An introduction to the relativistic kinetic theory on curved spacetimes
Abstract
This article provides a selfcontained pedagogical introduction to the relativistic kinetic theory of a dilute gas propagating on a curved spacetime manifold (M, g) of arbitrary dimension. Special emphasis is made on geometric aspects of the theory in order to achieve a formulation which is manifestly covariant on the relativistic phase space. Whereas most previous work has focused on the tangent bundle formulation, here we work on the cotangent bundle associated with (M, g) which is more naturally adapted to the Hamiltonian framework of the theory. In the first part of this work we discuss the relevant geometric structures of the cotangent bundle T^{∗}M , starting with the natural symplectic form on T^{∗}M , the oneparticle Hamiltonian and the Liouville vector field, defined as the corresponding Hamiltonian vector field. Next, we discuss the Sasaki metric on T^{∗}M and its most important properties, including the role it plays for the physical interpretation of the oneparticle distribution function. In the second part of this work we describe the general relativistic theory of a collisionless gas, starting with the derivation of the collisionless Boltzmann equation for a neutral simple gas. Subsequently, the description is generalized to a charged gas consisting of several species of particles and the general relativistic VlasovMaxwell equations are derived for this system. The last part of this work is devoted to a transparent derivation of the collision term, leading to the general relativistic Boltzmann equation on (M, g). To this end, we introduce the collision manifold, describing the set of all possible binary elastic collisions and discuss its most important geometric properties, including the metric and volume form it is equipped with and its symmetries. We show how imposing full Lorentz symmetry leads to microscopic reversibility and the relativistic H theorem. The meaning of global and local equilibrium and the stringent restrictions for the existence of the former on a curved spacetime are discussed. We close this article with an application of our formalism to the expansion of a homogeneous and isotropic universe filled with a collisional simple gas and its behavior in the early and late epochs.
 Publication:

General Relativity and Gravitation
 Pub Date:
 March 2022
 DOI:
 10.1007/s10714022029085
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2106.09235
 Bibcode:
 2022GReGr..54...23A
 Keywords:

 General relativistic kinetic theory;
 Relativistic Boltzmann equation;
 EinsteinBoltzmann system;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
 Mathematical Physics
 EPrint:
 79 pages, 12 figures. Typos corrected, references added