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Physics of Plasmas



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Integral (nonlocal) closures [J.-Y. Ji and E. D. Held, Phys. Plasmas 21, 122116 (2014)] are combined with the momentum balance equation to derive electron parallel transport relations. For a single harmonic fluctuation, the relations take the same form as the classical Spitzer theory (with possible additional terms): the electric current and heat flux densities are connected to the modified electric field and temperature gradient by transport coefficients. In contrast to the classical theory, the dimensionless coefficients depend on the collisionality quantified by a Knudsen number, the ratio of the collision length to the angular wavelength. The key difference comes from the proper treatment of the viscosity and friction terms in the momentum balance equation, accurately reflecting the free streaming and collision terms in the kinetic equation. For an arbitrary fluctuation, the transport relations may be expressed by a Fourier series or transform. For low collisionality, the electric resistivity can be significantly larger than that of classical theory and may predict the correct timescale for fast magnetic reconnection.

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