General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 737–755

A statistical mechanical problem in Schwarzschild spacetime


  • Peter Collas
    • Department of Physics and AstronomyCalifornia State University, Northridge
    • Department of MathematicsCalifornia State University, Northridge
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10714-007-0416-4

Cite this article as:
Collas, P. & Klein, D. Gen Relativ Gravit (2007) 39: 737. doi:10.1007/s10714-007-0416-4


We use Fermi coordinates to calculate the canonical partition function for an ideal gas in a circular geodesic orbit in Schwarzschild spacetime. To test the validity of the results we prove theorems for limiting cases. We recover the Newtonian gas law subject only to tidal forces in the Newtonian limit. Additionally we recover the special relativistic gas law as the radius of the orbit increases to infinity. We also discuss how the method can be extended to the non ideal gas case.


Ideal gasSchwarzschild spacetimeFermi coordinatesStatistical mechanics
Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007