A new characterization of half-flat solutions to Einstein's equation

Abhay Ashtekar, Ted Jacobson, Lee Smolin

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A 3+1 formulation of complex Einstein's equation is first obtained on a real 4-manifold M, topologically σ×R, where σ is an arbitrary 3-manifold. The resulting constraint and evolution equations are then simplified by using variables that capture the (anti-) self dual part of the 4-dimensional Weyl curvature. As a result, to obtain a vacuum self-dual solution, one has just to solve one constraint and one "evolution" equation on a field of triads on σ: {Mathematical expression} where Div denotes divergence with respect to a fixed, non-dynamical volume element. If the triad is real, the resulting self-dual metric is real and positive definite. This characterization of self-dual solutions in terms of triads appears to be particularly well suited for analysing the issues of exact integrability of the (anti-) self-dual Einstein system. Finally, although the use of a 3+1 decomposition seems artificial from a strict mathematical viewpoint, as David C. Robinson has recently shown, the resulting triad description is closely related to the hyperkähler geometry that (anti-) self-dual vacuum solutions naturally admit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-648
Number of pages18
JournalCommunications In Mathematical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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