Nonequilibrium thermodynamics and the transport phenomena in magnetically confined plasmas
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The neoclassical theory of transport in magnetically confined plasmas is reviewed. The emphasis is laid on a set of relationships existing among the banana transport coefficients. The surface-averaged entropy production in such plasmas is evaluated. It is shown that neoclassical effects emerge from the entropy production due to parallel transport processes. The Pfirsch-Schlüter effect can be clearly interpreted as due to spatial fluctuations of parallel fluxes on a magnetic surface: the corresponding entropy production is the measure of these fluctuations. The banana fluxes can be formulated in a “quasithermodynamic” form in which the average entropy production is a bilinear form in the parallel fluxes and the conjugate generalized stresses. A formulation as a quadratic form in the thermodynamic forces is also possible, but leads to anomalies, which are discussed in some detail.
Key wordsNonequilibrium thermodynamics entropy production plasma transport theory neoclassical transport
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