Journal article

Non-diffusive transport of suprathermal ions by intermittent turbulent structures

We report on recent experimental, numerical and theoretical investigations of suprathermal ion transport and turbulent plasma dynamics in TORPEX. TORPEX is a toroidal device in which field-aligned blobs are intermittently generated and propagate across a confining magnetic field. Suprathermal ions are locally injected using a miniaturized source and detected using gridded energy analyzers. We show evidence for subdiffusive and superdiffusive transport of suprathermal ions, using an unprecedented combination of uniquely resolved three-dimensional measurements and first-principles numerical simulation. We present time-resolved measurements of suprathermal ion current fluctuations, which exhibit a clear causality relation with blobs, as revealed by a transfer entropy method for the superdiffusive case. This link is further investigated by using a conditional sampling technique, which allows resolving the cross-field dynamics of both blobs and the suprathermal ion beam, revealing that suprathermal ions experiencing superdiffusive transport are associated with bursty displacement events, resulting in highly intermittent time traces. This work links observations usually inaccessible in fusion devices and astrophysical plasmas, namely energy resolved three-dimensional time-averaged measurements, with Eulerian time-resolved measurements, which are often the only accessible measurements in such systems.


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