A numerical model of non-equilibrium thermal plasmas. I. Transport properties

Zhang, Xiao-Ning; Li, He-Ping; Murphy, Anthony B.; Xia, Wei-Dong
March 2013
Physics of Plasmas;Mar2013, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p033508
Academic Journal
A self-consistent and complete numerical model for investigating the fundamental processes in a non-equilibrium thermal plasma system consists of the governing equations and the corresponding physical properties of the plasmas. In this paper, a new kinetic theory of the transport properties of two-temperature (2-T) plasmas, based on the solution of the Boltzmann equation using a modified Chapman-Enskog method, is presented. This work is motivated by the large discrepancies between the theories for the calculation of the transport properties of 2-T plasmas proposed by different authors in previous publications. In the present paper, the coupling between electrons and heavy species is taken into account, but reasonable simplifications are adopted, based on the physical fact that me/mh < 1, where me and mh are, respectively, the masses of electrons and heavy species. A new set of formulas for the transport coefficients of 2-T plasmas is obtained. The new theory has important physical and practical advantages over previous approaches. In particular, the diffusion coefficients are complete and satisfy the mass conversation law due to the consideration of the coupling between electrons and heavy species. Moreover, this essential requirement is satisfied without increasing the complexity of the transport coefficient formulas. Expressions for the 2-T combined diffusion coefficients are obtained. The expressions for the transport coefficients can be reduced to the corresponding well-established expressions for plasmas in local thermodynamic equilibrium for the case in which the electron and heavy-species temperatures are equal.


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