The Kerr metric and stationary axisymmetric gravitational fields

Chandrasekhar, S. (1978) The Kerr metric and stationary axisymmetric gravitational fields Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 358 (1695). 405-420 . ISSN 0080-4630

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A treatment of Einstein's equations governing vacuum gravitational fields which are stationary and axisymmetric is shown to divide itself into three parts: a part essentially concerned with a choice of gauge (which can be chosen to ensure the occurrence of an event horizon exactly as in the Kerr metric); a part concerned with two of the basic metric functions which in two combinations satisfy a complex equation (Ernst's equation) and in one combination satisfies a symmetric pair of real equations; and a third part which completes the solution in terms of a single ordinary differential equation of the first order. The treatment along these lines reveals many of the inner relations which characterize the general solutions, provides a derivation of the Kerr metric which is direct and verifiable at all stages, and opens an avenue towards the generation of explicit classes of exact solutions (an example of which is given).

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