Dynamics of seeded blobs under the influence of inelastic neutral interactions

A.S. Thrysøe*, V. Naulin, A. H. Nielsen, J. Juul Rasmussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Field-aligned filaments, the so-called blobs, born at the edge of the magnetically confined region of tokamaks propagate radially outward into the scrape-off layer (SOL) region that allows for a substantial population of neutral particles compared to the region of confinement. The electrons and ions constituting the blob undergo both elastic and inelastic collisions with the neutral particles, and the latter leads to sources and sinks of the blob density, momentum, and heat. The influence of the inelastic collisions with neutrals on the evolution of seeded blobs is investigated numerically by the nHESEL drift-fluid model through a series of discrete scans in interactions, active source terms, and blob plasma parameters. In light of the results, the potential influence of local inelastic collisions on the SOL density shoulder formation is discussed. It is found that density sources increase the blob compactness, which delays the blob dispersion and decreases the dispersion rate. Density sources or momentum sinks also influence the blob dynamics by increasing the vorticity layer around the perturbation, whereas the pressure sources/sinks only affect the blob dynamics marginally. The change to the vorticity structure leads, in most cases, to a decrease in the radial velocity of the blob center of mass, although, at high source rates, a radial acceleration of the blob center of mass is also observed. Density sources may, thus, contribute to shoulder formation not only by increasing the density locally but also by changing the filament dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number052302
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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