94-383 E. Carlen, R. Esposito, J.L. Lebowitz, R. Marra and A. Rokhlenko
Nonunique Stationary States in Driven Systems; The Weakly Ionized Plasma (21K, TeX) Dec 2, 94
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Abstract. We study the electron velocity distribution $f(v, t)$ in a weakly ionized spatially homogeneous plasma in an external electric field $E$. $f$ satisfies a Boltzmann type equation in which there are linear terms representing collisions with ions and neutral particles having a specified Maxwellian distribution as well as a nonlinear electron-electron (e-e) collision term. Using simplified collision terms we prove that, when e-e collisions dominate, the long time asymptotic behavior of $f$ is non-unique for certain ranges of $E$. This provides a rigorous proof of a dynamical phase transition for a realistic (model) system.

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