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Book Chapter

An introduction to the Einstein-Vlasov system


Rendall,  Alan D.
Geometric Analysis and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Rendall, A. D. (1997). An introduction to the Einstein-Vlasov system. In P. T. Chrusciel (Ed.), Mathematics of Gravitation: Part I: Lorentzian Geometry and Einstein Equatations (pp. 35-68). Warszawa: Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Mathematics.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-5AE3-B
These lectures are designed to provide a general introduction to the Einstein-Vlasov system and to the global Cauchy problem for these equations. To start with some general facts are collected and a local existence theorem for the Cauchy problem stated. Next the case of spherically symmetric asymptotically flat solutions is examined in detail. The approach taken, using maximal-isotropic coordinates, is new. It is shown that if a singularity occurs in the time evolution of spherically symmetric initial data, the first singularity (as measured by a maximal time coordinate) occurs at the centre. Then it is shown that for small initial data the solution exists globally in time and is geodesically complete. Finally, the proof of the general local existence theorem is sketched. This is intended to be an informal introduction to some of the ideas which are important in proving such theorems rather than a formal proof.