Kinetic Theory of Gases

  1. Hans Christian Öttinger

Published Online: 27 JAN 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0471727903.ch7

Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics

Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics

How to Cite

Öttinger, H. C. (2005) Kinetic Theory of Gases, in Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471727903.ch7

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2005
  2. Published Print: 2 MAR 2005

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471666585

Online ISBN: 9780471727903



  • rarefied gases;
  • elementary kinetic theory;
  • mean free path;
  • Boltzmann's kinetic equation;
  • Chapman-Enskog technique;
  • Grad's moment expansion


This chapter deals with the kinetic theory of rarefied gases of monatomic molecules, and it is strongly focused on Boltzmann's kinetic equation. An elementary kinetic theory approach is presented, so that the reader can develop a feeling for the simplest mechanical model of a monatomic gas, the relevant length scales, and the kind of phenomena that can be explained. Transport coefficients are obtained in terms of the mean free path. Moreover, Boltzmann's kinetic equation is motivated in an elementary way, before the systematic projection-operator technique is used to derive the GENERIC building blocks for Boltzmann's equation. The Chapman-Enskog technique and Grad's moment expansion for constructing approximate solutions to Boltzmann's equation are described, and a few results are presented. A GENERIC version of Grad's moment expansion is presented for the first time.