Monday, June 17, 2013

1306.3345 (N. Andersson et al.)

A covariant action principle for dissipative fluid dynamics: From
formalism to fundamental physics

N. Andersson, G. L. Comer
We present a new variational framework for dissipative general relativistic fluid dynamics. The model extends the convective variational principle for multi-fluid systems to account for a range of dissipation channels. The key ingredients in the construction are i) the use of a lower dimensional matter space for each fluid component, and ii) an extended functional dependence for the associated volume forms. In an effort to make the concepts clear, the formalism is developed in steps with the model example of matter coupled to heat considered at each level. Thus we discuss a model for heat flow, derive the relativistic Navier-Stokes equations and discuss why the individual dissipative stress tensors need not be spacetime symmetric. We argue that the new formalism, which notably does not involve an expansion away from an assumed equilibrium state, provides a conceptual breakthrough in this area of research and provide an ambitious list of directions in which one may want to extend it in the future. This involves an exciting set of problems, relating to both applications and foundational issues.
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