Asymmetric radiative damping of low shear toroidal Alfven eigenmodes
Journal article, 2012
Radiative damping of toroidicity-induced Alfven eigenmodes (TAEs) in tokamaks, caused by coupling to the kinetic Alfven wave (KAW), is investigated analytically in the limit of low magnetic shear. A significant asymmetry is found between the radiative damping of the odd TAE, whose frequency lies above the central TAE gap frequency omega(0), and that of the even TAE, with frequency omega < omega(0). For the even TAE, which consists of a symmetric combination of neighboring poloidal harmonics (and therefore has ballooning-type mode structure), the coupling results in two non-overlapping, outgoing fluxes of KAWs that propagate radially away from each other and the TAE localization region. In contrast, the odd TAE consists of an antisymmetric combination of neighboring poloidal harmonics, resulting in anti-ballooning mode structure. For this mode, the KAWs initially propagate towards each other and form an interference pattern in the TAE localization region, resulting in a negligibly small escaping flux and a correspondingly low radiative damping rate. As a result of the up/down asymmetry in radiative damping with respect to the mode frequency, the odd TAE may be destabilized by fusion born alpha particles more easily than the usual, even TAE.