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Relativity in Modern Physics$
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Nathalie Deruelle and Jean-Philippe Uzan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786399.001.0001

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Kinetic theory

Kinetic theory

(p.92) 10 Kinetic theory
Relativity in Modern Physics

Nathalie Deruelle

Jean-Philippe Uzan

Oxford University Press

This chapter covers the equations governing the evolution of particle distribution and relates the macroscopic thermodynamical quantities to the distribution function. The motion of N particles is governed by 6N equations of motion of first order in time, written in either Hamiltonian form or in terms of Poisson brackets. Thus, as this chapter shows, as the number of particles grows it becomes necessary to resort to a statistical description. The chapter first introduces the Liouville equation, which states the conservation of the probability density, before turning to the Boltzmann–Vlasov equation. Finally, it discusses the Jeans equations, which are the equations obtained by taking various averages over velocities.

Keywords:   kinetic theory, statistics, Liouville equation, Jeans equations, Boltzmann–Vlasov equation, Hamiltonian, Poisson brackets

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