Physical Correlations Lead to Kappa Distributions

G. Livadiotis, D. J. McComas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The recently developed concept of “entropic defect” is important for understanding the foundations of thermodynamics in space plasma physics, and more generally for systems with physical correlations among their particles. Using this concept, this paper derives the basic formulation of the distribution function of velocities (or kinetic energies) in space plasma particle populations. Earlier analyses have shown how the formulation of kappa distributions is interwoven with the presence of correlations among the particles’ velocities. This paper shows, for the first time, that the reverse is true: the thermodynamics of particles’ physical correlations are consistent only with the existence of kappa distributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number83
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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