Invariance Principle for the Random Lorentz Gas -- Beyond the Boltzmann-Grad Limit

Chris E H Lutsko, Balint A Toth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


We prove the invariance principle for a random Lorentz-gas particle in 3 dimensions under the Boltzmann- Grad limit and simultaneous diffusive scaling. That is, for the trajectory of a point-like particle moving among infinite-mass, hard-core, spherical scatterers of radius $r$ , placed according to a Poisson point process of density $\varrho$ , in the limit $\varrho \to \infty$ , $r \to 0$ , $\varrho r^{2} \to 1$ up to time scales of order $T \ll r^{-2}\abs{\log r}^{-2}$ . To our knowledge this represents the first significant progress towards solving rigorously this problem in classical nonequilibrium statistical physics, since the groundbreaking work of Gallavotti (1969), Spohn (1978) and Boldrighini - Bunimovich -Sinai (1983). The novelty is that the diffusive scaling of particle trajectory and the kinetic (Boltzmann- Grad ) limit are taken simultaneously . The main ingredients are a coupling of the mechanical trajectory with the Markovian random flight process, and probabilistic and geometric controls on the efficiency of this coupling. Similar results have been earlier obtained for the weak coupling limit of classical and quantum random Lorentz gas, by Komorowski - Ryzhik (2006) , respectively, Erd \H os - Salmhofer - Yau (2007) . However, the following are substantial differences between our work and those ones: (1) The physical setting is different: low density rather than weak coupling. (2) The method of approach is different: probabilistic coupling rather than analytic/perturbative . (3) Due to (2), the time scale of validity of our diffusive approximation -- expressed in terms of the kinetic time scale -- is much longer and fully explicit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589–632
Number of pages44
JournalCommunications in Mathematical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2020


  • Lorentz-gas
  • invariance principle
  • scaling limit
  • coupling
  • exploration process


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