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Studies of zonal flows driven by drift mode turbulence in laboratory and space plasmas

Bingham, R and Trines, R and Mendonca, Jose Tito and Silva, LO and Shukla, PK and Vaivads, A and Bamford, RA and Mori, WB and Tynan, G (2008) Studies of zonal flows driven by drift mode turbulence in laboratory and space plasmas. In: AIP Conference Proceedings 2008, 2008-07-14 - 2008-07-25.

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Abstract

The interaction between broadband drift mode turbulence and zonal flows is an important topic associated with transport at plasma boundaries. The generation of zonal flows by the modulational instability of broad band drift waves has resulted in the observation of self organized solitary wave structures at the magnetopause. To understand these structures and their importance to future burning plasmas and space plasmas we have developed a unique numerical simulation code that describes drift wave—zonal flow turbulence. We show that observations by cluster spacecraft confirms the role of drift wave zonal flow turbulence at the Earth’s magnetopause and further demonstrates that the magnetopause boundary acts in a s similar manner to transport barriers in tokamak fusion devices. Thus cementing the relationship between the plasma physics of laboratory devices and space plasmas.