Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 45 / Number 2T / March 2004 / Pages 79-84
Technical Paper / Plasma and Fusion Energy Physics - Equilibrium and Instabilities
The task of the theory of tokamak equilibrium is to determine the global magnetic confinement topology and physical characteristics of the underlying basic equilibrium state, which is assumed to be static (both [partial derivative]/[partial derivative]t = 0 and background velocity v0 = 0). This could be considered to be the most boring case of plasma behavior, viz. total absence of dynamics: a corresponding fluid dynamics problem hardly exists. The reason for our interest in this plasma state is the prospect of obtaining clean, abundant, and cheap energy from controlled thermonuclear fusion reactions. Of course, criticism and doubt immediately enter the mind after a statement like this. Nevertheless, let us study this plasma state, leaving questions like 'is there such a state at all?' and 'is it actually so desirable?' for later (Sec. 5).