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Speculations about plasma free energy, 50 years later

  • T. K. Fowler (a1)


Plasma free energy is that part of the total energy that feeds the growth of turbulence. The most successful free energy formulation in plasma physics is the MHD Energy Principle – successful because, within magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), the free energy $\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FF}W$ is both exact and self-adjoint (or Hermitian). A corresponding result in Vlasov theory is the free energy of equilibria neighbouring stable Maxwellian states – again giving a free energy of Hermitian form for the linearized equations. Since quantum mechanics is inherently Hermitian, here I speculate that quantum free energy is the ultimate way to understand classical plasma dynamics.


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Speculations about plasma free energy, 50 years later

  • T. K. Fowler (a1)


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