We consider the derivation of a kinetic equation for a charged test particle weakly interacting with an electrostatic plasma in thermal equilibrium, subject to a uniform external magnetic field. The Liouville equation leads to a generalized master equation to second order in the `weak' interaction; a Fokker-Planck-type equation then follows as a `Markovian' approximation. It is shown that such an equation does not preserve the positivity of the distribution function f(x,v;t). By applying techniques developed in the theory of open systems, a correct Fokker-Planck equation is derived. Explicit expressions for the diffusion and drift coefficients, depending on the magnetic field, are obtained.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics