Plasma Dynamics from Microscopic Point of View

  • Shih-I Pai


Since the plasma is composed of a large number of particles, charged and neutral, the most accurate but a more complicated method of description of the flow of a plasma is the molecular theory of plasma. However, because of many physical and mathematical difficulties, it is not possible at the present to treat the gas flow problem exactly by molecular theory Many simplified assumptions about the molecular forces and the collision phenomena have to be made in the formulation of the theory and the resultant equations can only be solved approximately. Such a simplified molecular theory is known as the kinetic theory of gases (5, 8). The generalization of the ordinary kinetic theory of gases to the case of plasma is one of the most interesting current research problems. Since it is still in the process of development, it is not possible to give a rather complete review in a short book as this. However, because of the importance of this subject to plasma dynamics, the reader should have a general idea of such a theory; hence the author will briefly discuss some of the elementary aspects of this theory so that it may serve as an introduction to this theory. For those reasers who are interested in this subject, special treatizes and papers (2, 3) should be referred to.


Boltzmann Equation Kinetic Theory Knudsen Number Molecular Theory Plasma Oscillation 
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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Wien 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shih-I Pai
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied MathematicsUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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