Rankine-Hugoniot relations in relativistic combustion waves

Yang Gao, Chung King Law

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5 Scopus citations


As a foundational element describing relativistic reacting waves of relevance to astrophysical phenomena, the Rankine-Hugoniot relations classifying the various propagation modes of detonation and deflagration are analyzed in the relativistic regime, with the results properly degenerating to the non-relativistic and highly relativistic limits. The existence of negative-pressure downstream flows is noted for relativistic shocks, which could be of interest in the understanding of the nature of dark energy. Entropy analysis for relativistic shock waves is also performed for relativistic fluids with different equations of state (EoS), denoting the existence of rarefaction shocks in fluids with adiabatic index Γ < 1 in their EoS. The analysis further shows that weak detonations and strong deflagrations, which are rare phenomena in terrestrial environments, are expected to exist more commonly in astrophysical systems because of the various endothermic reactions present therein. Additional topics of relevance to astrophysical phenomena are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • hydrodynamics
  • shock waves


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