A linear collision operator for relativistic plasmas

Noble, Adam and Burton, David (2011) A linear collision operator for relativistic plasmas. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 44 (14). 145502. ISSN 0305-4470

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Abstract

Generalizing the work of Lenard and Bernstein, we introduce a new, fully relativistic model to describe collisional plasmas. Like the Fokker–Planck operator, this equation represents velocity diffusion and conserves particle number. However, unlike the Fokker–Planck operator, it is linear in the distribution function, and so more amenable to a fluid treatment. By taking moments, we derive a new fluid model together with a hierarchy of closure schemes, and demonstrate the damping effects of collisions on Langmuir waves in cold and warm plasmas.