The paper derives the polytropic indices over the last two solar cycles (years 1995–2017) for the solar wind proton plasma near Earth (~1 AU). We use ~92-s datasets of proton plasma moments (speed, density, and temperature), measured from the Solar Wind Experiment instrument onboard Wind spacecraft, to estimate the moving averages of the polytropic index, as well as their weighted means and standard errors as a function of the solar wind speed and the year of measurements. The derived long-term behavior of the polytropic index agrees with the results of other previous methods. In particular, we find that the polytropic index remains quasi-constant with respect to the plasma flow speed, in agreement with earlier analyses of solar wind plasma. It is shown that most of the fluctuations of the polytropic index appear in the fast solar wind. The polytropic index remains quasi-constant, despite the frequent entropic variations. Therefore, on an annual basis, the polytropic index of the solar wind proton plasma near ~1 AU can be considered independent of the plasma flow speed. The estimated all-year weighted mean and its standard error is γ
= 1.86 ± 0.09.
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