Spherical shock waves in general relativity

Date
1991
Authors
Nutku, Y.
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Source Title
Physical Review D
Print ISSN
0556-2821
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Volume
44
Issue
10
Pages
3164 - 3168
Language
English
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Abstract

We present the metric appropriate to a spherical shock wave in the framework of general relativity. This is a Petrov type-N vacuum solution of the Einstein field equations where the metric is continuous across the shock and the Riemann tensor suffers a step-function discontinuity. Spherical gravitational waves are described by type-N Robinson-Trautman metrics. However, for shock waves the Robinson-Trautman solutions are unacceptable because the metric becomes discontinuous in the Robinson-Trautman coordinate system. Other coordinate systems that have so far been introduced for describing Robinson-Trautman solutions also suffer from the same defect. We shall present the C0-form of the metric appropriate to spherical shock waves using Penrose's approach of identification with warp. Further extensions of Penrose's method yield accelerating, as well as coupled electromagnetic-gravitational shock-wave solutions. © 1991 The American Physical Society.

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