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(Conformal) Killing vectors in the Newman-Penrose formalism
Univ Alberta, Dept Math Sci, Edmonton, AB T6G 1S6, Canada.
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2002 (English)In: General Relativity and Gravitation, ISSN 0001-7701, E-ISSN 1572-9532, Vol. 34, no 6, 807-835 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Finding (conformal) Killing vectors of a given metric can be a difficult task. This paper presents an efficient technique for finding Killing, homothetic, or even proper conformal Killing vectors in the Newman-Penrose (NP) formalism. Leaning on, and extending, results previously derived in the GHP formalism we show that the (conformal) Killing equations can be replaced by a set of equations involving the commutators of the Lie derivative with the four NP differential operators, applied to the four coordinates. It is crucial that these operators refer to a preferred tetrad relative to the (conformal) Killing vectors, a notion to be defined. The equations can then be readily solved for the Lie derivative of the coordinates, i.e. for the components of the (conformal) Killing vectors. Some of these equations become trivial if some coordinates are chosen intrinsically (where possible), i.e. if they are somehow tied to the Riemann tensor and its covariant derivatives. If part of the tetrad, i.e. part of null directions and gauge, can be defined intrinsically then that part is generally preferred relative to any Killing vector. This is also true relative to a homothetic vector or a proper conformal Killing vector provided we make a further restriction on that intrinsic part of the tetrad. If because of null isotropy or gauge isotropy, where part of the tetrad cannot even in principle be defined intrinsically, the tetrad is defined only up to (usually) one null rotation parameter and/or a gauge factor, then the NP-Lie equations become slightly more involved and must be solved for the Lie derivative of the null rotation parameter and/or of the gauge factor as well. However, the general method remains the same and is still much more efficient than conventional methods. Several explicit examples are given to illustrate the method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 34, no 6, 807-835 p.
Keyword [en]
conformal Killing vectors, Petrov types
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-48860OAI: diva2:269756
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2012-01-08

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