Statistics of the total number of collisions and the ordering time in a freely expanding hard-point gas

Sanjib Sabhapandit 1, Ioana Bena 2, Satya N. Majumdar 1

Journal of statistical mechanics-theory and experiment (2008) P05012

We consider a Jepsen gas of $N$ hard-point particles undergoing free expansion on a line, starting from random initial positions of the particles having random initial velocities. The particles undergo binary elastic collisions upon contact and move freely in-between collisions. After a certain ordering time $T_{o}$, the system reaches a ``fan'' state where all the velocities are completely ordered from left to right in an increasing fashion and there is no further collision. We compute analytically the distributions of (i) the total number of collisions and (ii) the ordering time $T_{o}$. We show that several features of these distributions are universal.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. department of theoretical physics,
    University of Geneva