Boltzmann's H-theorem and the assumption of molecular chaos

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Abstract

We describe a simple dynamical model of a one-dimensional ideal gas and use computer simulations of the model to illustrate two fundamental results of kinetic theory: the Boltzmann transport equation and the Boltzmann H-theorem. Although the model is time-reversal invariant, both results predict that the behaviour of the gas is time-asymmetric. We show that the assumption of molecular chaos is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition, for such time-asymmetric results to correctly describe the model, and we use computer simulations to investigate the conditions under which the assumption of molecular chaos holds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1391-1403
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Physics
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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