Evidence of large-scale quantization in space plasmas

George Livadiotis, David J. McComas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

In plasmas, Debye screening structures the possible correlations between particles. We identify a phase space minimum h* in non-equilibrium space plasmas that connects the energy of particles in a Debye sphere to an equivalent wave frequency. In particular, while there is no a priori reason to expect a single value of h* across plasmas, we find a very similar value of h* ≈ (7.5 ± 2.4)×10-22 J·s using four independent methods: (1) Ulysses solar wind measurements, (2) space plasmas that typically reside in stationary states out of thermal equilibrium and spanning a broad range of physical properties, (3) an entropic limit emerging from statistical mechanics, (4) waiting-time distributions of explosive events in space plasmas. Finding a quasi-constant value for the phase space minimum in a variety of different plasmas, similar to the classical Planck constant but 12 orders of magnitude larger may be revealing a new type of quantization in many plasmas and correlated systems more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1118-1134
Number of pages17
JournalEntropy
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Keywords

  • Constants
  • Fundamental
  • Space plasma
  • Thermodynamic properties of plasma

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