Asymptotics and Hamiltonians in a first-order formalism

Abhay Ashtekar, Jonathan Engle, David Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


We consider four-dimensional spacetimes which are asymptotically flat at spatial infinity and show that, in the first-order framework, the action principle for general relativity is well defined without the need of infinite counter terms. It naturally leads to a covariant phase space in which the Hamiltonians generating asymptotic symmetries provide the total energy-momentum and angular momentum of the spacetime. We address the subtle but important problems that arise because of logarithmic translations and super translations both in the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian frameworks. As a forthcoming paper will show, the treatment of higher dimensions is considerably simpler. Our first-order framework also suggests a new direction for generalizing the spectral action of non-commutative geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095020
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 7 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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