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# CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S COLLISION OPERATOR : LANDAU REVISITED

C. VILLANI Abstract. We show that Boltzmann’s collision operator can be written explicitly in divergence and double divergence forms. These conservative formulations may be of interest for both theoretical and numerical purposes. We give an application to the asymptotics of grazing collisions.

Contents 1. Introduction 2. Basic identities and main results 3. First conservative form 4. How to go further 5. Computing in σ -representation 6. Landau’s collision operator 7. The asymptotics of grazing collisions References 1 5 8 13 15 21 23 25

1. Introduction Boltzmann’s collision operator is the main model in statistical physics for describing the interaction between colliding particles. It reads 1 dv∗ dω B (v − v∗ , ω ) f f∗ − f f∗ , 2 4N S N −1 where f : RN −→ R+ is a nonnegative L1 function, standing for the distribution of the velocities of the particles, (1) Q(f, f ) = (2) v = v − (v − v∗ , ω )ω, v∗ = v∗ + (v − v∗ , ω )ω,

and f = f (v ), and so on. As ω varies in the unit sphere S N −1 , v and v∗ describe all the possible postcollisional velocities of two particles
1

2

C. VILLANI

colliding with respective velocity v and v∗ , taking into account that the collisions are assumed to be elastic, i.e. (3) v + v∗ = v + v∗ , |v |2 + |v ∗ |2 = |v |2 + |v ∗ |2 .

Moreover, B (z, ω ) is a nonnegative weight function for all possible directions of the parameter ω . It is always assumed on physical grounds that B depends only on |z | and |(z, ω )|. A factor 1/2 stands in front of the collisional integral because in the representation (2) the unit sphere is covered twice : alternatively, we could restrict the integration to the set of (v, v∗ , ω ) satisfying (v − v∗ , ω ) > 0. Q(f, f ) at point v gives the variation of the “number” of particles with velocity v , in a unit of time, due to collisions. It is often split into its positive and negative parts, Q = Q+ − Q− , which are called respectively the gain and loss terms of the collision operator. Another useful representation of Q is obtained by using a local system of spherical coordinates with axis v − v∗ and spherical angle σ : (4) with Q(f, f ) =

4N

dv∗
S N −1

dσ B (v − v∗ , σ ) f f∗ − f f∗ ,

(5)

 v + v ∗ |v − v ∗ |   σ  v = 2 + 2    v = v + v∗ − |v − v∗ | σ, ∗ 2 2 B (z, σ ) = B (z, ω ) 2N −1
z ,ω |z | N −2

and .

If the interaction between two particles is given by an inverse-power force 1/rs (r being the distance between particles) with s ≥ 2, then (Cf. [1]) B (z, σ ) = |z |γ ζ (θ) where θ ∈ [0, π ] is the angle between z and σ . If N = 3, then γ = (s − 5)/(s − 1) and ζ is smooth on (0, π/2), but ζ (θ) ∼ Cθ−(s+1)/(s−1) with C > 0 as θ → 0. This singularity corresponds to the so-called grazing collisions, i.e. with a very small amount of momentum transfer (equivalently, (v − v∗ , ω ) 0). Though it is nonintegrable, it is possible

The basis of Landau’s analysis was to write formally Boltzmann’s collision operator in a conservative form. the velocity of a particle changes continuously – and a small surface element. looks like a hyperplane. For Coulomb interactions. paragraph 41. Ψ(|z |) = |z |γ +2 = Πij (z ) = δij − QL (f. provided that π (6) Λ≡ 0 dθ ζ (θ) sin2 θ < ∞. Landau [4] formally performed asymptotics in which the grazing collisions become preponderant. The case γ = −3 is formally treated in [2] for instance. In fact. To circumvent this diﬃculty. 2 i. See [6] and the references therein for a detailed study. and obtained a new collision operator. because. since the ﬂux (9) counts particles going through a hyperplane. the operator (7) is well-deﬁned and is believed to give a satisfactory description of the collisions in a dilute plasma. ω ) f (w + q )f (w∗ − q ) − f (w)f (w∗ ) where q = (v − v∗ . (8) Q(f.CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 3 to give a distributional sense to Q(f. It is easily seen that this expression is a crude approximation of (1). 1 for Coulomb potential |z | Here we use Eisntein’s convention of implicit summation. Assuming of course Λ to be ﬁnite. s = 2 and the integral (6) diverges logarithmically. viewed from very close. (7) with aij (z ) = ΛΨ(|z |)Πij (z ). |z |2 . f ) = −∇v · s and the j th component of s is given by (9) sj (v ) = vj − qj >0 dω dv∗ vj −qj dwj B (w − w∗ . it is . due to the small amount of momentum transfer. But both expressions (1) and (8) coincide in the limit when all the collisions become grazing. see [4]. f ) = ∂ ∂vi 4N dv∗ aij (v − v∗ ) f∗ ∂f ∂f∗ −f ∂vj ∂v∗j zi zj . due to the eﬀect of long-range interactions. that the total cross-section for momentum transfer be ﬁnite.e. f ) under rather weak assumptions. ω )ω is the transferred momentum.

ω ) dr f (v + rω )f (v∗ + rω ) = O |(v − v∗ . we shall show that. considered either as a divergence or as a double divergence. What is more. In section 2. Such a formula could be useful for devising new deterministic numerical schemes for the Boltzmann equation. VILLANI sometimes stated in physics textbooks that the expression (8) is meaningless in the general case. The organization of the paper is as follows. because. ω )| . and the ﬂux is not well-deﬁned). In particular. that is. the fact that ω runs through the unit sphere in (1) appears to often cause delicate problems for discretization [3].e. f ) = (v −v∗ . Finally. contrary to a diﬀusion process. we note that in the formula (10) a singularity of order 1 in B has been formally reported on the divergence operation. at least from the mathematical point of view. (v −v∗ . the velocity of particles does not change continuously (hence particles “jump” in the velocity space RN . one possible expression for the ﬂux of particles is (10) J (f. These formulas could be interesting for the mathematical study of the Boltzmann equation. We also give a double divergence form for Landau’s collision operator (7). ω ) (v −v∗ . 0 On the other hand. one can also write J as an expression of the form (12) J (f. we give an application of the results of section 3 : a simpliﬁed proof of a result . it is perfectly possible to write the Boltzmann collision operator in a conservative form.ω ) − dv∗ dω B (v − v∗ . f ) = ij ∂ij Aij (f. even if particles undergo sudden changes of velocity. f ) = 42N dv∗ dv◦ f (v∗ )f (v◦ )D(v. v∗ . we recall the basic identities involving Q. the representation (10) gives the ﬂux as an integral operator with one multiplicity more than the collision operator (1). if f is smooth. f ). f ). Indeed. then we state several forms of Q(f. especially the singularity in B .ω )>0 0 dr f (v + rω )f (v∗ + rω )ω.4 C. 2N instead of 2N − 1. (11) Q(f. However. In fact. Indeed. These expressions are established in sections 3 to 6. v◦ ). For instance. we shall prove that Q can be written as a double divergence. in section 7. i.

we obtain Q(f. f (v )(1+ |v |2+γ ) dv < ∞ and B (z. denoting by Q(ξ ) the Fourier transform of Q(f. f ) reduces to QL (f. Golse for asking him the question which is at the basis of this work. σ ). σ ) f f∗ − f f∗ ϕ(v ). f )  vi  = 0. v∗ ) → (v . QL ) is formally a double divergence. noting that B (v − v∗ . f )ϕ = 1 2 dv dv∗ f f∗ aij (v − v∗ ) (∂ij ϕ + (∂ij ϕ)∗ ) + with bi (z ) = j dv dv∗ f f∗ bi (v − v∗ ) (∂i ϕ − (∂i ϕ)∗ ) . f ). v ). In view of these formulas and of the conservation laws (3). f )  vi  = 0. as soon as. This formula can actually be taken as a deﬁnition of Q(f. 2 |v | |v |2 This alone suﬃces to prove that Q (resp. Similarly (Cf. Indeed. Acknowledgement : The author thanks F. for Landau’s collision operator QL (f. 2. say. f ) in the sense of distributions [6]. f )ϕ = dv dv∗ dσ B (v − v∗ . Q(f. f ). by the change of variables (v. Basic identities and main results We ﬁrst recall some well-known facts about Boltzmann’s collision operator. f )ϕ = 1 2 dv dv∗ dσ Bf f∗ (ϕ + ϕ∗ − ϕ − ϕ∗ ). v∗ ). where we have omitted for simplicity the arguments of B .CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 5 by Desvillettes [2] that if a ﬁxed function f is smooth enough. Q(f. It is also clear that analogous formulas hold for the representation (1). σ ) = Φ(|z |)ζ (θ) with Φ(|z |) ≤ C (1 + |z |γ ) and θ2 ζ (θ)dθ < ∞. Let ϕ be a smooth test function. σ ) = B (v − v∗ . f )ϕ = dv dv∗ dσ Bf f∗ (ϕ − ϕ). By the change of variables (involutive and with unit Jacobian) (v. [6]). .     1 1 (13) Q(f. v∗ ) → (v∗ . QL (f. Now. ∂j aij (z ). then in a suitable grazing asymptotics process. we consider Q(f. This is Maxwell’s form [5] of Boltzmann’s collision operator.

in both representations (1) and (4). for both mathematical and numerical purposes. Indeed. ω ) (v −v∗ . We note that the condition X = 0 is deﬁnitely not necessary for X to be the divergence of some ﬂux J . In the sense of distributions. ξ )(1 − t) dt = ij αij ξi ξj with αij (ξ ) = 0 ∂ij Q(tξ. f ) = −∇ · J (f. tξ )(1−t) dt. However. which means that Aii (f. it seems desirable to impose that J −→ 0 at inﬁnity. in which case it is impossible to invoke Stokes’ formula and conclude that X = 0 (such an example will be seen in section 6). But the remarkable feature of Boltzmann’s collision operator is that we shall be able to obtain much simpler expressions. Q(v )ϕ(v ) dv = 1 Q(v )(ϕ(v ) − ϕ(v0 )) dv = dv Q(v ) 0 dt ∇ϕ(v0 + t(v − v0 )) · (v − v0 ). f ) = J = − (15) = (v∗ −v. we note that i αii (0) = 0.v◦ −v )<0 dv∗ dω B (v −v∗ . then performing a change of variables to write this expression as J · ∇ϕ. tξ ) · (ξ. as soon as Q is C 2 . v − v◦ |v − v ◦ | v− v◦ . i Amother simple method (communicated to us by B. the ﬂux could be nonvanishing at inﬁnity. Q(ξ ) = Q(0) + ξ · 1 ∂Q (0) + ∂ξ 1 0 D2 Q(tξ. Perthame) consists in writing.ω )>0 0 dr f (v +rω )f (v∗ +rω )ω dv◦ dv∗ f (v◦ )f (v∗ )B v◦ − v∗ . f ) = 0.ω ) J (f. |v − v ◦ |N . for any test-function ϕ(v ). Q(f. ∂Q (0) = 0. VILLANI we see that Q(0) = 0. whose physical meaning will be clear.6 C. ∂ξi ∆ξ Q(0) = 0. Thenrefore. f ) with (14) (v −v∗ . Theorem 1. This is exactly the Fourier version of (11). Moreover.

This will be done in section 7. f ). a double divergence formula is also available for the operator (1). but show how to obtain it. f ) is itself a divergence ! We shall not give an explicit expression for this. as is most conveniently seen by formula (15) : for instance. In particular. With this theorem at hand. the decay as |v | → ∞ is at least like C/|v |2 for some C > 0. In the sense of distributions. then we check their mathematical correctness. (3) Several variants are given in the paper. σ ) 0 |v −v∗ | 2 dr −f v − v∗ v − v∗ (v − v∗ )k (v − v∗ )i f v∗ + r r |v − v∗ | |v − v∗ | |v − v ∗ |2 |v − v∗ | v − v∗ v − v∗ v − rσ − f v − rσ + − r σi σk . (16) J (f. Aii (f. In addition. f ) = ik ∂ik Aik (f. As we said before. By the way. we shall see that Landau’s collision operator (already in divergence form) is also a double divergence. with (17) Aik = − f v+r dv∗ dσ B (v − v∗ . and show that J converges towards the expression in curly brackets in (7). Theorem 2. Q(f. we also give a representation of (16) in the form (12). but need not be equal to each other. if f has compact support and B is bounded. The expressions in Theorems 1 and 2 are ﬁrst guessed by formal physical reasonings. The ﬁrst expression in Theorem 1 is established in section 3 by an explicit . f ) = J = − f v+r dv∗ dσ B (v − v∗ . 2 2 2 Remark. (2) Both expressions go to 0 at inﬁnity under suitable assumptions on f and B . it is very easy to perform the asymptotics of grazing collisions. σ ) 0 |v −v∗ | 2 dr v − v∗ |v − v∗ | f v∗ + r v − v∗ 2 v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | f −f v − rσ − v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ v − rσ + 2 σ Remarks.CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 7 Alternatively. (1) The expressions (14) and (16) diﬀer by a divergence-free vector ﬁeld.

this is also − V ∇ · j. First conservative form In this section. but it will be easy to obtain conservative representations. we use the representation (1). v◦ + q ]. as shown in section 4. perpendicular to e1 . Since the notion of ﬂux is not well-deﬁned for a process with sudden jumps. if S is a closed surface enclosing a volume V . f ) dv = dn = −(∇ · j ) dv. 1 ≤ i ≤ N . or by analogy with the study of the Boltzmann operator. To express Q(f. based on the σ -representation. We want to compute the component j1 along e1 of the collisional ﬂux of particles j at point v . if dS denotes the outward normal to S . f )vi in the same manner as before (with straight pathlines). a particle with velocity v◦ can go through dS only if v ∈ [v◦ . therefore. By Stokes’ formula. and we count all particles going from one side of dS to the other. and that we shall give rigorous proofs of the corresponding formulas. we do not know of any convenient representation of QL in terms of ﬂux. and let e1 be a ﬁxed unit vector. and n the number of particles. we consider an inﬁnitesimal surface dS with center v . The ﬁnal expressions are obtained in section 5. In other words. dτ We make it clear that this derivation must only be taken to be a heuristic one. say from left to right. ω )ω . f ) and Q(f.8 C. we simply assume that particles follow straight lines in the velocity space. and v∗ denote the velocity of a test-particle P∗ which may encounter the previous particle. we have to develop a more complicated scheme. either by a direct method. let q be the momentum transferred from P∗ to P◦ : q = (v∗ − v◦ . But if we try to compute the ﬂux of Q(f. We recall that the ﬂux j of some quantity n in RN is formally deﬁned by dn = j · dS dτ . which may go through dS . In order to do so. it suﬃces to obtain a divergence form for Q(f. Furthermore. f ) as a double divergence. 3. VILLANI computation of the “ﬂux” of particles in velocity space. Taking V to be an inﬁnitesimal volume dv in velocity space. Let v◦ denote the velocity of an arbitrary particle P◦ . due to collisions. this leads immediately to deﬁnite contradictions. Let v be a ﬁxed velocity in the phase space RN . f )vi . . we get Q(f. then the variation of V dn is given by − S j · dS . giving the (algebraic) amount of quantity n going through an inﬁnitesimal surface dS in a time dτ . As for the Landau equation. By deﬁnition.

|v◦ − v | |v◦ − v | |v◦ − v |N −1 I− dv∗ dv◦ f (v∗ )f (v◦ )B v◦ − v∗ . By an easy calculation in elementary geometry. dω = Since dS | cos(ωc . e1 ) = (ωc )1 = (18) j1 = − v◦ − v |v◦1 − v1 | 1 |v◦ − v | |v◦ − v | |v◦ − v |N −1 I+ v◦ − v |v◦1 − v1 | 1 dv∗ dv◦ f (v∗ )f (v◦ )B v◦ − v∗ . we obtain cos(ωc . where I + (resp. since this would result in a double covering of the sphere. e1 )| . such that the collision parameter is ωc . dω. Now. and we do not consider the exceptional event v◦ = v ). |v ◦ − v | where dω is the solid angle with which dS is viewed from v◦ . P◦ goes through dS from the left to the right . |v ◦ − v | and since the ﬁrst component j1 of the ﬂux is obtained by dividing the algebraic number of particles going through the element of surface by the value of dS .CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 9 dS v dω ω e1 vO Figure 1. the number of collisions in which a particle P◦ with velocity v◦ encounters P∗ with velocity v∗ . I − ) is the set of all couples (v◦ . Particle going through a surface element in velocity space which implies that the collisional parameter ω is determined by v◦ − v ω = ωc = |v ◦ − v | (we do not take into account the other possibility that ω = −ωc . . |v◦ − v |N −1 v◦1 − v1 . is v◦ − v dv∗ dv◦ f (v∗ )f (v◦ )B v◦ − v∗ . in the collision of P◦ and P∗ . v∗ ) such that.

v◦ − v ). Since dv◦ = rN −1 dr dω . i. v∗ ) ∈ R2N / v1 − q1 > v◦1 > v1 . . by (2) we easily ﬁnd I + = {ω1 < 0. we use the spherical change of variables with center v which is given by (19).v◦ −v )<0 v − v◦ |v − v ◦ | v1 − v◦1 . Let us set A = I + ∪ I − = {(v − v∗ . VILLANI (resp. the value of the ﬂux of particles at point v can also be written as (20) j = − A dr dω dv∗ f (v∗ )f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ . (18) can be rewritten as j1 = dv∗ dv◦ f (v∗ )f (v◦ )B v◦ − v∗ . |v − v ◦ |N This leads us to a ﬁrst possible expression of the ﬂux.e. from the right to the left). Since |ω1 |1ω1 <0 − |ω1 |1ω1 >0 = −ω1 . ω ) > 0}. ω )ω1 . let us write (19) v◦ = v + rω. I + = (v◦ . This ends the ﬁrst part of our program. As a consequence. ω ∈ S N −1 .10 C. and show that it is actually equal to −Q(f. r ≥ 0. ω )ω = J (f. In these variables. ω ) has the same sign as (v − v∗ . (v − v∗ . ω ) > 0} . We now proceed to compute the divergence of J (f. f ). which is formula (15). I − = {ω1 > 0. j1 = − A dr dω dv∗ f (v∗ )f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ . v∗ ) ∈ R2N / v1 − q1 < v◦1 < v1 . by using the weak formulation of Q. The expression (18) is the desired quantity. (v∗ −v. and then show how to give them a quite rigorous and simple meaning in distributional sense. namely guess the ﬂux of particles by formal reasonings. We begin with formal manipulations. (v − v∗ . To show that the expressions in (14) and (15) are equal. and since (v − v∗ . I − = (v◦ . f ). f ). ω ) > 0} . In order to obtain better expressions for I + and I − .

r + (v. ω )) is a translation.ω )=0 ⊥ where v ˜∗ = v∗ is the component of v∗ which is orthogonal to ω . ω ) + r. ω ) → (−r. we note that the action of ω · ∇v on a function of v + rω is the same as that of ∂r . ω ). ω ) = (v. Since ω1 + · · · + ωN = 1 and ω1 ∂1 + · · · + ωN ∂N = ω · ∇. As for (I ). (II ) = dr dω A dv∗ f (v∗ )ω · ∇v [f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ . r) → w∗ = (˜ v∗ . This gives dr dω ∂A 2 f (v∗ )f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ . in the collision of particles with velocities v and w∗ . ω ) . w∗ N −1 varies in the half-space R × [(v. ω )] . ω ). which leaves the integrand of (I ) unchanged and allows integration on all space RN . we get −∇ · J = (I ) + (II ) with (I ) = dω (v −v∗ . ω )ω1 + dr dω A dv∗ f (v∗ )ω1 ∂1 [f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ . so that it can be rewritten as dr dω A dv∗ f (v∗ )∂r [f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ .e.CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 11 Let us diﬀerentiate the opposite of (18) with respect to v1 . the change of variables (˜ v∗ . ince B (v − w∗ . ω ). ω ) = B (v − w. −ω ). ω ). let us introduce the new variable w∗ such that. ω )] . 2 2 with ∂A = {(v − v∗ . ω ) = 0}. A = dr ∂r . ω )] dω dv∗ f (v∗ )f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ . Moreover. ω )ω = v + rω. and dr dv ˜∗ f (v∗ )f (v + rω )B (v + rω − v∗ . this is exactly the “gain term” in (1). we ﬁnally obtain (I ) = 1 2 dω dw∗ f (w∗ )f (v )B (v − w∗ . After the use of the symmetry (r. ω )ω = v∗ v = v − (v − w∗ . ⊥ ⊥ i. +∞). w∗ = v∗ and (w∗ . w∗ = w∗ + (v − w∗ . As for (II ). For ﬁxed ω and v .

we exchange the variables v and v∗ to get J ·∇ϕ = − dv dr dv∗ dωf (v∗ )f (v )B (v −v∗ . we get (22) J ·∇ϕ = dv dr dv∗ dωf (v∗ )f (v )B (v −v∗ .ω )>r where we have used the change of variables v = v + rω . (v −v∗ . (21) J · ∇ϕ = − =− dv A dr dv∗ dω f (v∗ )f (v + rω )B (v − v∗ + rω. ω ) [ω · ∇ϕ(v )] dv dr dv∗ dωf (v∗ )f (v )B (v − v∗ . f )ϕ. ω ) ϕ(v∗ ) − ϕ(v∗ ) + ϕ(v ) − ϕ(v ) dv dv∗ dω f f∗ B (v − v∗ . we dω dv∗ f (v∗ )f (v )B (v − v∗ . we see that this is exactly the “loss term” in (1). ω ).ω )>r Summing up (21) and (22). VILLANI Using the formula obtain dr ∂r ϕ(r) = −ϕ(0) for ϕ vanishing at inﬁnity. (v −v∗ . and replacing as above ω · ∇ by ±∂r . (v −v∗ . ω ) A 0 dr ∂r ϕ(v − rω ) + ϕ(v∗ + rω ) 1 2 1 = 4 = = A dv dv∗ dωf (v )f (v∗ )B (v − v∗ . ω )∂r ϕ(v − rω ) 2 (v−v∗ . ω ) [ω · ∇ϕ(v − rω )] . we obtain 1 J · ∇ϕ = dv dr dv∗ dωf (v∗ )f (v )B (v − v∗ . Then. Now. A (II ) = − By the change of variables ω → −ω . ω ) ϕ + ϕ∗ − ϕ − ϕ∗ Q(f.ω )<−r Applying the change of variable ω → −ω to this last expression. ω ) [ω · ∇ϕ(v∗ − rω )] . Let ϕ be a smooth function with compact support in velocity space.12 C.ω ) dv dv∗ dωf (v )f (v∗ )B (v − v∗ . To obtain a rigorous justiﬁcation of these manipulations.ω)>r + ϕ(v∗ + rω ) = 1 2 (v −v∗ . ω ) [ω · ∇ϕ(v∗ + rω )] . it suﬃces to perform them in weak form. .

Q = −∇ · J . i. Aii is itself a divergence. Suppose that we know how to compute an energy ﬂux J E . because such a “ﬂux” would not be conservative. so that Jk = −∇ · (J k − Jvk ) = − i ∂i (Jik − Ji vk ). so that Jii = −∇ · J E + i i ∇ · (J i vi ) = −∇ · JE − i J i vi . In other words. we would like to obtain a double divergence form of Q. while the particle lies between v◦ and v◦ + q ? In fact it is impossible to use this scheme. 4. Q|v |2 = −∇ · J E . Let us assume that we know how to compute a suitable ﬂux J k for it.e. that is. Q = (24) ∂ik Aik with Aik = Jik − Ji vk . the collisional invariants C (v ). since Qvk = 0 for 1 ≤ k ≤ N . Then −∇ · (Jvk ) = −(∇ · J )vk − Jk = Qvk − Jk = −∇ · J k − Jk .CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 13 This proves that. we note that the expression of Theorem 1 is obtained by applying to (20) the change of variables v∗ → v∗ − rω. First note that. Qvk should also be a divergence. a serious problem arises : what value should be given to C (v ). in distributional sense. in the following sense. we see that the only matter is to compute the ﬂux of vk and v 2 . Therefore. Therefore. Then −∇·J E = Q|v |2 = i Qvi vi = − i (∇·J i )vi = − i ∇·(J i vi )+ i Jii . let v◦ be inside . Let S be a surface enclosing a volume V . How to go further Now. so that   Q = −∇ · J (23)  Qvk = −∇ · J k . If we still assume that particles go along straight pathlines. Finally. A little more can be said.

we clearly distinguish between the position of the particles in the phase space. respectively. etc. since C is a collisional invariant. Thus. (1) At the beginning of the collision. ξ∗ . ξ◦ = v◦ and ξ∗ = v∗ . and the quantities C (v◦ ). say ξ◦ . V . ξ# = (v◦ + v∗ )/2. (3) Then. VILLANI S V vO v’ O v’ * v * Figure 2. . yet v∗ remain outside. and momentum may be transferred from the exterior to the interior of V . without any change of C . and the following underlying scheme. It now remains to adapt the method of section 3 to this scheme. the particles go in straight paths towards their ﬁnal positions. the particles may interact. and C (v ) the collisional invariant whose ﬂux we want to compute. ξ∗ = v∗ . This collision makes the quantity of momentum inside V change. We note that step 2 deﬁnitely fails for functions of the velocity that are not collision invariants. C (v∗ ). and v∗ outside. (2) Once both particles are at the same position ξ# . Then the two particles converge in straight lines towards the center point in the phase space. Consider two colliding particles P◦ and P∗ with velocities v◦ and v∗ .. During the collision. occurs the momentum transfer : C (v◦ ) and C (v∗ ) are replaced by C (v◦ ) and C (v∗ ). Then it may happen that v◦ be also inside V . which are attached to them. C is unchanged for both particles.14 C. without any momentum crossing the surface S . The remedy to this pathology is simply to use the representation (4). ξ◦ = v◦ . yet no particle has gone through the surface S . This step does not contribute to any ﬂux of C .

σ ). i. First step of the collisional scheme 5. R ≥ 0 and β ∈ S N −1 . and dv◦ dρ (ρ + R)N −1 = dR dρ dβ (ρ + R)N −1 R N −1 r = ρ + R. R Setting A(v◦ − v∗ ) = dσ B (v◦ − v∗ . Clearly. v◦ and v must be aligned for the ﬂux to be non 0. . and a unit vector e1 perpendicular to dS . we obtain that the ﬁrst com|β1 | (ρ + R)N −1 dρ. Therefore. such that [v◦ . we put   v∗ = v + ρβ. I − ) denotes the set of velocities v0 such that the corresponding particle P0 goes through dS from the left to the right. v must even lie between v∗ and v◦ . so that w∗ − v = v∗ − v◦ . Y and using the notation X −Y = X − ponent of the ﬂux through dS is j1 = I + −I − + . v∗ ] intersect dS . v∗ . N − 1 R dv◦ A(v◦ − v∗ )f (v◦ )f (v∗ ) where I (resp. For ﬁxed v◦ . we ﬁx an inﬁnitesimal surface dS with center v . We can transform this expression by the changes of variables v◦ = v − Rβ. the volume of suitable v∗ .e.CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 15 dS vO v v* R ρ Figure 3.  v = v − Rβ ◦ with ρ. As before. Computing in σ -representation First step of the scheme We proceed to compute the ﬂux of particles implied by the ﬁrst step of the above collisional scheme. is |β 1 | dS N −1 (ρ + R)N −1 dρ. w∗ = v + rβ.

the ﬂux corresponding to the ﬁrst step of the collisional scheme can be written as (25) j (a) |v −v∗ | 2 = = dw∗ dw∗ dσ B (v − w∗ . in the same way as we shall do in the third step of the scheme. But β · ∇ [f (v − Rβ )f (v + ρβ )] = − ∂R [f (v − Rβ )]f (v + ρβ ) + f (v − Rβ )∂ρ [f (v + ρβ )]. Conversely. σ ) 0 dR f f w∗ + R v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ C v+R |v − v ∗ | v+R . VILLANI = dr dρ dβ rN −1 = dw∗ dβ. the corresponding ﬂux for the quantity C (v ) is (26) j (a) |v −v∗ | 2 (C ) = dw∗ dσ B (v − w∗ . we proceed now to compute the divergence of (25). Finally. β1 > 0 and ρ > R. Since ρ = |v − w∗ | − R. one can use the exchange of variables σ and β . i. σ ) 0 dR f (v − Rβ )f (w∗ − Rβ )β dR f v+R v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | f w∗ + R v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | . and diﬀerentiate this expression with respect to v1 : −∂1 j1 = − R<ρ dR dβ dρ A(ρ+R)β1 ∂1 [f (v − Rβ )f (v + ρβ )] (ρ+R)N −1 . it suﬃces to change the sign of β1 . For I − . Remark. . we start from −j1 = − R<ρ dR dβ dρ A(ρ + R)f (v − Rβ )f (v + ρβ )β1 (ρ + R)N −1 . Writing for short A(rβ ) = A(r).e. We determine I + and I − : the ﬁrst of these subsets corresponds to v◦1 < v1 and v#1 = (v◦1 + v∗1 )/2 > v1 . this last condition is R < |v − w∗ |/2. To obtain an expression of the form (12). dσ B (v − w∗ . σ ) 0 |v −v∗ | 2 Accordingly.16 C.

which leaves f (v − ρβ )f (v + ρβ ) invariant. In the last integral. we obtain in the end −∇ · j (a) (C ) = dρ dβ A(2ρ)(2ρ)N −1 f (v − ρβ )f (v + ρβ )C (v − ρβ ) − dρ dβA(ρ)ρN −1 f (v )f (v + ρβ )C (v ). Third step of the scheme . We note that for C (v ) = vk . the ﬁrst integral (Ia)(vk ) is simply dρ dβ A(2ρ)(2ρ)N −1 f (v − ρβ )f (v + ρβ )vk . indeed. and the last integral (IIa)(C ) is really Q− (f. ≡ (Ia)(C ) − (IIa)(C ).CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 17 Therefore. and obtain ρ dρ dβ 0 dR ∂R A(ρ + R)(ρ + R)N −1 f (v − Rβ )f (v + ρβ ) R=ρ R=0 = = dρ dβ A(ρ + R)(ρ + R)N −1 f (v − Rβ )f (v + ρβ ) dρ dβ A(2ρ)(2ρ)N −1 f (v − ρβ )f (v + ρβ ) − ≡ (Ia) − (IIa) dρ dβA(ρ)ρN −1 f (v )f (v + ρβ ) Setting v∗ = v + ρβ . −∇·j = R<ρ dρ dβ dR A(ρ + R)(ρ + R)N −1 ∂R [f (v − Rβ )] f (v + ρβ ) dρ dβ dR ∂ρ A(ρ + R)(ρ + R)N −1 f (v − Rβ )f (v + ρβ ). which is the loss term of Boltzmann’s operator. integrating by parts with respect to ρ. + R<ρ since the boundary terms for ρ = 0 and ρ → ∞ both vanish. the additional term with ρβk vanishes. If we perform the computation with (26). as can be seen by the change of variables β → −β . one can replace ∂ρ by ∂R . we see that the last integral (IIa) is f (v ) dv∗ A(v − v∗ )f (v∗ ). f )C (v ).

σ ) 0 |v −w∗ | 2 dρ f f v − w∗ 2 v − w∗ σ. w∗ ) with   v# = v − ρσ  v − v = v − w . dσ = dS |(σc )1 |/|v − v# |N −1 . Therefore. 2 . v∗ ) → (ρ. |v − v# |N −1 By the change of variables (v◦ . σc ) σc . we obtain j (b) = dv◦ dv∗ f (v◦ )f (v∗ )B (v◦ − v∗ . v − ρσ + 2 v − ρσ − Moreover. and I − to (σc )1 < 0. |v − v # | I + corresponds to (σc )1 > 0. σ. by (5) the postcollisional velocity of P◦ is v◦ = v + |v − w ∗ | − ρ σ. in these variables.18 C. viewed from v# . Second step of the collisional scheme The computation of the ﬂux attached to the third step is immediate : for v◦ to go through dS . moreover. it is necessary that σ = σc = v − v# . we get (27) j (b) = dw∗ dσ B (v − w∗ . ◦ ∗ ∗ with Jacobian ρN −1 . VILLANI σc vO v dσ v# v * Figure 4.

σ )f v − 2 2 |w | w |w | w + dw dσ B (w. σ ) 0 |v −w∗ | 2 dρ f v − ρσ − v − w∗ 2 σ. σ ) 0 |w| 2 dρ f v − ρσ − w w f v − ρσ + σ. σ )f v − σ− f v− σ+ 2 2 2 2 ≡ −(Ib) + (IIb). By a spherical change of coordinates w = rβ . σ ) 0 |w| 2 dρ σ · ∇ f v − ρσ − w w f v − ρσ + 2 2 dw dσ B (w. β )f v − σ − β f v − σ + β 2 2 2 2 = . σ ) f v − ρσ − 2 2 ρ=0 w w f v+ = − dw dσ B (w. σ ) 0 |w| 2 dρ ∂ρ f v − ρσ − w w f v − ρσ + 2 2 |w| w ρ= 2 w f v − ρσ + = dw dσ B (w. after the change of variables − dw∗ dσ B (v − w∗ . f v − ρσ + v − w∗ 2 C v+ |v − w ∗ | −ρ σ 2 We now compute the divergence of the opposite of (27). the last integral (IIb) is r r r r dβ dr dσ rN −1 B (rβ. σ ) 0 |v −w∗ | 2 dρ f v − ρσ − f v − w∗ 2 v − w∗ 2 σ v − ρσ + =− Thus.CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 19 so that the ﬂux for the collisional invariant C is j (C ) = (b) dw∗ dσ B (v − w∗ . dw dσ B (w. 2 2 −∇ · j (b) = − = dw dσ B (w. σ )f v − σ − β f v − σ + β 2 2 2 2 r r r r dβ dr dσ rN −1 B (rσ.

v∗ = v − rσ .20 C. i. it suﬃces to proceed to the change of variables v − (r/2)σ = (v + v∗ )/2.e. as can be seen by setting w = 2ρβ in (Ib). (Ib) and (Ia) are equal. β ). VILLANI since B (rβ. . Moreover. to obtain dv∗ dβ B (v − v∗ . 2 2 which is the gain term of Boltzmann’s collision operator. β )f v + v ∗ |v − v ∗ | − β f 2 2 v + v∗ |v − v∗ | + β . Now. σ ) = B (rσ.

CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 21 The same computation with C (v ) = vk for instance leads to −∇ · j (b) (vk ) = w w |w | f v+ vk + σk 2 2 2 |w | |w | w w f v− dw dσ B (w. 2 2 2 we obtain the desired result. we ﬁnd in particular that Q = −∇ · J and Qvk = −∇ · J k with (28) J = − f dv∗ dσ B (v − v∗ . 6. The expression of Aik = Jik − Ji vk follows. σ )f v − w w |w | f v+ σk = 0. by σ → −σ . (29) J = − f −f v+r k dv∗ dσ B (v − v∗ . − dw dσ B (w. σ )f v − + vk . σ )f v − σ− σ+ 2 2 2 2 − dw dσ B (w. Since. we ﬁrst note that (aij ∗ f )∂j f − (bi ∗ f )f = ∂j (aij ∗ f )f − 2(bi ∗ f )f. σ ) 0 |v −v∗ | 2 dr v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ v − rσ + 2 v+r v − v∗ |v − v∗ | f v∗ + r v − v∗ 2 v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | f −f v − rσ − σ . σ ) 0 |v −v∗ | 2 dr v − v∗ v − v∗ v − v∗ (v − v∗ )k f v∗ + r vk + r |v − v ∗ | |v − v ∗ | |v − v ∗ | |v − v∗ | v − v∗ v − v∗ |v − v∗ | v − rσ − f v − rσ + σ vk + − r σk 2 2 2 . . As a conclusion. Landau’s collision operator To write Landau’s collision operator as a double divergence. summing up the contributions of steps 1 and 3.

and to choose D(v. it is easy to guess a convenient expression.22 C. which is the condition for dv dv∗ b(v − v∗ )f (v )f (v∗ ) to be vanishing in the general case. checking that all boundary terms vanish when integrating by parts. v∗ ). VILLANI hence it suﬃces to prove that for each i. . This simply means that the above ﬂux does not necessarily vanish at inﬁnity. v∗ ) = b(v◦ − v∗ )∇U (v − v◦ ) where U is the fundamental solution of the Laplace operator in RN . Another simpler possibility to compute a convenient ﬂux is to look for it in the form dv◦ dv∗ f (v∗ )f (v◦ )D(v. After the previous study. We note that we did not use the fact that b is odd. v◦ . v◦ . − =− = = = dv∗ b(v − v∗ )f (v )f (v∗ ) dR dβ RN −1 b(−Rβ )f (v )f (v + Rβ ) dR dβ (R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ )f (v + ρβ )f (v + Rβ ) R ρ=R ρ=0 dR dβ 0 R dρ ∂ρ (R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ )f (v + ρβ )f (v + Rβ ) dρ (−∂R ) (R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ ) f (v + ρβ )f (v + Rβ ) dR dβ 0 + (R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ )∂ρ [f (v + ρβ )] R = dR dβ 0 dρ (R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ )f (v + ρβ )∂R [f (v + Rβ )] + (R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ )∂ρ [f (v + ρβ )] R = dR dβ 0 dρ(R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ )β · ∇ f (v + ρβ )f (v + Rβ ) R =∇· dR dβ 0 dρ(R − ρ)N −1 b(ρβ − Rβ )f (v + ρβ )f (v + Rβ )β . (bi ∗ f )f is a divergence.

ω )>0 0 f (v + rω )f (v∗ + rω )ω.ω |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ +O |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ . where λN is a constant depending only on N . A direct proof may however be useful to get strong convergence once a priori bounds are known. Starting from (v −v∗ . therefore. φ. ω ) 0 b a f (v + rω )f (v∗ + rω )ω. we represent ω by spherical coordinates θ. ω )(z. − Jε = 1 2 (v −v∗ .∞ and has compact support. with the convention that a g = − b g . see for example [6]. ω ) (v −v∗ .e. It was proven by Desvillettes [2] that if (say) f ∈ W 3.ω ) dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ . f ) in the sense of distributions. We note that under very weak assumptions Qε (f. f ) − − → λN ε→0 4N dv∗ aij (v − v∗ ) f∗ ∂f ∂f∗ −f ∂vi ∂v∗i . We assume for instance N = 3. v∗ . We denote by Qε the Boltzmann-type collision operator associated with Bε .ω ) − Jε = dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ .CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 23 7. ω )2 dω = Ψ(|z |) (independently of ε). we note that ω → −ω . f ) −→ QL (f. then Qε (f. In the limit. ω ) 0 are taken into account. f ) −→ QL (f. Then we write ω= v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | ⊥ + v − v∗ . f ) in L1 loc as ε goes to 0. The asymptotics of grazing collisions As an application of the conservative form of Boltzmann’s operator. For given v. r → −r leaves the integrand invariant and transforms (v − v∗ . ω ) < 0. given φ we denote by ( |v −v∗ | with angle φ. we give an adaptation of Landau’s original argument to pass from (1) to (7). ω ) > 0 into (v − v∗ . . We consider a sequence of kernels concentrating on grazing collisions.ω |v − v ∗ | 2 . and for v −v∗ ⊥ ) the unit vector orthogonal to v − v∗ . i. for example (30) Ψε (|z |) ≡ S N −1 Bε (z. only the collisions with (v − v∗ . Here we shall content to show how one can simply prove that (31) −Jε (f.

ω )(v − v∗ .24 C. Therefore.ω)|≥K Under convenient assumptions on f and B . ω )f (v + rω )f (v∗ + rω )|(v − v∗ . ω )(v − v∗ . ω ) 0 (v −v∗ .ω |v − v ∗ | . the last two terms vanish in the limit ε → 0.ω ) dv∗ dω Bε (v −v∗ . since dω Bε (v − v∗ . ω )2 f f∗ . ω ) (f ∇∗ f∗ + f∗ ∇f ) · 2 |v − v ∗ | 1 v − v∗ + dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ . |v − v ∗ |2 (v − v∗ . ω ) 0 dr f (v +rω )f (v∗ +rω )O v − v∗ . f (v∗ +rω )f (v +rω ) = f (v )f (v∗ )+rf (v∗ )∇f (v )·ω +rf (v )∇f (v∗ )·ω +O(r2 ). ω )2 ( f ∇∗ f ∗ + f ∗ ∇f ) · 2 ⊥ . −Jε = + + 1 2 1 2 1 2 (v −v∗ . = 0. ω )f f∗ v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | ⊥ v − v∗ . ω ) 0 (v −v∗ . ω )(v − v∗ . ω )|1|(v−v∗ . ω )f f∗ v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | ⊥ v − v∗ (v − v∗ . Assuming f to be C 2 .ω ) v − v∗ . ω )(v − v∗ . ω ) + 1 2 v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ .ω |v − v ∗ | 3 −→ 0. ω ) Moreover.ω ) dr f (v +rω )f (v∗ +rω ) dr f (v +rω )f (v∗ +rω ) v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | ⊥ dv∗ dω Bε (v −v∗ .ω |v − v ∗ | v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | 3 dv∗ dω Bε (v −v∗ . ω ) O v − v∗ .ω |v − v∗ | 3 ⊥ 1|(v−v∗ . VILLANI and accordingly. by symmetry. the limit is that of 1 2 dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ . 1 2 dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ . ω )2 dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ .ω)|≤K + 1 2 dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ . 1 − Jε = 2 1 + 2 dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ . ω )2 f f∗ 2 |v − v ∗ |2 1 + 2 dv∗ dω Bε (v − v∗ .

M. 157 : 49–88. we set (for instance) B (v − v∗ . Private communication. Lifchitz and L. The Boltzmann equation and its applications. [3] M. New York. it suﬃces to use (30) and the (classical) identities (Cf. On the dynamical theory of gases. e-mail villani@dmi. 1886. FRANCE. Transp. Anal. 6]) 2π dφ (f ∇∗ f∗ + f∗ ∇f ) · 0 v − v∗ |v − v ∗ | π ⊥ (φ) = Π(v − v∗ ) · (f∗ ∇f + f ∇∗ f∗ ) . Oxford. Cercignani. Villani.. 1992. DMI. 75230 Paris Cedex 05.. theory and stat.ens. To conclude that the limit is the right-hand side of (31). [2] L.CONSERVATIVE FORMS OF BOLTZMANN’S OPERATOR 25 Then we write ω in spherical coordinates with axis v − v∗ : let θ. Pergamon. Mech. ´ Ecole Normale Suprieure. On a new class of weak solutions to the spatially homogeneous Boltzmann and Landau equations. ω ) = µ(θ)C (v − v∗ ). Lemou. |z |2 ∇ · Π(z )|z |2 C (z ) = −2 References [1] C. Lond. [4] E. [2. φ be the corresponding angles. Desvillettes. volume 10. 1988. 45 rue d’Ulm. Maxwell.C. [6] C. z C (z ). 21 (3) : 259–276. To appear in Arch. On asymptotics of the Boltzmann equation when the collisions become grazing. [5] J. Rat. phys. Phil. Trans. Springer. Physical Kinetics – Course in theoretical physics. 1981. Soc.fr . Pitaevskii.P. R.

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