Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 141, Issue 6, pp 1039–1054

The Spectrum of the Billiard Laplacian of a Family of Random Billiards


DOI: 10.1007/s10955-010-0079-5

Cite this article as:
Feres, R. & Zhang, HK. J Stat Phys (2010) 141: 1039. doi:10.1007/s10955-010-0079-5


Random billiards are billiard dynamical systems for which the reflection law giving the post-collision direction of a billiard particle as a function of the pre-collision direction is specified by a Markov (scattering) operator P. Billiards with microstructure are random billiards whose Markov operator is derived from a “microscopic surface structure” on the boundary of the billiard table. The microstructure in turn is defined in terms of what we call a billiard cellQ, the shape of which completely determines the operator P. This operator, defined on an appropriate Hilbert space, is bounded self-adjoint and, for the examples considered here, a Hilbert-Schmidt operator. A central problem in the statistical theory of such random billiards is to relate the geometric characteristics of Q and the spectrum of P. We show, for a particular family of billiard cell shapes parametrized by a scale invariant curvature K (Fig. 2), that the billiard Laplacian PI is closely related to the ordinary spherical Laplacian, and indicate, by partly analytical and partly numerical means, how this provides asymptotic information about the spectrum of P for small values of K. It is shown, in particular, that the second moment of scattering about the incidence angle closely approximates the spectral gap of P.


Billiards Knudsen law Spectral gap Classical scattering 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics & StatisticsUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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