Statistical-Mechanics Approach to Stability of Current-Carrying Plasmas

M. Kiessling, Ralf Peter Brinkmann, K. Schindler

APS Phys. Rev. Lett. , Volume 56 , Issue 2, 143–146


Abstract

The stability problem for strongly inhomogeneous plasma equilibria is treated by the method of relaxation under constraints. By use of statistical mechanics, a thermodynamic potential is derived for two-dimensional plasma configurations. As a consequence of a suitable constraint the plasma carries a nonvanishing electrical current. The state variables include the average electromagnetic fields. With the aid of the second law of thermodynamics the thermodynamic potential provides a necessary and sufficient stability criterion.

[DOI]

Tags: average electromagnetic fields, constraint, inhomogeneous plasma equilibrium, method of relaxation, second law of thermodynamics, stability criterion, state variables, statistical mechanics, thermodynamic potential, two-dimensional