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Practicle and photon transport in plasmas

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1 Author(s)
R. Osborn ; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

This paper presents a unified development of kinetic equations describing particle and photon transport in plasmas. The development proceeds deductively from a conventional quantum field theoretic formulation of electrodynamics, albeit via many approximations-many of which are largely untested. It is found that the equations for the particle distributions are a generalization to the plasma of the equations postulated by Uehling and Uhlenbeck for neutral quantum gases. These equations reduce to the usual Boltzmann equation with self-consistent fields in the classical limit. Similarly it is found that the kinetic equation for the photons is a slightly generalized version of a low-energy limit of the equation deduced by Foldy for the description of the propagation of \gamma -rays in matter. The generalization consists in showing that the photons propagate between events in the plasma with a group velocity which is in general different from c and in the retention of the influence of the density of photons and particles in final states upon emission and scattering processes so that the appropriate thermodynamic solutions are readily demonstrable.

Published in:

IRE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )