Global-gyrokinetic study of finite beta effects on linear microinstabilities
Electromagnetic microinstabilities in tokamak plasmas are studied by means of a linear global eigenvalue numerical code. Ion dynamics is described by the gyrokinetic equation, so that finite ion Larmor radius effects are taken into account to all orders. Nonadiabatic electrons are included in the model, with passing particles described by the drift-kinetic equation and trapped particles through the bounce averaged drift-kinetic equation. A large aspect ratio plasma with circular shifted surfaces is considered for the numerical implementation. The effects of an electromagnetic perturbation on toroidal ion temperature gradient driven modes are studied, confirming the stabilization of these modes with increasing beta (parameter identifying the ratio of the plasma pressure to the magnetic pressure). The threshold for the destabilization of an electromagnetic mode, the so-called kinetic ballooning mode or Alfvenic ion temperature gradient mode is identified. Moreover, owing to the global formulation, the radial structure of these electromagnetic modes is observed for the first time. Finally, the contributions of trapped electron dynamics and the effects of the Shafranov shift are addressed. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.