Near-equilibrium heliosphere - Far-equilibrium heliosheath

G. Livadiotis, D. J. McComas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Space plasmas are systems in stationary states out of thermal equilibrium, and thus, their phase space distributions cannot be analyzed in the framework of classical Statistical Mechanics. Recent advances in theoretical space physics have shown that non-extensive Statistical Mechanics offers a solid statistical foundation for these distributions. The kappa index that governs these distributions is significant for its role in identifying the nonequilibrium stationary states and measuring their «thermodynamic distance» from thermal equilibrium. While inner heliosphere plasmas reside in near equilibrium states with large kappa indices, generally >2.5, analysis of the IBEX ENA-spectra showed that inner heliosheath resides in states far from equilibrium with small kappa indices <2.5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSolar Wind 2012 - Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Solar Wind Conference
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event13th International Solar Wind Conference, Solar Wind 2012 - Big Island, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 17 2012Jun 22 2012

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference13th International Solar Wind Conference, Solar Wind 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Island, HI

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Kappa distributions
  • space plasmas


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