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Mathematical Physics Seminar

Impulsive gravitational waves

Maxime Van De Moortel – Rutgers University

Location:  Hill Center Room 705
Date & time: Thursday, 26 January 2023 at 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Abstract: In a 1972 influential paper, Penrose introduced the concept of an impulsive gravitational wave, defined as a localized and singular solution of the Einstein equations. This is a model for the spacetime distortions created by a strongly gravitating source such as, say, a black hole merger. An abundant literature, both in Physics and Mathematics, has since built up on Penrose’s work, with a particular interest in the interaction of several impulsive gravitational waves. The understanding was, until recently, however, limited to binary interactions. I will review these works and finish with a new theory (obtained with jointly with J. Luk) that also allows for ternary interactions of such impulsive gravitational waves under translation symmetry.

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