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Unit-Lapse Forms of Various Spacetimes

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posted on 15.04.2021, 21:47 by Baines, Joshua

Every spacetime is defined by its metric, the mathematical object which further defines the spacetime curvature. From the relativity principle, we have the freedom to choose which coordinate system to write our metric in. Some coordinate systems, however, are better than others. In this text, we begin with a brief introduction into general relativity, Einstein's masterpiece theory of gravity. We then discuss some physically interesting spacetimes and the coordinate systems that the metrics of these spacetimes can be expressed in. More specifically, we discuss the existence of the rather useful unit-lapse forms of these spacetimes. Using the metric written in this form then allows us to conduct further analysis of these spacetimes, which we discuss.

Overall, the work given in this text has many interesting mathematical and physical applications. Firstly, unit-lapse spacetimes are quite common and occur rather naturally for many specific analogue spacetimes. In an astrophysical context, unit-lapse forms of stationary spacetimes are rather useful since they allow for very simple and immediate calculation of a large class of timelike geodesics, the rain geodesics. Physically these geodesics represent zero angular momentum observers (ZAMOs), with zero initial velocity that are dropped from spatial infinity and are a rather tractable probe of the physics occurring in the spacetime. Mathematically, improved coordinate systems of the Kerr spacetime are rather important since they give a better understanding of the rather complicated and challenging Kerr spacetime. These improved coordinate systems, for example, can be applied to the attempts at finding a "Gordon form" of the Kerr spacetime and can also be applied to attempts at upgrading the "Newman-Janis trick" from an ansatz to a full algorithm. Also, these new forms of the Kerr metric allows for a greater observational ability to differentiate exact Kerr black holes from "black hole mimickers".


Advisor 1

Visser, Matt

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

CC BY 4.0

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Mathematics and Statistics