On the relativistic Vlasov-Poisson system

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The Cauchy problem is revisited for the so-called relativistic Vlasov-Poisson system in the attractive case, originally studied by Glassey and Schaeffer in 1985. It is proved that a unique global classical solution exists whenever the positive, integrable initial datum f0 is spherically symmetric, compactly supported in momentum space, vanishes on characteristics with vanishing angular momentum, and its £β norm is below a critical constant Cβ > 0 whenever β ≥ 3/2. It is also shown that, if the bound Cβ on the £β norm of0 is replaced by a bound C > Cβ, any β ∈ (1, ∞), then classical initial data exist which lead to a blow-up in finite time. The sharp value of Cβ is computed for all β ∈ (1, 3/2], with the results Cβ = 0 for β e (1, 3/2 ) and c3/2 = 3/8(15/16)1/3 (when ||f0o||£ = 1) while for all β > 3/2 upper and lower bounds on Cβ are given which coincide as β ↓ 3/2. Thus, the £3/2 bound is optimal in the sense that it cannot be weakened to an £β bound with β 3/2, whatever that bound. A new, non-gravitational physical vindication of the model which (unlike the gravitational one) is not restricted to weak fields, is also given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3177-3207
Number of pages31
JournalIndiana University Mathematics Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics(all)


  • Global existence
  • Optimal bounds
  • Spherical symmetry

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