On the origin of the polytropic behavior in space plasmas

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The paper addresses the connection between the polytropic behavior - the specific power-law relationship among the thermal plasma moments- and the functional form of the distribution of particle velocities and energies. Surprisingly, the polytropic behavior requires the statistical mechanics of the plasma particles to turn to the framework of kappa distributions. While it was already known that kappa distributions can lead to the polytropic relationship, the new result shows that the reverse derivation is also true; thus, the polytropic behavior has the role of a mechanism generating kappa distributions. Therefore, when observations confirm the existence of a polytropic behavior in plasma particles, then the framework of kappa distributions for describing particle velocities and energies can be indirectly confirmed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012010
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 14 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event18th Annual International Astrophysics Conference, AIAC 2019 - Pasadena, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2019Feb 22 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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