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The Coupling of Electromagnetic Power to Plasmas

R. Koch

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 53 / Number 2T / February 2008 / Pages 184-193


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This lecture complements the three previous lectures on waves by addressing, on the basis of elementary and intuitive treatment, the process of coupling of electromagnetic power to plasma. Coupling is here meant in a broad sense. It consists of four different steps. (i) The first one is the coupling of vacuum electromagnetic power to plasma waves. An elementary antenna coupling theory is given. The state of the art in coupling models and status of comparisons with experiments are briefly discussed. (ii) The second is the transfer of plasma wave energy to particle energy. The resonant processes leading to this transfer are described in a heuristic way. (iii) The third one is the build-up of fast particle populations. It will be outlined through a sketch of quasilinear diffusion for the simple case of Landau damping. (iv) The last step is the conversion of power through the resonant particle population to bulk plasma heating by collisions, which will be briefly addressed.

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