Study of reduced kinetic models for plasma turbulence

Abstract : Turbulent transport is one of the keys to improve the energy confinement time required for thermonuclear fusion reactors. The description of the kinetic turbulence of the plasma is a problem with 3 spatial coordinates and 3 velocity coordinates. Both theory and simulation of a problem of such high dimensionality are very difficult, and reduced models are helpfull to understand turbulence in Tokamaks. A widely used technique consists into averaging the cyclotron motion, which is much faster than the turbulence time scale. Such a reduction makes it possible to simplify the problem to three spatial coordinates of the particle guide centers, a parallel velocity or energy, and a perpendicular velocity appearing as the adiabatic invariant. Nonlinear gyrokinetic description requires massively parallel high performance numerical simulations. The difficulty lies in the non-linear terms (Poisson hooks) that describe multi-scale interactions, which is a challenge for both theory and simulation. Any reduced approach, based on well-controlled hypotheses, is therefore interesting to develop.On the basis of this ambition, this thesis concerns the turbulence of particles trapped in magnetized plasma. It is a 4D system, obtained after averaging the particle distribution function on cyclotron and bounce motions, which can be considered as a reduced form of standard gyrokinetic theory. We called it "bounce averaged gyrokinetics" during this work. Even if this description is greatly reduced compared to the gyrokinetic theory, nonlinear direct simulation remains a challenge.A description of the nonlinear polar coordinate terms is chosen, with a logarithmic grid along the norm of the wave vector, while the angles are discretized on a regular grid. The use of a logarithmic grid makes it possible to take into account a wide range of wave vectors, so physics on a very small scale. In a similar way to shell models for fluid turbulence, and in order to simplify the system, only the interactions between neighboring shells are considered.In a first step, the study of the linear system is presented, in particular the paraetric dependence of the instability thresholds and the linear growth rate, allowing to recover the strong anisotropy of the growth rates of the trapped ion modes (or TIM) and the modes of trapped electrons (or TEM). These studies also make it possible to validate the non-linear numerical codes with respect to an independently developer eigenvalue solver.In a second step, the isotropic hypothesis for nonlinear terms is used. Thus, there is no exact phase information for such 1D layer models, which leaves with a free parameter in the interaction coefficients. An original power law is evidenced, which is unaffected by the value of the free parameter, measuring the intensity of the nonlinear effects relative to the linear terms.From the simulation of the isotropic model, the phase information appears very important. Since the linear instability is anisotropic for the fusion, the simulation of the anisotropic model is thus carried out in a third time. The numerically resolved system is reduced to a kinetic species, assuming that the other species are adiabatic. Two different systems can thus be studied: kinetic ions + adiabatic electrons and kinetic electrons + adiabatic ions. Different spectra are observed in each of these two cases, and the validity of the adiabatic hypothesis is discussed for each species, based on a kinetic simulation with two species.
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Shaokang Xu. Study of reduced kinetic models for plasma turbulence. Plasma Physics [physics.plasm-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX057⟩. ⟨tel-01898629⟩

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