Seminar on

Mathematical General Relativity


 Philippe G. LeFloch (Paris)

Ghani Zeghib (Lyon)

ANR Project

“Mathematical General Relativity. Analysis and geometry of spacetimes with low regularity”

Wed. November 14, 2012

Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris

Lecture room  15–16 309 (third level) 


10h – Miguel Sánchez Caja (Granada) Recent interrelated progress in Lorentzian, Finslerian and Riemannian geometry

Abstract.    Recently, a correspondence between the conformal structure of a class of Lorentzian manifolds (stationary spacetimes) and the geometry of a class of Finsler manifolds (Randers spaces) has been developed. This correspondence is useful in both directions. On one hand, it allows a sharp description of geometric elements on stationary spacetimes in terms of Finsler geometry. On the other hand, the geometry of spacetimes suggests, both, new geometric elements and new results, for any Finsler manifold, including the Riemannian case. Here, three levels of this correspondence will be explained: (1) Causal structure of spacetimes: properties of Finslerian distances: 0903.3501.  (2) Visibility and gravitational lensing: convexity of Finsler hypersurfaces: 1112.3892, 0911.0360. (3) Causal boundaries: Cauchy, Gromov, and Busemann boundaries in Riemannian and Finslerian settings: arXiv:1011.1154.

11h30 Vladimir Matveev (Jena) Geodesic degree of mobility of Lorentzian metrics

Abstract. The degree of mobility of a metric can be defined as the dimension of the space of solutions of a certain linear PDE system of finite type whose coefficients depend on the metric, and, for a given metric, there are standard algorithms to determine it. The standard algorithms strongly depend on the metric and in most cases it is possible to find the maximal and sub-maximal values of the degree of mobility, only. I will show that the degree of mobility of a manifold is closely related to the space of parallel symmetric tensor fields on the cone over the manifold. In the case the metric is Einstein, it is essentially the tractor cone. I will use it to describe all possible values of the degree of mobility (on a simply connected manifold) for Riemannian and Lorentzian metrics. I will also consider the case when the metric is Einstein and, as a by-product, solve the classical Weyl-Petrov-Ehlers conjecture, and also show applications. Most these results are based on joint projects with  A. Fedorova and S. Rosemann.

14h30 Philippe LeFloch (Paris)  Injectivity radius and canonical foliations of Einstein spacetimes

Abstract. I will discuss recent results on the local geometry of spacetimes with low regularity, when no assumption on the derivatives of the curvature tensor is made, obtained in collaboration with Bing-Long. Chen. Specifically, I will establish that, under geometric bounds on the curvature and injectivity radius, only, there exist local foliations by CMC (constant mean curvature) hypersurfaces, as well as CMC–harmonic coordinates. Importantly, these coordinates are defined in geodesic balls whose radii depend on the assumed bounds, only, and the components of the Lorentzian metric have the best possible regularity.

14h45 Mehdi Belraouti (Avignon) Asymptotic behavior of level sets of a convex time function

15h00 Ghani Zeghib (Lyon) Actions on the circle and isometry groups of globally hyperbolic Lorentz surfaces (after D. Monclair)

Abstract. Let M be a globally hyperbolic spatially compact spacetime with dimension 1+1. A Cauchy surface in it is diffeomorphic to the circle and, more canonically, its family of lightlike geodesics is diffeomorphic to two copies of the circle and, under mild conditions, M embeds as an open set of the 2-torus.  The isometry group G of M acts naturally on these circles, so that G is a subgroup of Diff(S1). We will establish here that G tends to be included in PSL(2, R), the group of projective transformations of the circle S1, up to a global conjugacy by an element of the circle.

15h30 Eduardo Garcia-Rio (Santiago de Compostela) Quasi-Einstein and Ricci soliton Lorentzian metrics

Abstract. Quasi-Einstein metrics are natural generalizations of Einstein metrics and gradient Ricci solitons.  Moreover, they are closely related to the existence of warped product Einstein metrics. Such metrics are defined by an overdetermined equation involving the Ricci curvature and the Hessian of a potential function. I will present some results on the geometry of Lorentzian quasi-Einstein metrics by focusing primary on those which are locally conformally flat. In this setting the Ricci curvature determines the whole curvature tensor and thus the different possibilities depend on the geometry of the level sets of the potential function: warped product metrics and pp-waves appear in a natural way.