Abstract:
The authors of the paper ''On Anisotropic Dark Energy Stars'', arXiv:0803.2508 [gr-qc], consider the equations of state $p_r=\omega \rho$ and $p_t=\omega \rho$, ignoring the fact that this implies an isotropic pressure, which places strict restrictions on the values of $\omega$. The authors then argue for an anisotropic pressure fluid throughout their work, and apply these equations of state to the energy conditions, consequently obtaining incorrect intervals for the parameter $\omega$. This procedure invalidates their criticisms on the following paper: Class.Quant.Grav. 23, 1525 (2006).

Abstract:
The brane cosmology scenario is based on the idea that our Universe is a 3-brane embedded in a five-dimensional bulk. In this work, a general class of braneworld wormholes is explored with $R\neq 0$, where $R$ is the four dimensional Ricci scalar, and specific solutions are further analyzed. A fundamental ingredient of traversable wormholes is the violation of the null energy condition (NEC). However, it is the effective total stress energy tensor that violates the latter, and in this work, the stress energy tensor confined on the brane, threading the wormhole, is imposed to satisfy the NEC. It is also shown that in addition to the local high-energy bulk effects, nonlocal corrections from the Weyl curvature in the bulk may induce a NEC violating signature on the brane. Thus, braneworld gravity seems to provide a natural scenario for the existence of traversable wormholes.

Abstract:
We explore the possibility that traversable wormholes be supported by specific equations of state responsible for the present accelerated expansion of the Universe, namely, phantom energy, the generalized Chaplygin gas, and the van der Waals quintessence equation of state.

Abstract:
The conceptual definition and understanding of the nature of time, both qualitatively and quantitatively is of the utmost difficulty and importance, and plays a fundamental role in physics. Physical systems seem to evolve in paths of increasing entropy and of complexity, and thus, the arrow of time shall be explored in the context of thermodynamic irreversibility and quantum physics. In Newtonian physics, time flows at a constant rate, the same for all observers; however, it necessarily flows at different rates for different observers in special and general relativity. Special relativity provides important quantitative elucidations of the fundamental processes related to time dilation effects, and general relativity provides a deep analysis to effects of time flow, such as in the presence of gravitational fields. Through the special theory of relativity, time became intimately related with space, giving rise to the notion of spacetime, in which both parameters cannot be considered as separate entities. As time is incorporated into the proper structure of the fabric of spacetime, it is interesting to note that general relativity is contaminated with non-trivial geometries that generate closed timelike curves, and thus apparently violates causality. The notion of causality is fundamental in the construction of physical theories; therefore time travel and its associated paradoxes have to be treated with great caution. These issues are briefly analyzed in this review paper.

Abstract:
The General Theory of Relativity has been an extremely successful theory, with a well established experimental footing, at least for weak gravitational fields. Its predictions range from the existence of black holes, gravitational radiation to the cosmological models, predicting a primordial beginning, namely the big-bang. All these solutions have been obtained by first considering a plausible distribution of matter, and through the Einstein field equation, the spacetime metric of the geometry is determined. However, one may solve the Einstein field equation in the reverse direction, namely, one first considers an interesting and exotic spacetime metric, then finds the matter source responsible for the respective geometry. In this manner, it was found that some of these solutions possess a peculiar property, namely 'exotic matter,' involving a stress-energy tensor that violates the null energy condition. These geometries also allow closed timelike curves, with the respective causality violations. These solutions are primarily useful as 'gedanken-experiments' and as a theoretician's probe of the foundations of general relativity, and include traversable wormholes and superluminal 'warp drive' spacetimes. Thus, one may be tempted to denote these geometries as 'exotic' solutions of the Einstein field equation, as they violate the energy conditions and generate closed timelike curves. In this article, in addition to extensively exploring interesting features, in particular, the physical properties and characteristics of these 'exotic spacetimes,' we also analyze other non-trivial general relativistic geometries which generate closed timelike curves.

Abstract:
In this work, a generalization of the Mazur-Mottola gravastar model is explored, by considering a matching of an interior solution governed by the dark energy equation of state, $\omega\equiv p/ \rho<-1/3$, to an exterior Schwarzschild vacuum solution at a junction interface, situated near to where the event horizon is expected to form. The motivation for implementing this generalization arises from the fact that recent observations have confirmed an accelerated cosmic expansion, for which dark energy is a possible candidate.

Abstract:
In this work, a general class of wormhole geometries in conformal Weyl gravity is analyzed. A wide variety of exact solutions of asymptotically flat spacetimes is found, in which the stress energy tensor profile differs radically from its general relativistic counterpart. In particular, a class of geometries is constructed that satisfies the energy conditions in the throat neighborhood, which is in clear contrast to the general relativistic solutions.

Abstract:
Modern astrophysical and cosmological models are faced with two severe theoretical difficulties, that can be summarized as the dark energy and the dark matter problems. Relative to the former, it has been stated that cosmology has entered a 'golden age', in which high-precision observational data have confirmed with startling evidence that the Universe is undergoing a phase of accelerated expansion. Several candidates, responsible for this expansion, have been proposed in the literature, in particular, dark energy models and modified gravity, amongst others. One is liable to ask: What is the so-called 'dark energy' that is driving the acceleration of the universe? Is it a vacuum energy or a dynamical field (''quintessence'')? Or is the acceleration due to infra-red modifications of Einstein's theory of General Relativity? In the context of dark matter, two observations, namely, the behavior of the galactic rotation curves and the mass discrepancy in galactic clusters, suggest the existence of a (non or weakly interacting) form of dark matter at galactic and extra-galactic scales. It has also been proposed that modified gravity can explain the galactic dynamics without the need of introducing dark matter. We briefly review some of the modified theories of gravity that address these two intriguing and exciting problems facing modern physics.

Abstract:
The conceptual definition and understanding of time, both quantitatively and qualitatively is of the utmost difficulty and importance. As time is incorporated into the proper structure of the fabric of spacetime, it is interesting to note that General Relativity is contaminated with non-trivial geometries which generate closed timelike curves. A closed timelike curve (CTC) allows time travel, in the sense that an observer that travels on a trajectory in spacetime along this curve, may return to an event before his departure. This fact apparently violates causality, therefore time travel and it's associated paradoxes have to be treated with great caution. The paradoxes fall into two broad groups, namely the consistency paradoxes and the causal loops. A great variety of solutions to the Einstein field equations containing CTCs exist and it seems that two particularly notorious features stand out. Solutions with a tipping over of the light cones due to a rotation about a cylindrically symmetric axis and solutions that violate the energy conditions. All these aspects are analyzed in this review paper.

Abstract:
Firstly, we review the pointwise and averaged energy conditions, the quantum inequality and the notion of the ``volume integral quantifier'', which provides a measure of the ``total amount'' of energy condition violating matter. Secondly, we present a specific metric of a spherically symmetric traversable wormhole in the presence of a generic cosmological constant, verifying that the null and the averaged null energy conditions are violated, as was to be expected. Thirdly, a pressureless dust shell is constructed around the interior wormhole spacetime by matching the latter geometry to a unique vacuum exterior solution. In order to further minimize the usage of exotic matter, we then find regions where the surface energy density is positive, thereby satisfying all of the energy conditions at the junction surface. An equation governing the behavior of the radial pressure across the junction surface is also deduced. Lastly, taking advantage of the construction, specific dimensions of the wormhole, namely, the throat radius and the junction interface radius, and estimates of the total traversal time and maximum velocity of an observer journeying through the wormhole, are also found by imposing the traversability conditions.