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text 2017-10-03 09:32
Reading progress update: I've read 58 out of 250 pages.
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio Chiuderi,Marco Velli

I've never seen a derivation of the equations of fluid mechanics from kinetic theory before. The algebra is hard. Don't come near this book without a thorough knowledge of tensor algebra and vector calculus and a willingness to drown in a sea of subscripts and calculus operators.

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text 2017-09-08 09:31
Reading progress update: I've read 47 out of 250 pages.
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio Chiuderi,Marco Velli

Brutal section on kinetic theory: the key is to understand the underlying statistical arguments, independent of the physics, then come back and realise you're doing nearly the same thing to a vector distribution which happens to have a physical meaning, as you were doing to a scalar probability distribution. Then apply a bunch of vector calculus tricks that allow you to get some really clever results.

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text 2017-09-07 10:36
Reading progress update: I've read 42 out of 250 pages.
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio Chiuderi,Marco Velli

With the aid of a colleague I've understood the argument used to define the mean velocity field of a plasma from its microscopic velocity distribution field. The argument is not clear either conceptually or mathematically. Frowny face.

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text 2017-09-01 08:46
Reading progress update: I've read 41 out of 250 pages.
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio Chiuderi,Marco Velli

I almost skipped the orbit theory chapter (same old same old) but I'm glad I didn't because it's very clear on relativistic limits to the theory, stuff you don't typically see elsewhere. The derivation of the Fokker-Planck equation from kinetic theory is also very good. If this book was converted to SI Units it would be brilliant, going by the evidence so far.

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text 2017-08-30 09:41
Reading progress update: I've read 16 out of 250 pages.
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio Chiuderi,Marco Velli

The first chapter is a very mixed bag:


Negative: "mixed cgs-Gaussian" units. Muddled and contradictory definition plasma. (The "fourth state of matter"/ionised gas definition is wrong and should be dropped.) Counter-intuitive notation.


Positive: Detailed discussion of collision frequencies, does not assume singly ionised heavy ions, quantitative definitions of quasi-neutrality, relativistic and classical limits.

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