The Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section

In summary, the Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section is a way to calculate a single value for the cross sections of a collection of particles at different energies. This is done by averaging the individual cross sections over the energy distribution (Maxwellian) of the particles.
  • #1
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Hi,

Please forgive my ignorance but, can somebody please explain the Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section briefly and basically?

Thank you in advance.
 
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  • #2
What don't you understand?
The equation defining this term is straightforward.
 
  • #3
Cross sections are dependent on the energy of the particle in question. When dealing with a collection of particles at different energies, it is useful to get one number for the collection. This is done by averaging the cross sections over the energy distribution (Maxwellian) of the particles
 
  • #4
mathman said:
Cross sections are dependent on the energy of the particle in question. When dealing with a collection of particles at different energies, it is useful to get one number for the collection. This is done by averaging the cross sections over the energy distribution (Maxwellian) of the particles

Thank you for your reply. So, there is nothing special. It is just the avarage of the cross sections over the energy.
 
  • #5
The average, weighted by the Maxwell distribution.
 

What is the Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section?

The Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section is a measure of the probability of a particle interaction in a gas or plasma. It takes into account the temperature and velocity distribution of the particles in the gas or plasma.

Why is the Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section important in scientific research?

The Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section is important because it allows scientists to accurately predict and understand the behavior of particles in a gas or plasma. This is crucial in fields such as astrophysics, where the interaction of particles in a plasma can have a significant impact on the formation and evolution of celestial objects.

How is the Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section calculated?

The Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section is calculated by taking the product of the collision cross section and the Maxwellian distribution of particle velocities and then integrating over all possible velocities. This gives the average probability of a particle interaction for a given temperature and gas composition.

What are some applications of the Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section?

The Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section has many applications in scientific research. It is commonly used in the study of plasma physics, astrophysics, and atmospheric science. It is also used in the design and optimization of plasma-based technologies such as nuclear fusion reactors and plasma thrusters.

How does the Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section vary with temperature and particle composition?

The Maxwellian Averaged Cross Section is directly proportional to temperature, meaning that as the temperature increases, so does the average probability of a particle interaction. It also varies with particle composition, as different particles have different collision cross sections and velocities, which can affect the overall value of the cross section.

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