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dc.contributor.advisorKolemen, Egemen
dc.contributor.authorNelson, Andrew Oakleigh
dc.contributor.otherAstrophysical Sciences—Plasma Physics Program Department
dc.description.abstractThe H-mode pedestal, characterized by steep gradients and reduced transport, is an essential feature of tokamak plasmas that couples the cold Scrape-Off-Layer (SOL) to the hot, fusion-relevant core. Though existing magnetohydrodynamic models yield some insight into the pedestal, they are (due to the complexity of interaction between the pedestal and the rest of the plasma) unable to fully predict pedestal behavior from generalized plasma conditions. To progress towards a more comprehensive understanding of pedestal dynamics, a larger context must be considered. Using state-of-the-art modeling and perturbative experimental techniques on DIII-D, this thesis develops a broader empirical understanding of dynamic pedestal behavior that will inform future modeling efforts. The pedestal obeys the physics of the continuity equation, which is set by the sourcing of particles, inter-ELM transport, and boundary conditions. In this light, three phenomena are selected for in-depth study: fueling, transport, and SOL interactions. First, the effect of particle sources on the pedestal structure is examined through a series of dedicated experiments on DIII-D. Gas and pellet fueling techniques are applied to change the neutral ionization profile at similar plasma conditions, showing that the structure of the pedestal can vary significantly with changes to the neutral source profile. Second, a novel experimental technique is used to probe the nature of inter-ELM turbulence, which is linked to the evolution and recovery of the pedestal structure. Additional current is induced in the pedestal region of several DIII-D plasmas, providing a first-of-its-kind experimental demonstration of microtearing modes (MTMs) in the tokamak edge. MTMs may contribute strongly to intense heat fluxes through the pedestal region, potentially providing the groundwork for an entirely physics-based predictive model of pedestal behavior. Finally, to develop a physics understanding of how the SOL boundary condition couples with the pedestal over the course of an entire plasma discharge, detailed modeling work is performed with the UEDGE code as a function of pedestal and ELM conditions. In this section, we establish a dynamic connection between the pedestal structure and divertor behavior, highlighting the need for a comprehensive approach to pedestal physics.
dc.publisherPrinceton, NJ : Princeton University
dc.relation.isformatofThe Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: <a href=></a>
dc.subject.classificationPlasma physics
dc.titleComprehensive dynamic analysis of the H-mode pedestal in DIII-D
dc.typeAcademic dissertations (Ph.D.)
pu.departmentAstrophysical Sciences—Plasma Physics Program
Appears in Collections:Plasma Physics

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