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On a relativistic Fokker-Planck equation in kinetic theory

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  • A relativistic kinetic Fokker-Planck equation that has been recently proposed in the physical literature is studied. It is shown that, in contrast to other existing relativistic models, the one considered in this paper is invariant under Lorentz transformations in the absence of friction. A similar property (invariance by Galilean transformations in the absence of friction) is verified in the non-relativistic case. In the first part of the paper some fundamental mathematical properties of the relativistic Fokker-Planck equation are established. In particular, it is proved that the model is compatible with the finite propagation speed of particles in relativity. In the second part of the paper, two non-linear relativistic mean-field models are introduced. One is obtained by coupling the relativistic Fokker-Planck equation to the Maxwell equations of electrodynamics, and is therefore of interest in plasma physics. The other mean-field model couples the Fokker-Planck dynamics to a relativistic scalar theory of gravity (the Nordström theory) and is therefore of interest in gravitational physics. In both cases the existence of steady states for all possible prescribed values of the mass is established. In the gravitational case this result is better than for the corresponding non-relativistic model, the Vlasov-Poisson-Fokker-Planck system, for which existence of steady states is known only for small mass.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 35Q75, 74A26; Secondary: 74G36.

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