Gravitational energy and the gauge theory perspective

Chiang Mei Chen, James M. Nester

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Gravity, and the puzzle regarding its energy, can be understood from a gauge theory perspective. Gravity, i.e., dynamical s-pacetime geometry, can be considered as a local gauge theory of the symmetry group of Minkowski spacetime: the Poincare group. The dynamical potentials of the Poincare gauge theory of gravity are the frame and the metric-compatible connection. The spacetime geometry has in general both curvature and torsion. Einstein's general relativity theory is a special case. Both local gauge freedom and energy are clarified via the Hamiltonian formulation. We have developed a covariant Hamiltonian formulation. The Hamiltonian boundary term gives covariant expressions for the quasi-local energy, momentum and angular momentum. A key feature is the necessity to choose on the boundary a non-dynamic reference. With a best matched reference one gets good quasi-local energy-momentum and angular momentum values.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemorial Volume for Yi-shi Duan
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co. Pte Ltd
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789813237278
ISBN (Print)9789813237261
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Gravitational energy and the gauge theory perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this