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Lectures on General Relativity: - paperbound edition -

Lectures on General Relativity: - paperbound edition -

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Lectures on General Relativity: - paperbound edition -

Lunghezza:
801 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 21, 2019
ISBN:
9789178517787
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Do you know the basics of general relativity?
Do you want to know something of what more there is?
Do you wonder how the theory of relativity came into being?

Then this book is for you!


Partial contents:


- Black holes and gravitational collapse

- Cosmological solutions of Einstein's field equations

- Gravitational waves

- Space-time singularities

- The problem of motion for massive particles

- A collection of exact solutions of Einstein's field equations

- A history of Einstein's creation of the theory of relativity in the years 1905-1915

- A short course for repetition of the basics of general relativity

- Bibliography, references, and index


The book, although not very advanced, covers a number of topics not often seen in text books. The selection, of course, refelects my own interests. The different chapters may to a large extent, though not completely, be read in any desired order.


The author has a PhD in theoretical physics and is lecturer of mathematics. He has for many years taught physics and mathematics at senior high school as well as university level.
Pubblicato:
Jan 21, 2019
ISBN:
9789178517787
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

The author has a PhD in theoretical physics and is lecturer of mathematics. He has for many years taught physics and mathematics at senior high school as well as university level.

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Lectures on General Relativity - Bengt Månsson

Contents

I. TWO OVERVIEWS OF GENERAL RELATIVITY

1. First overview

1.1 General relativity as a dynamical theory of space-time and gravitation

1.2 Einstein spaces

1.3 The large scale structure of space-time

1.4 The problem of motion

1.5 The crisis in general relativity

2. Second overview

2.1 Differential Geometry

2.1.1 Manifolds

2.1.2 Tensors

2.1.3 Metric structure

2.1.4 Connection

2.1.5 Parallel transport

2.1.6 Curvature

2.1.7 Surgery and embeddings

2.2 General relativity

2.2.1 Space-time manifolds

2.2.2 Local causality

2.2.3 Energy-momentum tensor

2.2.4 The field equations

2.3 The Cauchy problem

2.4 Symmetric spaces

2.4.1 Killing vectors

2.4.2 Coordinate condition

2.4.3 Maximal symmetry

2.5 Spin coefficient formalism

2.5.1 Tetrad and spin coefficients

2.5.2 Identities

2.5.3 Free field equations

2.5.4 Robinson-Trautman solutions

2.6 Incompleteness, extensions, and elementary singularities

2.6.1 Incompleteness, extension

2.6.2 Elementary singularities

2.7 Singular space-times

2.7.1 The concept of singularity

2.7.2 Background material for a singularity theorem

2.7.3 The singularity theorem

II. SPHERICALLY SYMMETRIC GRAVITATIONAL FIELDS

3. Timelike geodesics

4. Perihelion precession

5. Proper time in orbit

5.1 Some numerical examples

5.2 The general inequality Δτ |orb < Δτ |obs

5.3 Circular orbit and weak field

6. Null geodesics

7. Light deflection

8. Geodesics insider= 3m

9. Delayed radar signals

9.1 Examples

10. Geodesic precession

11. Frame dragging

11.1 Mach’s principle

11.2 Schwarzschild’s inner solution

Appendix II.A - Elliptic functions and integrals

III. BLACK HOLES AND COSMOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS

12. Introduction

13. Symmetric spaces

13.1 Killing’s equation

13.2 Maximal symmetry

13.3 Homogeneity and isotropy

13.4 Examples of maximally symmetric spaces

13.5 Uniqueness theorem

13.6 Maximally symmetric subspaces

14. Extension of space-times

14.1 Extensions in general

14.2 Spherically symmetric space-time

14.3 Maximal extension

15. Black holes and gravitational collapse

15.1 In- and outgoing solutions

15.1.1 Orbits

15.2 Gravitational collapse and creation of black holes

15.3 Gravitational collapse in detail

15.4 Singularities and horizons

15.5 Realistic gravitational collapse

15.5.1 I

15.5.2 II

15.5.3 III

15.6 Inner size of a black hole

16. Cosmological solutions

16.1 The cosmological principle and the Robertson-Walker metric

16.2 Open and closed universe

16.3 Geodesics and the meaning of the coordinates

16.4 Using the field equations

16.4.1 Non-relativistic matter

16.4.2 Relativistic matter

16.4.3 Vacuum energy

16.5 Mixed matter and critical density

16.6 Comparison with observations

16.7 The initial singularity. Horizons

16.8 Cosmic Microwave Radiation Background

16.9 Conclusion

Appendix III.A - Equivalence of Killing’s equation and the existence of isometries

Appendix III.B - Geodesic deviation

Appendix III.C - The exit cone

Appendix III.D - Other cosmological models

IV. ADVANCED TOPICS

17. Exact solutions

17.1 Einstein spaces

17.2 Weyl’s solutions

17.3 The C-metric

17.4 Schwarzschild’s solution in isotropic coordinates

17.5 The Einstein-Rosen bridge

17.6 Kerr’s solution

17.7 Robinson-Trautman space-times

17.7.1 Final remark

17.8 Gravitational waves

17.9 The Resissner-Nordström solution

17.10 Vaidya’s solution

17.11 Fluids

17.11.1 Star in equlibrium

17.11.2 Star with constant density

17.12 Causality violating solutions

17.12.1 Gödel’s solution

17.12.2 The solutions of van Stockum and others

18. Cosmic time functions in certain Robinson-Trautman space-times

18.1 Introduction

18.2 RT space-times

18.3 A class of cosmic time functions

18.4 Properties of RT curvature singularities

18.5 Conclusion

19. Energy of the gravitational field

19.1 An integral theorem

19.2 Energy-momentum complex for the gravitational field

19.3 Energy density etc

19.4 The superpotential

19.4.1 Schwarzschild’s space-time

19.5 Difficulties with the interpretation

19.5.1 Spatial transformation

19.5.2 Localization of the energy of a gravitational field

19.6 Conclusions

20. Equations of motion

20.1 The principle of equivalence

20.2 Weyl’s solution

20.2.1 Principal determination of the metric

20.2.2 An example with two singularities

20.3 The Einstein-Infeld-Hoffmann method

20.3.1 Description of the method

20.3.2 Application to massive particles

20.3.3 Integration of the EIH equations

20.4 The Newman-Posadas method

20.4.1 Worldlines in Minkowski space-time

20.4.2 Relation between F2S-metric and acceleration

20.4.3 Adaption to elementary singularities

21. Equations of motion for a class of space-time singularities

21.1 Introduction

21.2 Specification of the Type of Singularity

21.3 The Equations of Motion

21.4 Covariance of the Infeld-Plebański Equations

21.5 Particular cases

21.6 Conclusion

22. On the possibility of covariant equations of motion for space-time singularities

22.1 Introduction

22.2 Coordinate systems and regularization

22.3 Application to RT-like singularities

22.4 Covariance of the IP equations

22.5 Concluding remarks

22.6 Appendix

23. Gravitational waves

23.1 Linearized field equations

23.2 Emitted energy

23.3 Observations

23.3.1 The binary pulsar PSR 1913+16

23.3.2 LIGO

23.4 Other results on gravitational waves

23.4.1 Linear mass quadropole oscillator

23.4.2 General form for the emitted power

23.4.3 Plane waves

23.4.4 Exact wave solutions

24. What is a space-time singularity?

24.1 Introduction

24.2 Problems of definition

24.3 Examples of coordinate effects

24.4 Elimination of coordinate singularities

24.4.1 (A) Finiteness of measured times and lengths

24.4.2 (B) Finiteness of tidal forces at r = 2m

24.4.3 (C) Well-behaved coordinate systems

24.5 Definition of a singular space-time

24.5.1 Examples

24.6 Singularity theorems

24.6.1 Preliminaries

24.6.2 Statement of the theorem

24.6.3 Proof of the theorem

24.6.4 Remarks

24.7 Other results on singularities

24.8 Conclusion

Appendix IV.A – Weyl solutions

Appendix IV.B – Tensor densities

Appendix IV.C - Lagrange density

Appendix IV.D - Maximal extension of the Schwarzschild space-time

Appendix IV.E - Free fall towardsr= 2mas viewed from the outside

Appendix IV.F - The generalized affine parameter

Appendix IV.G - The convergence of a set of curves

Appendix IV.I - Two-dimensional analogy

Appendix IV.J - Lambert’sW-function

Appendix IV.K - Hydrostatic equlibrium

V. EINSTEIN...

25. Time to tie the threads together...

26. Special Relativity Theory, Einstein 1905, 1907, 1912

26.1 Background and postulates

26.2 Simultaneity definition

26.3 The concepts of cause and effect

26.4 New axiomatization?

26.5 Electrodynamics

26.6 Particle Dynamics

27. General Relativity Theory, Einstein 1911-1916

27.1 Background and postulates

27.2 Equivalence Principle

27.3 Field Equations

27.4 Simultaneity in General Relativity

27.5 Unified field theory

28. Einstein’s view of the method of theoretical physics

28.1 Science

28.2 The importance of mathematics

28.2.1 Some examples

28.2.2 Calculus of Variation

Appendix V.A - Transverse and longitudinal mass

Appendix V.B - Einstein’s theory for the non-symmetric field

VI. A SHORT BASIC COURSE

29. Differential geometry

29.1 Introduction

29.2 Manifolds

29.3 Tensor algebra

29.4 Tensor analysis

29.4.1 Affinity

29.4.2 Covariant derivative

29.4.3 Curvature tensor

29.4.4 Geodesic coordinates

29.4.5 Metric connection, Riemann space

29.4.6 Metric affinity

29.4.7 Geodesics

30. General Theory of Relativity

30.1 Background and postulates

30.2 Field Equations

30.3 Newton’s theory as a first approximation

30.4 Spherically symmetric gravitational field

30.5 Schwarzschild’s solution

30.6 Theory of measurement

30.6.1 Expressions for dL² and dT²

30.6.2 Principal determination of the metric tensor

30.6.3 Physical interpretation of the coordinates

30.6.4 Timelike, spacelike and null coordinates

31. Non-euclidean spatial geometry

32. Accelerated reference systems

32.1 Superluminal speed

32.2 The twin paradox

32.2.1 Solution of the paradox within special relativity

32.2.2 Several breaking points

32.2.3 Solution of the paradox within general relativity

VII. PROBLEMS

33. Problems

VIII. LITERATURE, REFERENCES, AND INDEX

Literature

References

Preface

The present book is based on lectures given at Lund University and Stockholm University, Sweden, excerpts from my PhD dissertation in theoretical physics [108], and a somewhat related but more basic swedish text [111]. The level is intermediate, it being assumed that the reader is somewhat acquainted with general relativity. The intention is to give those who have read som introcuctory text, like Lawden [100] or Schutz [150], a collection of texts showing a part of what there is more, before reading the comprehensive books of Misner-Thorne-Wheeler [107] and others. To a large extent the texts are independent, and can be read in any desired order. Also, I have added a short basic course suited to refresh knowledge. This is found in part VI, chapters 29–32. Section 30.6.4 as well as chapters 31 and 32 may be of interest also for those acquainted with the basics. Finally a number of problems are included at the end (ch 33). The intention with this is to present topics that may be of interest to think about so they are not ordinary exercises with known (to me) answers.

Part I consists of two fairly modern overviews based on Wheeler’s view of the theory and the modern form of differential geometry.

In part II spherically symmetric gravitational fields are studied. The Schwarzschild solution of Einstein’s field equations and its application to light deflection and perihelium precession are well-known, of course, but we develop exact results mostly in the form of elliptic integrals and among other things show that that test particles crossing the event horizon at r = 2m must propagate towards smaller r arbitrarily near r = 0 also when the motion is not initially directed towards r = 0.

In part III the existence of black hole solutions to Einstein’s field equations is demonstrated based on the theory of spherically symmetric space-times following from the general theory of symmetric space-times. The inner size of black holes is also investigated. Another application of symmetric spaces lies in the proof of the existence of cosmological solutions, i e solutions that can be regarded as descriptions of the entire universe.

Part IV consists of a selection of more advanced topics covering exact solutions to Einstein’s field equations like Weyl’s axially symmetric solutions, and the Robinson-Trautman solutions. Further, the problem of motion is treated, i e the question of whether and how the motion of particles is implicit in Einstein’s gravitational field equations. After this follows a discussion on how to define and calculate the energy of a gravitational field, and a presentation of gravitational waves, including a comprehensive calculation of the expression for gravitational radiation power in the linearized theory. Finally, the concept of a space-time singularity is considered, ending with a short presentation of a typical theorem on the necessity of the existence of singularities.

In part V we turn to a historic and epistemological study of Einstein’s theories of relativity. To that end we also include the history of the creation of special relativity as well as Einstein’s so-called theory for the non-symmetric field, his last attempt to create a unified theory of gravitation and electrodynamics.

References, index and a list of literature conclude the book.

A number of appendices are included. These are placed at the end of the respective part, that is not the different chapters, except for chapters 18, 21, and 22 where the appendices are at the end of the respective chapter.

I want to thank professor Bengt E Y Svensson, Institute for Theoretical Physics, Lund University, Sweden for valuable comments and suggestions on the chapter on cosmological solutions. Any remaining shortcoming is, of course, my own responsibility.

Partille, Sweden, October 22, 2018

Bengt Månsson

E-mail: bengtmn@comhem.se

Notation and conventions

Indices

Latin indices take values (1,2,3,4) or (1,2,3,0).

Greek indices take values (1,2,3).

Units

c = G = 1 except in numerical calculations.

Metric and signature

For each point P in space-time there is a coordinate system such that gab(P) = ηab = diag(1,1,1,−1), i e the signature is +2. All coordinates are real. For a timelike world-line of a material particle, ds² = dτ ² where τ denotes proper time.

The curvature tensor

denotes the usual symmetric, metric affinity given by the second kind Christoffel symbols.

Ricci’s tensor

Einstein’s tensor

and Rab changes sign.

Einstein’s field equations

where the material energy density is T44 0.

Symmetries

The symmetric and anti-symmetric parts of a two-index quantity are denoted

respectively

and similarly for quantities with more indices.

Coordinate terminology

A coordinate x is said to be timelike if the normal vector to the hyper-surface {x = constant} is timelike and the hypersurface is then said to be spacelike. Similarly for null and spacelike coordinates. A timelike coordinate is often denoted x, x⁰ or t where x⁴ = ct = t and x⁰ = ct = t. For more about this, see section 30.6.4.

Exceptions

In a few cases (mainly Robinson-Trautman and Weyl solutions) other conventions are used. These do not, however, interfere with other parts of the book and should cause no confusion.

Software used

Derive: A general purpose computer algebra system, owned by Texas Instrument but no longer maintained [225].

Mathematica: An advanced computer algebra system and knowledge basis, created and maintained by Wolfram Research [226].

Maxima: A free program with among other things tensor calculation features suitable for general relativity [230]. This is used, particularly in the chapter on exact solutions, to find the components of Einstein’s or Ricci’s tensors. The program uses the same sign conventions as above for the curvature tensor and Ricci’s tensor.

WolframAlpha: A free net and mobile app service with among other things decent integral evaluation capabilities [227].

Part I

TWO OVERVIEWS OF GENERAL

RELATIVITY

Chapter 1

First overview

1.1 General relativity as a dynamical theory of

space-time and gravitation

Physical space-time can be defined as the collection of all events or, rather, equivalence classes of events with unrestricted causal connections. It is thus the stage on which physical events take place, deprived of the characteristics of specific events. Experiments within high energy physics have revealed no sign of discontinuity at least down to distances of 10¹⁸ m. Because of this, together with the local validity of special relativity, we use as mathematical model a four-dimensional C∞ manifold M with Lorentz metric g, i e a metric with signature +2 [81].¹

(the principle of equivalence). The metric g will then enter the equations though covariant derivatives and becomes a physical field of its own. From a formal point of view g

The gravitational field, unlike other physical fields, does not fit this description since light rays, whose world-lines are null curves, are deflected by gravitation. This means that the description of gravitation requires curved space-time and has no meaning in the tangent space. However, as is realized eg by means of the equivalence principle, a complete description of the gravitational field is furnished by the metric tensor g alone

Thus, g describes the geometry of space-time as a physical property among others and, at the same time, gravitation. Suitable field equations, relating g to matter, can be found by requiring Newton’s theory as the limiting case of static, weak fields [81], from more formal considerations on tensor equations preferred by Einstein ([40], [104]), or from variational principles as first shown by Hilbert [104]. The result is, in any case, Einstein’s field equation,

if units are chosen so that G = c = 1.² The coupling of gravitation to matter involves only the energy-momentum tensor and, thus, different types of matter which have the same distribution of energy and momentum should generate the same gravitational field.

Soon after their discovery in 1915, these equations were found to be hyperbolic; see [81], [177], [136] and references therein. This implies that Cauchy’s problem can be solved, at least locally, with suitable initial data given on a spacelike hypersurface,³ and thus the dynamical object of general relativity, as a theory of space and time, is three-dimensional space evolving in time [174]. Therefore, although space-time is the fundamental theoretical concept, space and time themselves should perhaps not be completely relegated to the world of shadows as eg in the view of Minkowski [105].

1.2 Einstein spaces

Space-time manifolds with Ricci’s tensor proportional to the metric tensor are called Einstein spaces [136]. By (1.1), they correspond to the presence of a pure gravitational field. If, in particular, the cosmological constant Λ is set to zero, (1.1) goes over into

called Einstein’s equations for the pure gravitational field or, simply, the vacuum field equations.

admits an isometry [onto itself which preserves the metric. The one-parameter group of transformations φt generated by a vector field K is a group of isometries if and only if K satisfies Killing’s equation,

By means of this equation Petrov has given an extensive classification of Einstein spaces admitting various groups of motions [136]. Among these is, for example, the spherically symmetric one with three independent Killing vectors whose metric is given, in certain regions, by Schwarzschild’s solution.

Another method of finding exact solutions, introduced by Newman and Penrose ([122], [12]), rests on the use of so called spin coefficients, a kind of complex Ricci rotation coefficients, together with tetrad components of the tensors, or an equivalent spinor formalism. This method has proved very powerful and has resulted in large classes of exact solutions, corresponding to various choices of spin coefficients [12]. Among the simplest ones of these are the Robinson-Trautman solutions, to be discussed later.

1.3 The large scale structure of space-time

Any solution gab

However, in curved space-time there also arises the possibility of a topology other than that of R⁴. This may give rise to space-times which are inextendible, but yet incomplete. More precisely, there may be curves which cannot be be extended to arbitrary values of an affine parameter, in which case the space-time manifold is said to be singular ([81], ch 8). Most of the known exact solutions are singular in this sense. The question therefore arises whether this is an artefact of the high symmetry of these solutions or whether generic space-times are singular.

Thanks to a very precise mathematical formulation of general relativity, including the application of differential topology to space-time manifolds ([133], [65]), the latter alternative has been established as the correct one. In a series of fundamental theorems Hawking and Penrose have shown that singularities must occur if certain conditions, having nothing to do with symmetry, are fulfilled ([81], ch 1, 8). These conditions include an inequality for the energy-momentum tensor, the existence of a sufficient amount of matter within a bounded region to create a trapped surface (i e a surface across which no signal can escape), and causality conditions. All of these are very reasonable and indicate that some breakdown of general relativity must occur.⁴

Among the results reached by means of the global techniques are also theorems on black holes, domains in space-time bounded by an event horizon, from which no signal can escape to future null infinity. These horizons are generally accepted as physically reasonable but some authors express another opinion ([119], [78]).

Finally, with a topology other than that of R⁴, it becomes possible to construct space-times with unusual causal properties, examples of which are also found among the solutions of Einstein’s field equations [69]. A reasonable causal structure, more precisely so called stable causality ([81], ch 6) is essential for the existence of cosmic time functions, making precise the concept of a universal time, and useful in particular in cosmology. When such functions exist, they can be defined in many different ways, showing the extreme relativity of time, especially in the presence of singularities or horizons. For some space-times this is illustated in [110], also reproduced later in this book.

Singularities also may be of a very different nature [51], some of them corresponding to a point where the curvature tensor goes to infinity. The latter are of particular interest in connection with the motion and structure of particles as will be considered below. Some general theorems have been proved giving conditions for the singularities predicted by Hawking and Penrose to be of this kind.

1.4 The problem of motion

Given a matter distribution, the field equations determine the generated gravitational field from the energy-momentum tensor. Conversely, the behaviour of matter under the influence of a gravitational field is determined by a set of equations, the equations of motion, which can be found by means of the principle of equivalence. In the case of coherent matter, for example, this principle implies that the individual particles move so that their world-lines are geodesics in space-time. On the other hand, the left hand side of the field equations is divergence-free and thus Tab;b = 0, which also leads to geodesic motion. Further, the non-linearity means that the field equations can be satisfied only if the sources of the gravitational field interact. Thus, the field generated by several sources in mutual rest must have some kind of singularities on a line connecting the sources, as can be examplified by Weyl’s static, axially symmetric solutions [159].⁵ All this indicates that the equations of motion may be implicit in the field equation, and it has been shown that, with some additional assumptions, this is indeed so. However, whereas non-linearity is necessary the sufficient condition is general covariance, as will be described next.

For simplicity we limit ourselves to bounded sources with purely gravitational interaction, so that Rab = 0 outside a finite number of timelike tubes [68]. General covariance implies that the field equations are not independent but must satisfy four differential identities, the contracted Bianchi identities [67]. The existence of these identities cause four three-dimensional surface integrals outside the sources to vanish, provided only that the field equations (1.2) are satisfied at all points on the surfaces of integration. These integral conditions can, therefore, give no information on the field, but they do determine the motion of the enclosed sources.

Idealizing the sources as mass points one does not need to specify any energy-momentum tensor, a point strongly emphasized by Einstein. Instead the sources must the be represented by space-time singularities, and the vacuum field equations can be assumed everywhere in the resulting singular space-time. With some specification of the type of singularity, eg spherical symmetry of the surrounding field, the motion can then be calculated by means of succesive approximations, from the above-mentioned integrals. In this way one obtains equations of motion in the Newtonian and post-Newtonian, or even higher approximations, as was first shown by Einstein, Infeld, and Hoffmann ([68], [46], [44]).

As a shortcut to theses results, Infeld introduced an energy-momentum tensor of δ−function type, corresponding to spherical symmetry ([85], [86], [87]). By means of the full field equaions together with the Bianchi identities, it then became possible to derive exact equations of motion resembling those of a geodesic, which express the acceleration in terms of regularized field quantities.

Certain problems remain in connection with these investigations. First, the concept of spherical symmetry is problematic ([94], [83]). A promising new approach, treating the equations of motion of singularities as coupled to those determining their structure, has been developed by Newman and collaborators [121].⁶ In this way, one avoids a priori assumptions, which may be incompatible with the field equations.

Secondly, regularization procedures for field quantities may not be independent of the choice of coordinates [66]. This is certainly so when the modern conception of a singularity is taken into account, a fact which makes it problemetic to formulate covariant equations of motion. A detailed investigation of this for certain classes of singularities forms the subject of [109], which is also reproduced in chapter 22.

It might seem possible to avoid the second difficulty through the use of extended sources instead of singularities, and Fock and Papapetrou have found equations of motion in this way ([54], [130], [131]). However, besides the problem of finding a suitable energy-momentum tensor, it should yet be of interest to describe particles as mass points as an idealization and this entails representation of the gravitational field by means of a singular space-time manifold. Further, and more serious, the theorems of Hawking and Penrose predict the occurence of singularities from very general, regular initial conditions. At least in particle like cases these singularities should obey covariant equations of motion. Also, the approach of Newnman et al [121] does not give equations of motion in this sense, i e covariant, ordinary differential equations connecting the acceleration with field quanities, but describes the motion and structure of certain kinds of singularities in terms of the surrounding null cone structure. This does not affect the present problem.

1.5 The crisis in general relativity

Since the singularity theorems of Hawking and Penrose were established around 1970 [81], it is generally agreed that the theory of relativity must in some respect be of limited validity ([119], [78]). This is so because a singularity can be regarded as a place where the concept of a space-time manifold breaks down, and consequently all known laws of physics wíll break down.⁷ In particular, one does not know what may be emitted from a singularity and therefore the future of space-time cannot be predicted. For instance, it might be that a singularity always occurs inside a black hole so that it is surrounded by an event horizon (the cosmic censorship hypothesis). While retaining causality outside the horizon this attempt does not, however, avoid the very singularity, and the problem remains for any observer moving inside the horizon. Another suggestion is that singularities may not appear in a quantized version of general relativity. However, as has been discovereed by Hawking [78], the application of quantum theory to the macroscopic domain of a black hole leads to a basic limitation of our ability to predict the future (Hawking’s randomicity principle) which may be considered as equally disastreous [119].

It seems, therefore, that a new classical theory of space-time geometry and gravitation is desirable. One possibility has been pointed out by Møller who suggets that the metric tensor does not describe the gravitational field completely, and instead proposes a tetrad description. This opens up new possibilities to formulate field equations, the solutions of some of which may have neither singularities nor horizons.

We finally point out the relevance for these problems of the investigations on which the present thesis is based. As mentioned in the preceding section it seems difficult to find covariant equations of motion for space-time singularities ([109] and ch 22). On the other hand, material particles should obey such equations but, neglecting their spatial exension, they should also be represented by singularities. Threfore, the concept of a mass point does not fit general relativity, not even as an idealization.

The problems connected with the possible existence of event horizons are touched upon in [110]. The structure of null cones near a horizon makes it possible to choose surfaces of simultaneity in many different ways. In case of a spherically symmetric hole, for instance, they can be chosen so as to intersect the central singularity once,twice, or not at all. Indeed, about the same thing happens with a small but finite particle, lying inside an event horizon. Thus, different observers do not agree as to the number of particles or even whether there are any. If this strange situation is to be remedied the occurence of event horizons must, as well as that of space-time singularities, be regarded as signs of limitations in the classsical theory of general relativity.⁸


¹ The present chapter is a reproduction from my PhD thesis Investigations on the motion and structure of space-time singularities, Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden, 1978 [108], based on [109] and [110], included in this book as chapters 18 and 21, and on a third part reproduced in chapter 22.

² Otherwise the coefficient of Tab will be 8πG/c⁴ .

³ For details on hyperfaces, see section 30.6.4

⁴ Singularities are considered in chapter 24.

⁵ These solutions are treated in sections 17.2 and 20.2.

⁶ This is considered in section 20.4.

⁷ See chapter 24.

⁸ Also, see Inner size of a black hole, sect 15.6.

Chapter 2

Second overview

2.1 Differential Geometry

2.1.1 Manifolds

By physical space-time we mean the collection of all point events. This is the stage on which physical events take place but is also in itself a physical object, described in General Relativity by Einsteins field equations for the gravitational field.

The seemingly smooth structure of space-time leeds to using a C∞ differentiable manifold as mathematical model.

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