Rotating perfect fluid bodies in Einstein's general theory of relativity

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The study of rotating astrophysical bodies is of great importance in understanding the structure and development of the Universe. Rotating bodies, are not only of great interest in their own right, for example pulsars, but they have also been targeted as prime possible sources of gravitational waves, currently a topic of great interest.

    The ability of general relativity to describe the laws and phenomena of the Universe is unparalleled, but however there has been little success in the description of rotating astrophysical bodies. This is not due to a lack of interest, but rather the sheer complexity of the mathematics. The problem of the complexity may be eased by the adoption of a perturbation technique, in that a spherically symmetric non-rotating fluid sphere described by Einstein's equations is endowed with rotation, albeit slowly, and the result is expressed and analysed using Taylor's series.

    A further consideration is that of the exterior gravitational field, which must be
    asymptotically flat. It has been shown from experiment that, in line with the
    prediction of general relativity, a rotating body does indeed drag space-time around with it. This leads to the conclusion that the exterior gravity field must not only be asymptotically flat, but must also rotate. The only vacuum solution to satisfy these conditions is the Kerr metric.

    This work seeks to show that an internal rotating perfect fluid source may be matched to the rotating exterior Kerr metric using a perturbation technique up to and including second order parameters in angular velocity. The equations derived, are used as a starting point in the construction of such a perfect fluid solution, and it is shown how the method may be adapted for computer implementation.
    Date of AwardApr 2005
    Original languageEnglish

    Cite this