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Friday, December 18, 2009
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


The lower hybrid wave cutoff: a case study in eikonal methods

Steve Richardson
MIT Plasma Fusion Center

Eikonal, or ray tracing, methods are commonly used to estimate the propagation of radio frequency fields in plasmas. While the information gained from the rays is quite useful, an approximate solution for the fields would also be valuable, e.g., for comparison to full wave simulations. Such approximations are often difficult to perform numerically, because of the special care which must be taken to correctly reconstruct the fields near reflection and focusing caustics. In this talk, I compare the standard eikonal method for approximating fields to a method based on the dynamics of wave packets. I compare the approximations resulting from these two methods to the analytical solution for a lower hybrid wave reflecting from a cutoff. The algorithm based on wave packets has the advantage that it can correctly deal with caustics, without any special treatment.

Host: John Finn