Collisional equipartition rate for a magnetized pure electron plasma

Michael E. Glinsky, Thomas M. O'Neil, Marshall N. Rosenbluth, Kenji Tsuruta, Setsuo Ichimaru

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81 Citations (Scopus)


The collisional equipartition rate between the parallel and perpendicular velocity components is calculated for a weakly correlated electron plasma that is immersed in a uniform magnetic field. Here, parallel and perpendicular refer to the direction of the magnetic field. The rate depends on the parameter κ̄ = (b̄/rc)/√2, where rc = √T/m/Ωc is the cyclotron radius and b̄ = 2e 2/T is twice the distance of closest approach. For a strongly magnetized plasma (i.e., κ̄ ≫ 1), the equipartition rate is exponentially small (v∼exp[ -5(3πκ̄)2/5/6]). For a weakly magnetized plasma (i.e., κ̄ ≪ 1), the rate is the same as for an unmagnetized plasma except that rc/b̄ replaces λD/b̄ in the Coulomb logarithm. (It is assumed here that rc < λD; for rc > λD, the plasma is effectively unmagnetized.) This paper contains a numerical treatment that spans the intermediate regime κ̄∼1, and connects onto asymptotic results in the two limits κ̄ ≪ 1 and κ̄ ≫ 1. Also, an improved asymptotic expression for the rate in the high-field limit is derived. The present theoretical results are in good agreement with recent measurements of the equipartition rate over eight decades in κ̄ and four decades in the scaled rate v/nv̄b̄2, where n is the electron density and v̄ = √2T/m.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1166
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Fluids B
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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