When waves propagate through a bounded plasma, the wave may be amplified or damped at the expense of the plasma kinetic energy. In many cases of interest, the primary effect of the wave is to cause plasma diffusion in velocity and configuration space. In the absence of collisions, the rearrangement of the plasma conserves entropy, as large-grain structures are mixed and fine-grain structures emerge. The maximum extractable energy by waves so diffusing the plasma is a quantity of fundamental interest; it can be defined, but it is difficult to calculate. Through the consideration of specific examples, certain strategies for maximizing energy extraction are identified.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computational Mechanics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes