5.1 Thermodynamic processes in viscous, heat-conducting gases
The objective of thermodynamics of viscous, heat-conducting gases is the determination of the 14 fields
in all events . Both and are Lorentz tensors. The energy-momentum tensor is assumed
symmetric so that it has 10 independent components.
For the determination of these fields we need field equations and these are formed by the conservation
laws of particle number and energy-momentum, viz.
and by the equations of balance of fluxes
is the flux tensor – it is completely symmetric –, and is its production density. We assume
so that among the 15 equations (79, 80, 81) there are 14 independent ones, which is the appropriate
number for 14 fields.
The components of and have the following interpretations
The motivation for the choice of equations (79, 80, 81), and in particular (81), stems from the kinetic
theory of gases. Indeed and are the first two moments in the kinetic theory and
and are the first two equations of transfer. Therefore it seems reasonable to take further
equations from the equation of transfer for the third moment and these have the form (81). In the
kinetic theory the two conditions (82) are satisfied.
The set of equations (79, 80, 81) must be supplemented by constitutive equations for the flux tensor
and the flux production . The generic form of these relations in a viscous, heat-conducting
If the constitutive functions and are known, we may eliminate and between (79, 80,
81) and (84) and obtain a set of field equations for , . Each solution is called a thermodynamic
It is clear upon reflection that this theory, based on (79, 80,81) and (84), provides a special case of the
generic structure explained in Section 2.