Diagnostics for magnetically confined high-temperature plasmas
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During the last 20 years, magnetically confined laboratory plasmas of steadily increasing temperatures and densities have been obtained, most notably in tokamak configurations, and now approach the conditions necessary to sustain a fusion reaction. Even more important to the goal of understanding the physics of such systems, remarkable advances in plasma diagnostics, the techniques for determining the properties of such plasmas, have accompanied these developments. More parameters can be determined with greater accuracy and finer spatial and temporal resolution. The magnetic configuration, the primary local thermodynamic quantities (density, temperature, and drift velocity), and other necessary quantities can now be measured with sufficient accuracy to determine particle and energy fluxes within the plasma and to characterize the basic transport processes. These plasmas are far from thermodynamic equilibrium. This deviation manifests itself in a variety of instabilities on several spatial and temporal scales, many of which are aptly described as turbulence. Many aspects of the turbulence can also be characterized. This article reviews the current state of diagnostics from an epistemoiogical perspective: the capabilities and limitations for measuring each important physical quantity are presented.