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Particle transport in tokamak plasmas, theory and experiment

The physical processes producing electron particle transport in the core of tokamak plasmas are described. Starting from the gyrokinetic equation, a simple analytical derivation is used as guidance to illustrate the main mechanisms driving turbulent particle convection. A review of the experimental observations on particle transport in tokamaks is presented and the consistency with the theoretical predictions is discussed. An overall qualitative agreement, and in some cases even a specific quantitative agreement, emerges between complex theoretical predictions and equally complex experimental observations, exhibiting different dependences on plasma parameters under different regimes. By these results, the direct connection between macroscopic transport properties and the character of microscopic turbulence is pointed out, and an important confirmation of the paradigm of microinstabilities and turbulence as the main cause of transport in the core of tokamaks is obtained. Finally, the impact of these results on the prediction of the peaking of the electron density profile in a fusion reactor is illustrated.

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