- Conference date: 17–22 June 2012
- Location: Big Island, Hawaii
Space plasmas are systems in stationary states out of thermal equilibrium, and thus, their phase space distributions cannot be analyzed in the framework of classical Statistical Mechanics. Recent advances in theoretical space physics have shown that non-extensive Statistical Mechanics offers a solid statistical foundation for these distributions. The kappa index that governs these distributions is significant for its role in identifying the nonequilibrium stationary states and measuring their "thermodynamic distance" from thermal equilibrium. While inner heliosphere plasmas reside in near equilibrium states with large kappa indices, generally >2.5, analysis of the IBEX ENA-spectra showed that inner heliosheath resides in states far from equilibrium with small kappa indices <2.5.
- Classical statistical mechanics
- Statistical analysis
- Nonequilibrium thermodynamics
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