Over-populated tails for conservative-in-the-mean inelastic maxwell models

José A. Carrillo, Stéphane Cordier, Giuseppe Toscani

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We introduce and discuss spatially homogeneous Maxwell-type models of the nonlinear Boltzmann equation undergoing binary collisions with a random component. The random contribution to collisions is such that the usual collisional invariants of mass, momentum and energy do not hold pointwise, even if they all hold in the mean. Under this assumption it is shown that, while the Boltzmann equation has the usual conserved quantities, it possesses a steady state with power-like tails for certain random variables. A similar situation occurs in kinetic models of economy recently considered by two of the authors [24], which are conservative in the mean but possess a steady distribution with Pareto tails. The convolution-like gain operator is subsequently shown to have good contraction/expansion properties with respect to different metrics in the set of probability measures. Existence and regularity of isotropic stationary states is shown directly by constructing converging iteration sequences as done in [8]. Uniqueness, asymptotic stability and estimates of overpopulated high energy tails of the steady profile are derived from the basic property of contraction/expansion of metrics. For general initial conditions the solutions of the Boltzmann equation are then proved to converge with computable rate as t ∞ to the steady solution in these distances, which metricizes the weak convergence of measures. These results show that powerlike tails in Maxwell models are obtained when the point-wise conservation of momentum and/or energy holds only globally. 2000 Mathematics Subject Classification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-81
JournalDiscrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009


  • Asymptotic behavior
  • Conservative in mean
  • Inelastic collisions
  • Stochastic restitution coefficient
  • Thick-tails


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