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Compress a very hot plasma, change in electromagnetic energy?

  1. Sep 4, 2013 #1
    Say I have a volume of hydrogen gas that is raised to a temperature T so that 99.9 percent of the gas is ionized. If now, with the plasma at some pressure P, the volume is compressed a small volume dV such that no energy leaves the volume I'm curious of a total accounting of where the energy PdV goes.

    Some energy goes into heating the plasma and some energy goes into "heating" the photon gas?

    This is not a statics problem but is there an average total electrostatic energy that can be computed and does it change during compression? The electrostatic energy of a compressed neutral plasma confuses me.

    What about the magnetic energy of the moving charges, their average speed increases but the volume decreases so does the total magnetic energy change?

    I may be mixing classical and quantum, any clarifications welcome.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What "photon gas" are you referring to?
  4. Sep 4, 2013 #3
    I assumed that if we have a plasma at equilibrium temperature T there would also be black body radiation at the same temperature T that coexisted with the plasma?
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