Metrics for probability distributions and the trend to equilibrium for solutions of the Boltzmann equation. (English) Zbl 1081.82616

Summary: This paper deals with the trend to equilibrium of solutions to the spacehomogeneous Boltzmann equation for Maxwellian molecules with angular cutoff as well as with infinite-range forces. The solutions are considered as densities of probability distributions. The Tanaka functional is a metric for the space of probability distributions, which has previously been used in connection with the Boltzmann equation. Our main result is that, if the initial distribution possesses moments of order \(2+epsilon\), then the convergence to equilibrium in his metric is exponential in time. In the proof, we study the relation between several metrics for spaces of probability distributions, and relate this to the Boltzmann equation, by proving that the Fourier-transformed solutions are at least as regular as the Fourier transform of the initial data. This is also used to prove that even if the initial data only possess a second moment, then \(\int |v|>R ^{f(v, t)} |v|^2 dv \to 0\) as \(R\to \infty\), and this convergence is uniform in time.


82C40 Kinetic theory of gases in time-dependent statistical mechanics
76P05 Rarefied gas flows, Boltzmann equation in fluid mechanics
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