Rearranging the six-dimensional phase space of particles in plasma can release energy. The rearrangement may happen through the application of electric and magnetic fields, subject to various constraints. The maximum energy that can be released through a rearrangement of a distribution of particles can be called its available or free energy. Rearrangement subject to phase space volume conservation leads to the classic Gardner free energy. Less free energy is available when constraints are applied, such as respecting conserved quantities. Also, less energy is available if particles can only be diffused in phase-space from regions of high phase-space density to regions of lower phase-space density. The least amount of free energy is available if particles can only be diffused in phase space, while conserved quantities still need to be respected.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics