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Plasma Physics And Controlled Fusion


We have previously generated elongated Taylor double-helix flux-rope plasmas in the SSX MHD wind tunnel. These plasmas are remarkable in their rapid relaxation (about one Alfven time) and their description by simple analytical Taylor force-free theory despite their high plasma beta and high internal flow speeds. We report on the turbulent features observed in these plasmas including frequency spectra, autocorrelation function, and probability distribution functions of increments. We discuss here the possibility that the turbulence facilitating access to the final state supports coherent structures and intermittency revealed by non-Gaussian signatures in the statistics. Comparisons to a Hall-MHD simulation of the SSX MHD wind tunnel show similarity in several statistical measures.

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