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Dynamical laws of superenergy in General Relativity
Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Linköping University, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics.
2008 (English)In: Classical and quantum gravity, ISSN 0264-9381, Vol. 25, 015006-015032 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Bel and Bel-Robinson tensors were introduced nearly 50 years ago in an attempt to generalize to gravitation the energy-momentum tensor of electromagnetism. This generalization was successful from the mathematical point of view because these tensors share mathematical properties which are remarkably similar to those of the energy-momentum tensor of electromagnetism. However, the physical role of these tensors in general relativity has remained obscure and no interpretation has achieved wide acceptance. In principle, they cannot represent energy and the term superenergy has been coined for the hypothetical physical magnitude lying behind them. In this work, we try to shed light on the true physical meaning of superenergy by following the same procedure which enables us to give an interpretation of the electromagnetic energy. This procedure consists in performing an orthogonal splitting of the Bel and Bel-Robinson tensors and analyzing the different parts resulting from the splitting. In the electromagnetic case such splitting gives rise to the electromagnetic energy density, the Poynting vector and the electromagnetic stress tensor, each of them having a precise physical interpretation which is deduced from the dynamical laws of electromagnetism (Poynting theorem). The full orthogonal splitting of the Bel and Bel-Robinson tensors is more complex but, as expected, similarities with electromagnetism are present. Also the covariant divergence of the Bel tensor is analogous to the covariant divergence of the electromagnetic energy-momentum tensor and the orthogonal splitting of the former is found. The ensuing equations are to the superenergy what the Poynting theorem is to electromagnetism. Some consequences of these dynamical laws of superenergy are explored, among them the possibility of defining superenergy radiative states for the gravitational field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 25, 015006-015032 p.
Keyword [en]
General Relativity, superenergy
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-40916DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/25/1/015006Local ID: 54574OAI: diva2:261765
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2011-01-10

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Garcia-Parrado, Alfonso
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The Institute of TechnologyApplied Mathematics
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