Stochastic threshold for ion heating with beating electrostatic waves


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Stochastic threshold for ion heating with beating electrostatic waves


Abstract

The stochastic threshold for the heating of ions in a magnetized plasma with two electrostatic waves is experimentally characterized. Two obliquely propagating electrostatic modes are launched in a magnetized plasma with frequencies that differ by the ion cyclotron frequency. The values of the wave amplitudes where a rapid increase in the local ion temperature occurs is then parametrically investigated. It is found that the two threshold wave amplitudes are linearly related and that this dependence translates to a lower required energy density for the onset of heating when compared to the case of a single electrostatic wave. Agreement also is demonstrated between the experimentally observed threshold for stochastic heating and an analytical prediction [B. Jorns and E. Y. Choueiri, Phys. Rev. E 87, 013107 (2013)] for this threshold.