et al. Snake instability in the plasma of the Globus-M spherical tokamak. Tech. Phys. 56, 1259–1265 (2011).

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