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General relativity’s energy and positivity: a brief history

Deser, S. (2021) General relativity’s energy and positivity: a brief history. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 477 (2254). Art. No. 2021.0503. ISSN 1364-5021. doi:10.1098/rspa.2021.0503.

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I give a brief review of the search for a proper definition of energy in General Relativity (GR), a far from trivial quest, which was only completed after four and a half decades. The equally (or perhaps more) difficult task of establishing its positivity—it was to take another 15 plus years—will then be summarized. Extension to cosmological GR is included. Mention is made of some recent offshoots. An invitation to submit a review to the Proceedings of the Royal Society prompts revisiting a subject of central importance both to GR and to my own past research—its energy definition and positivity. While there are no loose ends left, a summary may be of some use to students and non-experts. Exposure to introductory GR is useful. We will divide this survey into two unequal parts: first, the original GR without a cosmological constant, then extend it to the rather different two cases of Λ ≠ 0 .

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Deser, S.0000-0001-9285-9434
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. Manuscript received 21/06/2021. Manuscript accepted 13/09/2021. Published online 13/10/2021. Published in print 27/10/2021. I thank J. Franklin for helpful Latexing. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics, under Award Number de-sc0011632. For Tom Kibble, great physicist and staunch friend, in memoriam. An invited Perspective to mark the election of the author to the fellowship of the Royal Society in 2021. Data accessibility: This article has no additional data. Competing interests: I declare I have no competing interests.
Group:Caltech Theory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0011632
Subject Keywords:relativity; energy; positivity
Issue or Number:2254
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211014-170554724
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Official Citation:Deser S. 2021 General relativity’s energy and positivity: a brief history Proc. R. Soc. A.477:20210503
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111436
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Oct 2021 20:46
Last Modified:14 Oct 2021 20:46

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