Cascades and Dissipative Anomalies in Relativistic Fluid Turbulence

Gregory L. Eyink, Theodore D. Drivas

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21 Scopus citations


We develop a first-principles theory of relativistic fluid turbulence at high Reynolds and Péclet numbers. We follow an exact approach pioneered by Onsager, which we explain as a nonperturbative application of the principle of renormalization-group invariance. We obtain results very similar to those for nonrelativistic turbulence, with hydrodynamic fields in the inertial range described as distributional or "coarse-grained" solutions of the relativistic Euler equations. These solutions do not, however, satisfy the naive conservation laws of smooth Euler solutions but are afflicted with dissipative anomalies in the balance equations of internal energy and entropy. The anomalies are shown to be possible by exactly two mechanisms, local cascade and pressure-work defect. We derive "4/5th-law" type expressions for the anomalies, which allow us to characterize the singularities (structure-function scaling exponents) required for their not vanishing. We also investigate the Lorentz covariance of the inertial-range fluxes, which we find to be broken by our coarse-graining regularization but which is restored in the limit where the regularization is removed, similar to relativistic lattice quantum field theory. In the formal limit as speed of light goes to infinity, we recover the results of previous nonrelativistic theory. In particular, anomalous heat input to relativistic internal energy coincides in that limit with anomalous dissipation of nonrelativistic kinetic energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011023
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 12 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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