In highly-compressed plasmas as realized in inertial confinement fusion, the wave nature of electrons becomes noticeable and Pauli's exclusion principle restricts the energy transition of electrons remarkably. Such a state is called "electron degeneracy". In addition, the electron degeneracy may affect the energy distribution and temperature of coexisting ions through Coulombic ion-electron interaction. In order to evaluate these effects, we developed and solved the model equation for the distribution function of ions in degenerate electron plasmas. As a result, it is shown that the ion distribution function maintains a Maxwellian form at a temperature equal to that of degenerate electrons in thermal equilibrium because two effects of electron degeneracy-spectral hardening and Pauli blocking-counteract each other. Furthermore the electron degeneracy slows temperature relaxation between ions and electrons in non-thermal equilibrium.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics