Linearized Boltzmann Collision Operator: I. Polyatomic Molecules Modeled by a Discrete Internal Energy Variable and Multicomponent Mixtures
The linearized collision operator of the Boltzmann equation can in a natural way be written as a sum of a positive multiplication operator, the collision frequency, and an integral operator. Compactness of the integral operator for monatomic single species is a classical result, while corresponding result for mixtures is more recently obtained. In this work the compactness of the operator for polyatomic single species, where the polyatomicity is modeled by a discrete internal energy variable, is studied. With a probabilistic formulation of the collision operator as a starting point, compactness is obtained by proving that the integral operator is a sum of Hilbert-Schmidt integral operators and approximately Hilbert-Schmidt integral operators, under some assumptions on the collision kernel. Self-adjointness of the linearized collision operator follows. Moreover, bounds on - including coercivity of - the collision frequency are obtained for a hard sphere model. Then it follows that the linearized collision operator is a Fredholm operator. The results can be extended to mixtures. For brevity, only the case of mixtures for monatomic species is accounted for.