Self-Similar Solutions of the Boltzmann Equation and Their Applications

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We consider a class of solutions of the Boltzmann equation with infinite energy. Using the Fourier-transformed Boltzmann equation, we prove the existence of a wide class of solutions of this kind. They fall into subclasses, labelled by a parameter a, and are shown to be asymptotic (in a very precise sense) to the self-similar one with the same value of a (and the same mass). Specializing to the case of a Maxwell-isotropic cross section, we give evidence to the effect that the only self-similar closed form solutions are the BKW mode and the two solutions recently found by the authors. All the self-similar solutions discussed in this paper are eternal, i.e., they exist for −∞<t<∞, which shows that a recent conjecture cannot be extended to solutions with infinite energy. Eternal solutions with finite moments of all orders, and different from a Maxwellian, are also studied. It is shown that these solutions cannot be positive. Moreover all such solutions (partly negative) must be asymptotically (for large negative times) close to the exact eternal solution of BKW type.

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