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This content will become publicly available on August 2, 2017

Title: Kinetic corrections from analytic non-Maxwellian distribution functions in magnetized plasmas

In magnetized plasma physics, almost all developed analytic theories assume a Maxwellian distribution function (MDF) and in some cases small deviations are described using the perturbation theory. The deviations with respect to the Maxwellian equilibrium, called kinetic effects, are required to be taken into account especially for fusion reactor plasmas. Generally, because the perturbation theory is not consistent with observed steady-state non-Maxwellians, these kinetic effects are numerically evaluated by very central processing unit (CPU)-expensive codes, avoiding the analytic complexity of velocity phase space integrals. We develop here a new method based on analytic non-Maxwellian distribution functions constructed from non-orthogonal basis sets in order to (i) use as few parameters as possible, (ii) increase the efficiency to model numerical and experimental non-Maxwellians, (iii) help to understand unsolved problems such as diagnostics discrepancies from the physical interpretation of the parameters, and (iv) obtain analytic corrections due to kinetic effects given by a small number of terms and removing the numerical error of the evaluation of velocity phase space integrals. This work does not attempt to derive new physical effects even if it could be possible to discover one from the better understandings of some unsolved problems, but here we focus on themore » analytic prediction of kinetic corrections from analytic non-Maxwellians. As applications, examples of analytic kinetic corrections are shown for the secondary electron emission, the Langmuir probe characteristic curve, and the entropy. This is done by using three analytic representations of the distribution function: the Kappa distribution function, the bi-modal or a new interpreted non-Maxwellian distribution function (INMDF). The existence of INMDFs is proved by new understandings of the experimental discrepancy of the measured electron temperature between two diagnostics in JET. As main results, it is shown that (i) the empirical formula for the secondary electron emission is not consistent with a MDF due to the presence of super-thermal particles, (ii) the super-thermal particles can replace a diffusion parameter in the Langmuir probe current formula, and (iii) the entropy can explicitly decrease in presence of sources only for the introduced INMDF without violating the second law of thermodynamics. Moreover, the first order entropy of an infinite number of super-thermal tails stays the same as the entropy of a MDF. In conclusion, the latter demystifies the Maxwell's demon by statistically describing non-isolated systems.« less
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION entropy; particle distribution functions; Maxwell equations; probe plasma diagnostics; cumulative distribution functions