Experimental evidence for super-Alfvénic acceleration of the field-reversed configuration due to a magnetic pressure gradient

Daichi Kobayashi, Tomohiko Asai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The super-Alfvénic acceleration of an extremely high beta plasmoid due to a magnetic pressure gradient is evidenced in translation experiments involving the field-reversed configuration (FRC) in the FRC amplification via the translation-collisional merging (FAT-CM) device. Inside the FRC, there is a population of unmagnetized particles that forms a volume with extremely high beta. Formed using the field-reversed theta pinch method, the FRC is accelerated and injected into a quasi-static confinement magnetic field that is weaker than the formation and acceleration fields. Because the FRC is injected with nonzero axial translation speed and cannot slow down, its speed exceeds the Alfvénic and sonic speed upon entering the confinement field. This phenomenon is predicted from two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations, and experimental results that are consistent with the magnetohydrodynamic approximation show that the FRC acceleration process is due mainly to magnetic pressure on the thin magnetized layer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022101
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

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