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Mathematics Colloquium


Date:  Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Title:  Energy, momentum, and center of mass in general relativity

Abstract:  These notions in the title are of most fundamental importance in any branch of physics. However, there have been great difficulties in finding physically acceptable definitions of these concepts in general relativity since Einstein's time. I shall explain these difficulties and progresses that have been made. In particular, I shall introduce new definitions of center of mass and angular momentum at both the quasi-local and total level, which are derived from first principles in general relativity and by the method of geometric analysis. With these new definitions, the classical formula p=mv is shown to be consistent with Einstein's field equation for the first time. The talk is based on joint work with Po-Ning Chen and Shing-Tung Yau.

Speaker:  Mu-Tao Wang
Institution:  Columbia University


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