AMO/QO SEMINAR SERIES
"Kappa distributions and nonextensive statistical mechanics: Theory and applications in astrophysical plasmas"
Dr. George Livadiotis
Southwest Research Institute, USA
Classical collisional particle systems residing in thermal equilibrium have their particle velocity/energy
distribution function stabilized into a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. On the contrary, space and astrophysical
plasmas are exotic collisionless particle systems residing in stationary states characterized by the kappa
distribution function. A breakthrough in the field came with the connection of kappa distributions with statistical
mechanics and thermodynamics, accomplished by the following theoretical findings: (1) kappa distributions
maximize the entropy of nonextensive statistical mechanics under the constraints of canonical ensemble; (2)
particle systems exchanging heat with each other and reaching thermodynamic equilibrium are stabilized always
into the formulation of kappa distributions. Thereafter, kappa distributions became increasingly widespread across
the physics of astrophysical plasma processes, describing particles in the heliosphere, from the solar wind and
planetary magnetospheres to the distant heliospheric boundaries, and beyond, to the interstellar and intergalactic
plasmas. The seminar will review the physical foundations and recent developments of kappa distributions in space
and astrophysical plasmas.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
IQSE Seminar Room, 12:00 Noon
Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
Texas A&M University
Lunch to be served at 11:30 a.m.
Host: Dr. Marlan Scully
THE INSTITUTE FOR QUANTUM
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING