The bifurcation of magnetic topology is identified by a significant change in the heat pulse propagation properties in magnetized plasmas. Clear evidence of stochastization of the magnetic surfaces near a rational surface is observed in the core plasma with weak magnetic shear in the Large Helical Device by slowly decreasing the magnetic shear and measured by applying heat pulses driven by modulated electron cyclotron heating (MECH). Three topologies of the magnetic flux surfaces (a nested magnetic island and partial and full stochastization) are identified by the patterns of heat pulse propagation observed in the flat temperature region in the plasma. Slow heat pulse propagation exhibiting a non-monotonically increasing delay time is evidence of a magnetic island, while the fast heat pulse propagation observed in the plasma with medium magnetic shear is evidence of the stochastization of the magnetic surfaces. The region with the fast heat pulse propagation varies with a slight change of magnetic shear. There are two types of stochastization of the magnetic surfaces. In one, the stochastization region is localized near the rational surface (partial stochastization) and in the other, the region is extended to the magnetic axis (full stochastization). The appearance of a stochastic magnetic field is not caused by MHD instability. The significant increase of the ratio of electron thermal diffusivity to ion thermal diffusivity is consistent with that expected by stochastization of the magnetic field.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics