Tokamak elongation - How much is too much? Part 1. Theory

J. P. Freidberg, A. Cerfon, J. P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this and the accompanying paper, the problem of the maximally achievable elongation κ in a tokamak is investigated. The work represents an extension of many earlier studies, which were often focused on determining κ limits due to (i) natural elongation in a simple applied pure vertical field or (ii) axisymmetric stability in the presence of a perfectly conducting wall. The extension investigated here includes the effect of the vertical stability feedback system which actually sets the maximum practical elongation limit in a real experiment. A basic resistive wall stability parameter, γτw is introduced to model the feedback system which although simple in appearance actually captures the essence of the feedback system. Elongation limits in the presence of feedback are then determined by calculating the maximum κ against n = 0 resistive wall modes for fixed γτw. The results are obtained by means of a general formulation culminating in a variational principle which is particularly amenable to numerical analysis. The principle is valid for arbitrary profiles but simplifies significantly for the Solov'ev profiles, effectively reducing the 2-D stability problem into a 1-D problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number515810607
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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