Journal article

From current-driven to neoclassically driven tearing modes

In the TCV tokamak, the m/n = 2/1 island is observed in low-density discharges with central electron-cyclotron current drive. The evolution of its width has two distinct growth phases, one of which can be linked to a "conventional" tearing mode driven unstable by the current profile and the other to a neoclassical tearing mode driven by a perturbation of the bootstrap current. The TCV results provide the first clear observation of such a destabilization mechanism and reconcile the theory of conventional and neoclassical tearing modes, which differ only in the dominant driving term.


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