Extended electron tails in electrostatic microinstabilities and the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion IOP Publishing 64:5 (2022) 055004-055004

Authors:

MR Hardman, FI Parra, C Chong, T Adkins, MS Anastopoulos-Tzanis, M Barnes, D Dickinson, JF Parisi, H Wilson

Abstract:

Abstract Ion-gyroradius-scale microinstabilities typically have a frequency comparable to the ion transit frequency. Due to the small electron-to-ion mass ratio and the large electron transit frequency, it is conventionally assumed that passing electrons respond adiabatically in ion-gyroradius-scale modes. However, in gyrokinetic simulations of ion-gyroradius-scale modes in axisymmetric toroidal magnetic fields, the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons can drive the mode, and generate fluctuations in narrow radial layers, which may have consequences for turbulent transport in a variety of circumstances. In flux tube simulations, in the ballooning representation, these instabilities reveal themselves as modes with extended tails. The small electron-to-ion mass ratio limit of linear gyrokinetics for electrostatic instabilities is presented, in axisymmetric toroidal magnetic geometry, including the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons and associated narrow radial layers. This theory reveals the existence of ion-gyroradius-scale modes driven solely by the nonadiabatic passing electron response, and recovers the usual ion-gyroradius-scale modes driven by the response of ions and trapped electrons, where the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons is small. The collisionless and collisional limits of the theory are considered, demonstrating parallels in structure and physical processes to neoclassical transport theory. By examining initial-value simulations of the fastest-growing eigenmodes, the predictions for mass-ratio scaling are tested and verified numerically for a range of collision frequencies. Insight from the small electron-to-ion mass ratio theory may lead to a computationally efficient treatment of extended modes.

Interpreting radial correlation Doppler reflectometry using gyrokinetic simulations

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 64:5 (2022)

Authors:

J Ruiz Ruiz, FI Parra, VH Hall-Chen, N Christen, M Barnes, J Candy, J Garcia, C Giroud, W Guttenfelder, JC Hillesheim, C Holland, NT Howard, Y Ren, AE White

Abstract:

A linear response, local model for the DBS amplitude applied to gyrokinetic simulations shows that radial correlation Doppler reflectometry measurements (RCDR, Schirmer et al 2007 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 49 1019) are not sensitive to the average turbulence radial correlation length, but to a correlation length that depends on the binormal wavenumber k⊥ selected by the Doppler backscattering (DBS) signal. Nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations show that the turbulence naturally exhibits a nonseparable power law spectrum in wavenumber space, leading to a power law dependence of the radial correlation length with binormal wavenumber lr∼Ck⊥-α(α≈1) which agrees with the inverse proportionality relationship between the measured lr and k⊥ observed in experiments (Fernández-Marina et al 2014 Nucl. Fusion 54 072001). This new insight indicates that RCDR characterizes the eddy aspect ratio in the perpendicular plane to the magnetic field. It also motivates future use of a nonseparable turbulent spectrum to quantitatively interpret RCDR and potentially other turbulence diagnostics. The radial correlation length is only measurable when the radial resolution at the cutoff location Wn satisfies Wn≪lr, while the measurement becomes dominated by Wn for Wn≫lr . This suggests that lr is likely to be inaccessible for electron-scale DBS measurements (k⊥ρs>1 ). The effect of Wn on ion-scale radial correlation lengths could be nonnegligible.

Merger rates of intermediate-mass black hole binaries in nuclear star clusters

ArXiv 2204.03745 (2022)

Authors:

Giacomo Fragione, Abraham Loeb, Bence Kocsis, Frederic A Rasio

Self-consistent modelling of the Milky Way’s nuclear stellar disc

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 512:2 (2022) 1857-1884

Authors:

Mattia C Sormani, Jason L Sanders, Tobias K Fritz, Leigh C Smith, Ortwin Gerhard, Rainer Schödel, Stephen Magorrian, Nadine Neumayer, Francisco Nogueras-Lara, Anja Feldmeier-Krause, Alessandra Mastrobuono-Battisti, Mathias Schultheis, Banafsheh Shahzamanian, Eugene Vasiliev, Ralf S Klessen, Philip Lucas, Dante Minniti

Abstract:

The nuclear stellar disc (NSD) is a flattened high-density stellar structure that dominates the gravitational field of the Milky Way at Galactocentric radius $30\, {\rm pc}\lesssim R\lesssim 300\, {\rm pc}$. We construct axisymmetric self-consistent equilibrium dynamical models of the NSD in which the distribution function is an analytic function of the action variables. We fit the models to the normalized kinematic distributions (line-of-sight velocities + VIRAC2 proper motions) of stars in the NSD survey of Fritz et al., taking the foreground contamination due to the Galactic Bar explicitly into account using an N-body model. The posterior marginalized probability distributions give a total mass of $M_{\rm NSD} = 10.5^{+1.1}_{-1.0} \times 10^8 \, \, \rm M_\odot$, roughly exponential radial and vertical scale lengths of $R_{\rm disc} = 88.6^{+9.2}_{-6.9} \, {\rm pc}$ and $H_{\rm disc}=28.4^{+5.5}_{-5.5} \, {\rm pc}$, respectively, and a velocity dispersion $\sigma \simeq 70\, {\rm km\, s^{-1}}$ that decreases with radius. We find that the assumption that the NSD is axisymmetric provides a good representation of the data. We quantify contamination from the Galactic Bar in the sample, which is substantial in most observed fields. Our models provide the full 6D (position + velocity) distribution function of the NSD, which can be used to generate predictions for future surveys. We make the models publicly available as part of the software package agama.

Extended electron tails in electrostatic microinstabilities and the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion IOP Publishing 64:5 (2022) 055004

Authors:

Mr Hardman, Fi Parra, C Chong, T Adkins, Ms Anastopoulos-Tzanis, M Barnes, D Dickinson, Jf Parisi, H Wilson

Abstract:

Ion-gyroradius-scale microinstabilities typically have a frequency comparable to the ion transit frequency. Due to the small electron-to-ion mass ratio and the large electron transit frequency, it is conventionally assumed that passing electrons respond adiabatically in ion-gyroradius-scale modes. However, in gyrokinetic simulations of ion-gyroradius-scale modes in axisymmetric toroidal magnetic fields, the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons can drive the mode, and generate fluctuations in narrow radial layers, which may have consequences for turbulent transport in a variety of circumstances. In flux tube simulations, in the ballooning representation, these instabilities reveal themselves as modes with extended tails. The small electron-to-ion mass ratio limit of linear gyrokinetics for electrostatic instabilities is presented, in axisymmetric toroidal magnetic geometry, including the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons and associated narrow radial layers. This theory reveals the existence of ion-gyroradius-scale modes driven solely by the nonadiabatic passing electron response, and recovers the usual ion-gyroradius-scale modes driven by the response of ions and trapped electrons, where the nonadiabatic response of passing electrons is small. The collisionless and collisional limits of the theory are considered, demonstrating parallels in structure and physical processes to neoclassical transport theory. By examining initial-value simulations of the fastest-growing eigenmodes, the predictions for mass-ratio scaling are tested and verified numerically for a range of collision frequencies. Insight from the small electron-to-ion mass ratio theory may lead to a computationally efficient treatment of extended modes.