Waves and Turbulence in a Tokamak Fusion Plasma

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Science  26 Aug 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4613, pp. 817-822
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4613.817


The tokamak is a prototype fusion device in which a toroidal Magnetic field is used to confine a hot plasma. Coherent waves, excited near the plasma edge, can be used to transport energy into the plasma in order to heat it to the temperatures required for thermonuclear fusion. In addition, tokamak plasmas are known to exhibit high levels of turbulent density fluctuations, which can transport particles and energy out of the plasma. Recently, experiments have been conducted to elucidate the nature of both the coherent waves and the turbulence. The experiments provide insight into a broad range of interesting linear and nonlinear plasma phenomena and into many of the processes that determine such practical things as plasma heating and confinement.