George Livadiotis, Ph.D.

Research Scholar
Office Phone
171 Broadmead, 103C


George Livadiotis is a research scientist with expertise in nonequilibrium plasmas, focusing on their theoretical development within the framework of statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and kinetic theory, with applications in space and astrophysical plasmas. His 2007 Ph.D. in Physics thesis was on nonlinear dynamics and statistical mechanics applied in solar plasma, where he developed a new nonlinear dynamical model for sunspot evolution, while he also generalized the statistical framework of optimization methods. His current work continues in the field of kappa distributions, the framework of statistical mechanics that describes complex systems out of the classical thermal equilibrium, varying from particle populations in space plasmas throughout the heliosphere and beyond, to multi-species population dynamics and chemical kinetics. The theory is also connected with the Large-Scale Quantization constant ħ*, which is similar to Planck constant, but 12 orders larger, and characterizes space plasmas.

George has also performed numerous data analyses on space plasma observations to derive the thermal properties of the involved particle populations and understand the underpinning thermodynamics; relevant analyses of data taken from the IBEX mission determined and improved understanding of the physical properties of the plasma in the outer heliosphere, its interaction with the ambient magnetic field, and connection with solar activity.

George has published ~180 papers; he also published the first book, entitled "Kappa Distributions: Theory and Applications in Plasmas". He presented these in ~200 international conferences with invited/plenary talks and seminars.

Research Interests:

  • Generalized Statistical Mechanics & Thermodynamics - Fundamentals of Physics: 1) Foundation of the generalized statistical physics and thermodynamics for particle systems residing in stationary states outside the classical thermal equilibrium; 2) Theory of kappa distributions for describing particle velocities and phase-space; 3) Connection with Polytropic processes; 4) Quantum - Plasma Theory to include the Large-Scale Quantization constant ħ*, similar to Planck constant, but 12 orders larger, observed to characterize space plasmas; 5) Entropy Defect, the origin of generalized thermodynamics; 6) Thermodynamic Relativity, a unified theory for Thermodynamics and Relativity.
  • Space Physics: 1) Theoretical methods in plasma physics; 2) Model particle populations (solar wind and energetic particles, pickup ions); 3) Data analysis (ACE, Wind, Ulysses, Voyagers, IBEX, New Horizons, Juno).
  • Nonlinear dynamics & Complexity: 1) Difference equations (stability, phase-space diagrams, bifurcation diagrams; order & chaos); 2) Population dynamics (Allee effect, competition & predator-prey models, stability & phase-space diagrams); 3) Nonlinear models of solar activity (sunspots & active regions); 4) Chemical kinetics (nonArrhenius).
  • Probability Theory, Statistics, Functional Analysis: 1) Error analysis; 2) Optimization & Fitting methods – generalization based on non-Euclidean metrics; 3) Correlation analysis; 4) Multivariate regression.

Short-Term Career Goals:

  • Space Thermodynamics: Generalized framework of Thermodynamics for describing the particle populations in space plasmas.
  • Plasma - Magnetic field connection: Connection of anisotropy, heat transfer, and thermodynamic processes, in space plasmas.
  • Polytropic vs. Cooling: Polytropic processes of pickup ions, replacing the current phenomenological description of “cooling process”.
  • Kappa-Tail-Technique: Application of the technique for fitting kappa distributions in spectral suprathermal tails.
  • Quantum-Plasma Theory: Large-Scale Quantization constant ħ*, similar to Planck constant, but 12 orders larger, characterizing space plasmas.
  • Planck-law generalization and Cosmology: Implications in Cosmic Microwave Background radiation and its thermodynamics.
  • Statistical theory based on Non-Euclidean Norms: Fitting methods based on Lp norms, implications in Statistical Mechanics and machine learning.

Publications Record:

  • Papers/Books (177)
  • Popular Articles and Dissertations (25)
  • Conference Announcements (196)

See the full publication list on the publications page or at Google Scholar.