Constraint algebra of degenerate relativity

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As shown by Ashtekar in the mid 80s, general relativity can be extended to incorporate degenerate metrics. This extension is not unique, however, as one can change the form of the Hamiltonian constraints and obtain an alternative degenerate extension of general relativity that disagrees with Ashtekar's original theory when the triads vectors are degenerate. In this paper, the constraint algebra of a particular alternative theory is explicitly evaluated and compared with that of Ashtekar's original degenerate extension. A generic classification of the difference between the two theories is given in terms of the degeneracy and surface-forming properties of the triad vectors. (This classification is valid when the degeneracy and surface-forming properties of the triad vectors is the same everywhere in an open set about a point in space.) If the triad vectors are degenerate and surface-forming, then all the secondary constraints of the alternative degenerate extension are satisfied as a consequence of the primary constraints, and the constraints of this theory are weaker than those of Ashtekar's. If the degenerate triad vectors are not surface-forming, then the first secondary constraint of the alternative theory already implies equivalence with Ashtekar's degenerate extension. What happens when the degeneracy and surface-forming properties of the triad vectors change from point to point is an open question.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5676-5683
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1993


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