Plasma relaxation, as well as the relaxation of more general diffusive systems, is discussed from a dynamical point of view. It is shown that a state which minimizes the rate of entropy production, as suitably defined, attracts neighboring states and thus causes relaxation. For plasmas, the entropy principle is compared with Taylors hypothesis of energy minimization and is shown to explain observed experimental results. An iteration scheme based on the entropy principle is constructed, and enables numerical calculation of the relaxed state. The scheme arises more naturally than the local potential method of Glansdorff and Prigogine which is improved upon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics