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17 Final Remarks

In writing this review, we have tried to discuss the different building blocks that are needed if one wants to construct a relativistic theory for fluids. Although there are numerous alternatives, we opted to base our discussion of the fluid equations of motion on the variational approach pioneered by Taub [108] and in recent years developed considerably by Carter [171921]. This is an appealing strategy because it leads to a natural formulation for multi-fluid problems. Having developed the variational framework, we discussed applications. Here we had to decide what to include and what to leave out. Our decisions were not based on any particular logic, we simply included topics that were either familiar to us, or interested us at the time. That may seem a little peculiar, but one should keep in mind that this is a “living” review. Our intention is to add further applications when the article is updated. On the formal side, we could consider how one accounts for elastic media and magnetic fields, as well as technical issues concerning relativistic vortices (and cosmic strings). On the application side, we may discuss many issues for astrophysical fluid flows (like supernova core collapse, jets, gamma-ray bursts, and cosmology).

In updating this review we will obviously also correct the mistakes that are sure to be found by helpful colleagues. We look forward to receiving any comments on this review. After all, fluids describe physics at many different scales and we clearly have a lot of physics to learn. The only thing that is certain is that we will enjoy the learning process!


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