Abstract:
A new form of the Laplace transform is reviewed as a paradigm for an entire class of fractional functional transforms. Various of its properties are discussed. Such transformations should be useful in application to differential/integral equations or problems in non-extensive statistical mechanics.

Abstract:
We propose a generalization of Gibbs' statistical mechanics into the domain of non-negligible phase space correlations. Derived are the probability distribution and entropy as a generalized ensemble average, replacing Gibbs-Boltzmann-Shannon's entropy definition enabling construction of new forms of statistical mechanics. The general entropy may also be of importance in information theory and data analysis. Application to generalized Lorentzian phase space elements yields the Gibbs-Lorentzian power law probability distribution and statistical mechanics. The corresponding Boltzmann, Fermi and Bose-Einstein distributions are found. They apply only to finite temperature states including correlations. As a by-product any negative absolute temperatures are categorically excluded, supporting a recent “no-negative T” claim.

Abstract:
Magnetic reconnection, the merging of oppositely directed magnetic fields that leads to field reconfiguration, plasma heating, jetting and acceleration, is one of the most celebrated processes in collisionless plasmas. It requires the violation of the frozen-in condition which ties gyrating charged particles to the magnetic field inhibiting diffusion. Ongoing reconnection has been identified in near-Earth space as being responsible for the excitation of substorms, magnetic storms, generation of field aligned currents and their consequences, the wealth of auroral phenomena. Its theoretical understanding is now on the verge of being completed. Reconnection takes place in thin current sheets. Analytical concepts proceeded gradually down to the microscopic scale, the scale of the electron skin depth or inertial length, recognizing that current layers that thin do preferentially undergo spontaneous reconnection. Thick current layers start reconnecting when being forced by plasma inflow to thin. For almost half a century the physical mechanism of reconnection has remained a mystery. Spacecraft in situ observations in combination with sophisticated numerical simulations in two and three dimensions recently clarified the mist, finding that reconnection produces a specific structure of the current layer inside the electron inertial (also called electron diffusion) region around the reconnection site, the X line. Onset of reconnection is attributed to pseudo-viscous contributions of the electron pressure tensor aided by electron inertia and drag, creating a complicated structured electron current sheet, electric fields, and an electron exhaust extended along the current layer. We review the general background theory and recent developments in numerical simulation on collisionless reconnection. It is impossible to cover the entire field of reconnection in a short space-limited review. The presentation necessarily remains cursory, determined by our taste, preferences, and knowledge. Only a small amount of observations is included in order to support the few selected numerical simulations.

Abstract:
Magnetic fields in the universe are in general weak, of the order of μGauss only. However, in compact objects they assume extraordinarily large values. These are produced by gravitational collapse of massive magnetized objects. Clearly, fields in the massive progenitor are energetically limited by the available energy which can be fed into the generation of currents and magnetic fields. However, when collapsing down to small scales magnetic fields become superstrong exceeding any limits which can be reached in the laboratory. A brief review and discussion is given on the absolute limitation to the magnetic field strengths which can be obtained during such collapses.

Abstract:
We review current ideas on the origin of galactic and extragalactic magnetic fields. We begin by summarizing observations of magnetic fields at cosmological redshifts and on cosmological scales. These observations translate into constraints on the strength and scale magnetic fields must have during the early stages of galaxy formation in order to seed the galactic dynamo. We examine mechanisms for the generation of magnetic fields that operate prior during inflation and during subsequent phase transitions such as electroweak symmetry breaking and the quark-hadron phase transition. The implications of strong primordial magnetic fields for the reionization epoch as well as the first generation of stars is discussed in detail. The exotic, early-Universe mechanisms are contrasted with astrophysical processes that generate fields after recombination. For example, a Biermann-type battery can operate in a proto-galaxy during the early stages of structure formation. Moreover, magnetic fields in either an early generation of stars or active galactic nuclei can be dispersed into the intergalactic medium.

Abstract:
Magnetic fields appear to be ubiquitous in astrophysical environments. Their existence in the intracluster medium is established through observations of synchrotron emission and Faraday rotation. On the other hand, the nature of magnetic fields outside of clusters, where observations are scarce and controversial, remains largely unknown. In this chapter, we review recent developments in our understanding of the nature and origin of intergalactic magnetic fields, and in particular, intercluster fields. A plausible scenario for the origin of galactic and intergalactic magnetic fields is for seed fields, created in the early universe, to be amplified by turbulent flows induced during the formation of the large scale structure. We present several mechanisms for the generation of seed fields both before and after recombination. We then discuss the evolution and role of magnetic fields during the formation of the first starts. We describe the turbulent amplification of seed fields during the formation of large scale structure and the nature of the magnetic fields that arise. Finally, we discuss implications of intergalactic magnetic fields.

Abstract:
We investigate trapping of mirror modes in a magnetic slab. This model is a simplification of a real situation in front of the magnetopause where mirror waves may become trapped in a region close to the magnetopause for tangential discontinuity conditions and an unidentified (hypothetical) boundary deeper in the sheath which we, for simplicity, assume to be another tangential discontinuity. Such magnetic slabs may trap mirror modes selecting a particular perpendicular wave lengths which follows from a quantization condition on the perpendicular wavenumber.

Abstract:
We derive restrictions on collisional reconnection under the conditions in near-Earth space. The arguments are based on the precise definition and estimates of the resistive scale $L_\eta$ at the ion inertial site in collisionless reconnection, i.e. in the so-called `ion diffusion region' which is the region of Hall-current flow.

Abstract:
A new kinetic theory Boltzmann-like collision term including correlations is proposed. In equilibrium it yields the one-particle distribution function in the form of a generalised-Lorentzian resembling but not being identical with the so-called $\kappa$ distribution frequently found in collisionless turbulent systems like space plasmas. We show that this distribution function satisfies a generalised $H$-theorem, yields an expression for the entropy that is concave. Thus, the distribution is a `true' thermodynamic equilibrium distribution, presumably valid for turbulent systems. In equilibrium it is possible to construct the fundamental thermodynamic quantities. This is done for an ideal gas only. The new kinetic equation can form the basis for obtaining a set of hydrodynamic conservation laws and construction of a generalised transport theory for strongly correlated states of a system.

Abstract:
We extend the recently developed non-gaussian thermodynamic formalism \cite{tre98} of a (presumably strongly turbulent) non-Markovian medium to its most general form that allows for the formulation of a consistent thermodynamic theory. All thermodynamic functions, including the definition of the temperature, are shown to be meaningful. The thermodynamic potential from which all relevant physical information in equilibrium can be extracted, is defined consistently. The most important findings are the following two: (1) The temperature is defined exactly in the same way as in classical statistical mechanics as the derivative of the energy with respect to the entropy at constant volume. (2) Observables are defined in the same way as in Boltzmannian statistics as the linear averages of the new equilibrium distribution function. This lets us conclude that the new state is a real thermodynamic equilibrium in systems capable of strong turbulence with the new distribution function replacing the Boltzmann distribution in such systems. We discuss the ideal gas, find the equation of state, and derive the specific heat and adiabatic exponent for such a gas. We also derive the new Gibbsian distribution of states. Finally we discuss the physical reasons for the development of such states and the observable properties of the new distribution function.