Approaching space-like singularities in general relativity

Computational and Applied Mathematics Colloquium

Meeting Details

For more information about this meeting, contact Kris Jenssen, Hope Shaffer, Yuxi Zheng.

Speaker: Abhay Ashtekar , Department of Physics, Penn State

Abstract: I will discuss the question: What does the geometry look like near the Beginning and the End of space-time, i.e. as one approaches the big-bang and big-crunch singularities in general relativity? There is an old conjecture due to Beliinski, Khalatnikov and Lifshitz (BKL) which says that `time derivatives dominate over space derivatives' in this regime and Einstein's equations (PDEs) are well approximated by ODEs. Over the years evidence for the BKL conjecture has grown but we are no where near a complete proof. I will briefly review this situation and then describe some recent work in collaboration with Adam Henderson and David Sloan at Penn State. There is a wealth of open issues for mathematicians on both analytical and numerical fronts.

Room Reservation Information

Room Number: 106 McAllister

Date: 11/14/2008

Time: 3:35pm - 4:25pm