A Caltech Library Service

A Kinetic Theory Description of Rarefied Gas Flows

Lees, Lester (1959) A Kinetic Theory Description of Rarefied Gas Flows. Hypersonic Research Project Memorandum, 51. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


An approach to the kinetic theory of gas flows is developed which starts with Maxwell's original integral equations of transfer, rather than with the Maxwell-Boltzmann equation for the velocity distribution function itself. In this procedure the Maxwell-Boltzmann equation is satisfied in a certain average sense, rather than at every point. The advantage of this method is that relatively simple distribution functions are utilized which contain a small number of unknown functions to be determined by applying the conservation laws, plus several additional higher moments. For simplicity a "two-stream Maxwellian" is employed, which is a natural extension and generalization of Mott-Smith's function for a normal shock, but differs from it in certain essential respects. As an illustration, the method is applied to linearized plane Couette flow and Rayleigh's problem. Reasonable results are obtained for macroscopic quantities such as mean velocity and shear stress over the whole range of densities from free-molecule flow to the Navier-Stokes regime. This technique is now being applied to some typical non-linear rarefied gas flows.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:Army Ordnance Contract No. Da-04-495-Ord-19. Army Project No. 5B0306004 Ordnance Project No. TB3-0118 OOR Project No. 1600-PE.
Group:Hypersonic Research Project
Funding AgencyGrant Number
U.S. Army Office of OrdnanceDA-04-495-Ord-19
Series Name:Hypersonic Research Project Memorandum
Issue or Number:51
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151102-150954032
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:61775
Deposited On:03 Nov 2015 00:22
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page