Quasilocal quantities for general relativity and other gravity theories

Chiang Mei Chen, James M. Nester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


From a covariant Hamiltonian formulation, by using symplectic ideas, we obtain certain covariant boundary expressions for the quasilocal quantities of general relativity and other geometric gravity theories. The contribution from each of the independent dynamic geometric variables (the frame, metric or connection) has two possible covariant forms associated with the selected type of boundary condition. The quasilocal expressions also depend on a reference value for each dynamic variable and a displacement vector field. Integrating over a closed 2-surface with suitable choices for the vector field gives the quasilocal energy, momentum and angular momentum. For the special cases of Einstein's theory and the Poincaré gauge theory our expressions are similar to some previously known expressions and give good values for the total ADM and Bondi quantities. We apply our formalism to black hole thermodynamics obtaining the first law and an associated entropy expression for these general gravity theories. For Einstein's theory our quasilocal expressions are evaluated on static spherically symmetric solutions and compared with the findings of some other researchers. The choices needed for the formalism to associate a quasilocal expression with the boundary of a region are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1304
Number of pages26
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Quasilocal quantities for general relativity and other gravity theories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this