A simple analysis of thermodynamic properties for classical plasmas: I. Theory

Robert Penfold, Sture Nordholm, Nancy Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


By eliminating the short range negative divergence of the Debye-Huuckel pair distribution function, but retaining the exponential charge screening known to operate at large interparticle separation, the thermodynamic properties of one-component plasmas of point ions or charged hard spheres can be well represented even in the strong coupling regime. Predicted electrostatic free energies agree within 5% of simulation data for typical Coulomb interactions up to a factor of 10 times the average kinetic energy. Here, this idea is extended to the general case of a uniform ionic mixture, comprising an arbitrary number of components, embedded in a rigid neutralizing background. The new theory is implemented in two ways: (i) by an unambiguous iterative algorithm that requires numerical methods and breaks the symmetry of cross correlation functions; and (ii) by invoking generalized matrix inverses that maintain symmetry and yield completely analytic solutions, but which are not uniquely determined. The extreme computational simplicity of the theory is attractive when considering applications to complex inhomogeneous fluids of charged particles.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberP06009
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2005


  • charged fluids (theory)

Cite this