Physique des plasmas denses : le mélange hydrogène-hélium dans les intérieurs planétaires

Abstract : The thermodynamical conditions inside the giant planets - like Jupiter, Saturn or many of the daily discovered exoplanets – are such that the interactions between particles – atoms, ions, electrons – are highly dominant in the physics of giant planets envelope s, mostly made of hydrogen and helium in a plasma phase. The heat and mechanical properties of these planets are mainly determined by these interactions. Thus, it is of crucial interest to study these dense plasmas to understand the structure and the evolution of the giant planets. The dense plasma phase of the pure compounds has been successfully characterized by ab initio simulations using density functional theory. For instance, they correctly reproduced the results obtained in high-power laser chock experiments. Nevertheless, large discrepancies remain between planetary models and observations. A proposed hypothesis is a strong influence of the H-He mixture non-ideality and possible phase separations. In this work, these ab initio numerical methods have been applied to the H-He mixtures. The thermodynamical study has shown sensitive deviations from ideal mixtures. The estimates of the transport properties (electrical and heat conductivities, optical properties...) indicate an insulator-conductor transition in the mixture, associated with hydrogen ionization. In some conditions, demixing of conducting hydrogen and neutral helium has also been observed. These computations have allowed us to determine pathways to verify our results through laser experiments. This is the first step in the establishment of a reliable equation of state of H-He mixtures, usable in giant planets modeling.
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François Soubiran. Physique des plasmas denses : le mélange hydrogène-hélium dans les intérieurs planétaires. Sciences de la Terre. Ecole normale supérieure de lyon - ENS LYON, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012ENSL0746⟩. ⟨tel-00760002⟩

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