The merging processes of spherical-tokamak-type plasmoids (STs), which are confined in a rectangular conducting vessel, are investigated by means of a two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation. A series of simulation runs with different mass ratios clarify that a starting time of the ST merging is nearly given by a transit time for an ion sound wave to travel from an inner edge of each ST in an initial profile to a reconnection point and a part of poloidal magnetic energy is transferred to the ion thermal energy and the electron thermal energy at the approximate rate of 3:1 during the ST merging process, which is almost independent of the mass ratio except for the smallest mass ratio case of (Mi/Me) = 100. This transfer process leads to the increases in a parallel component of electron temperature and a perpendicular component of ion temperature while keeping the other components almost constant. This is because the two-component electron distribution function with different velocity shifts along a toroidal magnetic field is formed around a reconnection point when two STs merge. On the other hand, an ion distribution function, consisting of three components with different velocity shifts perpendicular to the toroidal magnetic field, is formed around the reconnection point in the merging phase. It is also found that a sharp peak appears impulsively in the electron parallel temperature profile in the merging phase, which is consistent with the Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak merging experiments [H. Tanabe et al., Nucl. Fusion 57, 056037 (2017)].
Particle simulation studies of merging processes of two spherical-tokamak-type plasmoids
Ritoku Horiuchi, Shunsuke Usami, Toseo Moritaka, Yasushi Ono; Particle simulation studies of merging processes of two spherical-tokamak-type plasmoids. Phys. Plasmas 1 September 2019; 26 (9): 092101. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5104281
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