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Type D Gravitational Fields


Kinnersley, William Morris, III (1969) Type D Gravitational Fields. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/9TE3-F842.


The Newman-Penrose tetrad equations are set up for the principal tetrad of a Type D gravitational field in vacuum. With no further assumptions, the equations are integrated, yielding an exhaustive list of Type D vacuum metrics. The solutions all possess two commuting Killing vectors and depend on from one to four arbitrary constants. The Type D fields with expanding rays are six closely related versions of Kerr-NUT space, the EhlersKundt "C" metric, and a new generalization of the "C" metric possessing rotation. For zero expansion we find the three EhlersKundt "B" metrics, plus rotating generalizations of each. The six Kerr-NUT metrics are interpreted as spinning particles with timelike, lightlike, or spacelike momentum and angular momentum vectors occurring in all possible combinations. The "C" metric is tentatively identified as a gravitational analog of the runaway solutions encountered in electrodynamics, i. e. , a point mass executing hyperbolic motion. Next we consider Type D fields with electromagnetism present. We find that all of the above vacuum metrics can be readily "charged" by adding a non-null electromagnetic field whose principal null vectors coincide with the gravitational ones. We also discuss some interesting generalizations of the Schwarzschild and "C" metrics containing the geometrical optics limit of a null electromagnetic field which propagates along one principal null congruence. In the Schwarzschild case they generalize Vaidya's "shining star" metric, to include the field of a particle traveling along an arbitrarily accelerated world-line.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Physics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mathews, Jon
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:8 July 1968
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04272006-094112
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1521
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:27 Apr 2006
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 22:18

Thesis Files

PDF (Kinnersley_wm_1969.pdf) - Final Version
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