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Title: Covariant thermodynamics & relativity
Author: Lopez-Monsalvo, Cesar Simon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 9871
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis deals with the dynamics of irreversible processes within the context of the general theory of relativity. In particular, we address the problem of the `infinite' speed of propagation of thermal disturbances in a dissipative fluid. Although this problem is not new, its best known solution - the Israel and Stewart second order expansion - has an effective, rather than fundamental, character. The present work builds on the multi-fluid variational approach to relativistic dissipation, pioneered by Carter, and provides a dynamical theory of heat conduction. The novel property of such approach is the thermodynamic interpretation associated with a two-fluid system whose constituents are matter and entropy. The dynamics of this model leads to a relativistic generalisation of the Cattaneo equation; the constitutive relation for causal heat transport. A comparison with the Israel and Stewart model is presented and its equivalence is shown. This discussion provides new insights into the not-well understood definition of a non-equilibrium temperature. A crucial feature of the multi-fluid approach is the interaction between its constituents. It is a well known fact that when two, or more, fluids interact, instabilities may occur. Within this work, the two-stream instability analysis is extended to the relativistic domain. As far as the author is aware, such extension has not been discussed in the literature. The analysis allows to assess the stability and causality of relativistic models of matter and their linear deviations from thermodynamic equilibrium directly from their equations of state or, equivalently, their Lagrangian densities. For completeness, a brief digression on a consistent (stable and causal) `first-order' model is also included. Finally, the road to follow is laid by posing some physical applications together with some future perspectives and closing remarks. To sum up, the variational approach to heat conduction presented in this thesis constitutes a mathematically promising formalism to explore the relativistic evolution towards equilibrium of dissipative fluids in a dynamical manner and to get a deeper conceptual understanding of non-equilibrium thermodynamic quantities. Moreover, it might also be useful to explore the more fundamental issues of the irreversible dynamics of relativity and its connections with the time asymmetry of nature
Supervisor: Anderson, Nils Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA Mathematics