Synchrotron radiation from a runaway electron distribution in tokamaks
Journal article, 2013
The synchrotron radiation emitted by runaway electrons in a fusion plasma provides information regarding the particle momenta and pitch-angles of the runaway electron population through the strong dependence of the synchrotron spectrum on these parameters. Information about the runaway density and its spatial distribution, as well as the time evolution of the above quantities, can also be deduced. In this paper, we present the synchrotron radiation spectra for typical avalanching runaway electron distributions. Spectra obtained for a distribution of electrons are compared with the emission of mono-energetic electrons with a prescribed pitch-angle. We also examine the effects of magnetic field curvature and analyse the sensitivity of the resulting spectrum to perturbations to the runaway distribution. The implications for the deduced runaway electron parameters are discussed. We compare our calculations to experimental data from DIII-D and estimate the maximum observed runaway energy.