Universality of kappa distributions

George Livadiotis, David J. McComas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reveals the universality of the particle energy distribution function, despite the arbitrariness that characterizes the generalized thermodynamic entropic function. We show that the canonical distribution, that is, the distribution function that maximizes this entropy under the constraints of canonical ensemble, is always the same and given by the kappa distribution function. We use the recently developed entropy defect to express the generalized entropic formulation. The entropy defect is a thermodynamic concept that describes the loss of entropy due to the order induced by the presence of correlations. Then we carry out functional analysis to maximize the implicit expression of the generalized entropy. Critically, we show that the Lagrange multipliers have the same exact arbitrariness as the generalized entropic function, allowing us to cancel it out and proving the universality of canonical distribution as the kappa distribution function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41003
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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