- Conference Paper
In 1965 Penrose1 introduced the fundamental concept of a trapped surface, on the basis of which he proved a theorem which asserts that a spacetime containing such a surface must come to an end. The presence of a trapped surface implies, moreover, that there is a region of spacetime, the black hole, which is inaccessible to observation from infinity. A major challenge since that time has been to find out how trapped surfaces actually form, by analyzing the dynamics of gravitational collapse. I recently published a monograph2 which achieves this aim by establishing the formation of trapped surfaces in pure general relativity through the focusing of gravitational waves. The theorems proved in the monograph constitute the first foray into the long-time dynamics of general relativity in the large, that is, when the initial data are no longer confined to a suitable neighborhood of trivial data. The main new method, the short pulse method, applies to general systems of Euler-Lagrange equations of hyperbolic type, and provides the means to tackle problems which have hitherto seemed unapproachable. Show more
Book titleThe twelfth Marcel Grossmann Meeting on recent developments in theoretical and experimental general relativity, astrophysics, and relativistic field theories
Pages / Article No.
SubjectShort pulse method; Einstein vacuum equations; trapped surfaces
Organisational unit03583 - Christodoulou, Demetrios (emeritus)
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