Speaker: Aghil Alaee
Title: A quasi-local mass in general relativity
Abstract: One of the fundamental open problems in geometric analysis and mathematical relativity is constructing a (universal) energy/mass quantity to compute the energy/mass of a finite region of spacetime, which can include a star, black hole, or galaxy. We define a new gauge-independent quasi-local mass and energy with respect to the Minkowski spacetime, and show its relation to the Brown-York Hamilton-Jacobi analysis. A quasi-local proof of the positivity, based on spacetime harmonic functions, is given for admissible closed spacelike 2-surfaces which enclose an initial data set satisfying the dominant energy condition. Rigidity is also established in that vanishing energy implies that the 2-surface arises from an embedding into Minkowski space, and conversely, the mass vanishes for any such surface. This is joint work with M. Khuri and S.T. Yau.