The piston problem for a viscous heat-conducting gas is studied under the assumption that the piston Mach number ε is small. The linearized Navier–Stokes equations are found to be valid up to times of the order of ε−2 mean free times after the piston is set in motion, while at large times the solution is governed by Burgers's equation. Boundary conditions for the large-time solution are supplied by the matching principle of the method of inner and outer expansions, which is also used to construct a composite solution valid both for small and for large times.
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