A model for collision processes in gases. I. Small amplitude processes in charged and neutral one-component systems

Bhatnagar, P. L. ; Gross, E. P. ; Krook, M. (1954) A model for collision processes in gases. I. Small amplitude processes in charged and neutral one-component systems Physical Review, 94 (3). pp. 511-525. ISSN 0031-899X

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Official URL: http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PR/v94/i3/p511_1

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev.94.511


A kinetic theory approach to collision processes in ionized and neutral gases is presented. This approach is adequate for the unified treatment of the dynamic properties of gases over a continuous range of pressures from the Knudsen limit to the high-pressure limit where the aerodynamic equations are valid. It is also possible to satisfy the correct microscopic boundary conditions. The method consists in altering the collision terms in the Boltzmann equation. The modified collision terms are constructed so that each collision conserves particle number, momentum, and energy; other characteristics such as persistence of velocities and angular dependence may be included. The present article illustrates the technique for a simple model involving the assumption of a collision time independent of velocity; this model is applied to the study of small amplitude oscillations of one-component ionized and neutral gases. The initial value problem for unbounded space is solved by performing a Fourier transformation on the space variables and a Laplace transformation on the time variable. For uncharged gases there results the correct adiabatic limiting law for sound-wave propagation at high pressures and, in addition, one obtains a theory of absorption and dispersion of sound for arbitrary pressures. For ionized gases the difference in the nature of the organization in the low-pressure plasma oscillations and in high-pressure sound-type oscillations is studied. Two important cases are distinguished. If the wavelengths of the oscillations are long compared to either the Debye length or the mean free path, a small change in frequency is obtained as the collision frequency varies from zero to infinity. The accompanying absorption is small; it reaches its maximum value when the collision frequency equals the plasma frequency. The second case refers to waves shorter than both the Debye length and the mean free path; these waves are characterized by a very heavy absorption.

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