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The equation of state of the Hydrogen-Helium mixture with application to the Sun

Abstract : The study of the thermodynamic properties of a multi-component quantum Coulomb system is of fundamental theoretical interest and has, beyond that, a wide range of applications. The Hydrogen-Helium mixture can be found in the interstellar nebulae and giant planets, however the most prominent example is the Sun. Here the interaction between the electrons and the nuclei is almost purely electrostatic.In this work we study the equation of state of the Hydrogen-Helium mixture starting from first principles, meaning the fundamental Coulomb interaction of its constituting particles. In this context we develop numerical methods to study the few-particle clusters appearing in the theory by using the path integral language. To capture the effects of the long-range Coulomb interaction between the fundamental particles, we construct a new version of Mayer-diagrammatic, which is appropriate for our purposes. In a first step, we ameliorate the scaled-low-temperature (SLT) equation of state, valid in the limit of low density and low temperature, by taking three-body terms into account and we compare the predictions to the well-established OPAL equation of state. Higher densities are accessed by direct inversion of the density equations and by the use of cluster functions that include screening effects. These cluster functions put the influence of screening on the ionization, unto now treated ad-hoc, on a theoretically well-grounded basis. We also inspect other equilibrium quantities such as the speed of sound and the inner energy. In the last part we calculate the equation of state of the Hydrogen-Helium mixture including the charged He+ ions in the screening process. Our work gives insights in the physical content of previous phenomenological descriptions and helps to better determine their range of validity. The equation of state derived in this thesis is expected to be very precise as well as reliable for conditions found in the Sun.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 5:58:07 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01237839, version 1

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David Wendland. The equation of state of the Hydrogen-Helium mixture with application to the Sun. Astrophysics [astro-ph]. Ecole normale supérieure de lyon - ENS LYON, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ENSL1029⟩. ⟨tel-01237839⟩

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