Forced magnetic reconnection in Tokamak plasmas
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This dissertation addresses two related problems in the study of forced magnetic reconnection in Tokamak plasmas. First, a recent controversy concerning a model forced magnetic reconnection problem, the Taylor problem, has been resolved. The criticisms of Ishizawa and Tokuda  concerning the original analysis of Hahm and Kulsrud  are shown to be unwarranted, both analytically and numerically. Second, one possible reason for the discrepancy between recent experimental  and previous theoretical  scaling of the critical error-field penetration threshold with device parameters is addressed. The theory in question is entirely based on a single-fluid MHD (magnetohydrodynamical) treatment of the plasma. As is well-known, high temperature plasmas are far better modeled using the drift-MHD ordering. Hence we develop a drift-MHD theory of error-field penetration. Although two new drift-MHD plasma response regimes are identified, the overall threshold scaling with device parameters is not altogether different from that predicted by single-fluid MHD.