Transition to supersonic flows in the edge plasma

Ph Ghendrih, K. Bodi, H. Bufferand, G. Chiavassa, G. Ciraolo, N. Fedorczak, L. Isoardi, A. Paredes, Y. Sarazin, E. Serre, F. Schwander, P. Tamain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


With a proper choice of a single dimensionless control parameter one describes the transition between subsonic and supersonic flows as a bifurcation. The bifurcation point is characterized by specific properties of the control parameter: the control parameter has a vanishing derivative in space and takes the maximum possible value equal to 1. This method is then applied to the sheath plasma with constant temperatures, allowing one to recover the Bohm boundary condition as well as the location of the point where the bifurcation takes place. This analysis is extended to fronts, rarefaction waves and divertor plasmas. Two cases are found, those where departure from quasineutrality is mandatory to generate a maximum in the variation of the control parameter (sheath and fronts) and those where the physics of the quasineutral plasma can generate such a maximum (rarefaction waves and supersonic flow in divertors). The conditions that are required to recover the Bohm condition, when modelling the wall using the penalization technique, are also addressed and generalized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054019
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Transition to supersonic flows in the edge plasma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this