Capturing the Large Scale Behavior of Many Particle Systems Through Coarse-Graining
Levermore, Charles D
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This dissertation is concerned with two areas of investigation: the first is understanding the mathematical structures behind the emergence of macroscopic laws and the effects of small scales fluctuations, the second involves the rigorous mathematical study of such laws and related questions of well-posedness. To address these areas of investigation the dissertation involves two parts: Part I concerns the theory of coarse-graining of many particle systems. We first investigate the mathematical structure behind the Mori-Zwanzig (projection operator) formalism by introducing two perturbative approaches to coarse-graining of systems that have an explicit scale separation. One concerns systems with little dissipation, while the other concerns systems with strong dissipation. In both settings we obtain an asymptotic series of `corrections' to the limiting description which are small with respect to the scaling parameter, these corrections represent the effects of small scales. We determine that only certain approximations give rise to dissipative effects in the resulting evolution. Next we apply this framework to the problem of coarse-graining the locally conserved quantities of a classical Hamiltonian system. By lumping conserved quantities into a collection of mesoscopic cells, we obtain, through a series of approximations, a stochastic particle system that resembles a discretization of the non-linear equations of fluctuating hydrodynamics. We study this system in the case that the transport coefficients are constant and prove well-posedness of the stochastic dynamics. Part II concerns the mathematical description of models where the underlying characteristics are stochastic. Such equations can model, for instance, the dynamics of a passive scalar in a random (turbulent) velocity field or the statistical behavior of a collection of particles subject to random environmental forces. First, we study general well-posedness properties of stochastic transport equation with rough diffusion coefficients. Our main result is strong existence and uniqueness under certain regularity conditions on the coefficients, and uses the theory of renormalized solutions of transport equations adapted to the stochastic setting. Next, in a work undertaken with collaborator Scott-Smith we study the Boltzmann equation with a stochastic forcing. The noise describing the forcing is white in time and colored in space and describes the effects of random environmental forces on a rarefied gas undergoing instantaneous, binary collisions. Under a cut-off assumption on the collision kernel and a coloring hypothesis for the noise coefficients, we prove the global existence of renormalized (DiPerna/Lions) martingale solutions to the Boltzmann equation for large initial data with finite mass, energy, and entropy. Our analysis includes a detailed study of weak martingale solutions to a class of linear stochastic kinetic equations. Tightness of the appropriate quantities is proved by an extension of the Skorohod theorem to non-metric spaces.