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Extreme Physics by Jon Larsen, Jeff Colvin

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2 Properties of dense and classical plasma

Many aspects of the properties and behavior of matter at extreme conditions are adequately described by simple fluid theory. Indeed, most of the rest of this text is devoted to developing mathematical models for the properties and behavior of matter at extreme conditions, models that are based on treating the matter as a fluid of interacting ions, electrons, and radiation. The fluid description is adequate largely because the spatial scales and time scales over which the interacting particles, via collisions, establish an equilibrium distribution of particle energies is – as we shall see in this chapter – very short compared to typical time scales over which equilibrium conditions change as a result of ...

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