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Journal Article

Variational description of multifluid hydrodynamics: Uncharged fluids


Prix,  Reinhard
Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Prix, R. (2004). Variational description of multifluid hydrodynamics: Uncharged fluids. Physical Review D, 69(4): 043001. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.69.043001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-5058-C
We present a formalism for Newtonian multifluid hydrodynamics derived from an unconstrained variational principle. This approach provides a natural way of obtaining the general equations of motion for a wide range of hydrodynamic systems containing an arbitrary number of interacting fluids and superfluids. In addition to spatial variations we use “time shifts” in the variational principle, which allows us to describe dissipative processes with entropy creation, such as chemical reactions, friction or the effects of external non-conservative forces. The resulting framework incorporates the generalization of the entrainment effect originally discussed in the case of the mixture of two superfluids by Andreev and Bashkin. In addition to the conservation of energy and momentum, we derive the generalized conservation laws of vorticity and helicity, and the special case of Ertel’s theorem for the single perfect fluid. We explicitly discuss the application of this framework to thermally conducting fluids, superfluids, and superfluid neutron star matter. The equations governing thermally conducting fluids are found to be more general than the standard description, as the effect of entrainment usually seems to be overlooked in this context. In the case of superfluid 4He we recover the Landau-Khalatnikov equations of the two-fluid model via a translation to the “orthodox” framework of superfluidity, which is based on a rather awkward choice of variables. Our two-fluid model for superfluid neutron star matter allows for dissipation via mutual friction and also “transfusion” via β reactions between the neutron fluid and the proton-electron fluid.