Abstract:
We present the Ernst potential and the line element of an exact solution of Einstein's vacuum field equations that contains as arbitrary parameters the total mass, the angular momentum, and the quadrupole moment of a rotating mass distribution. We show that in the limiting case of slowly rotating and slightly deformed configuration, there exists a coordinate transformation that relates the exact solution with the approximate Hartle solution. It is shown that this approximate solution can be smoothly matched with an interior perfect fluid solution with physically reasonable properties. This opens the possibility of considering the quadrupole moment as an additional physical degree of freedom that could be used to search for a realistic exact solution, representing both the interior and exterior gravitational field generated by a self-gravitating axisymmetric distribution of mass of perfect fluid in stationary rotation.

Abstract:
We present an exact electrovacuum solution of Einstein-Maxwell equations with infinite sets of multipole moments which can be used to describe the exterior gravitational field of a rotating charged mass distribution. We show that in the special case of a slowly rotating and slightly deformed body, the exterior solution can be matched to an interior solution belonging to the Hartle-Thorne family of approximate solutions. To search for exact interior solutions, we propose to use the derivatives of the curvature eigenvalues to formulate a $C^3-$matching condition from which the minimum radius can be derived at which the matching of interior and exterior spacetimes can be carried out. We prove the validity of the $C^3-$matching in the particular case of a static mass with a quadrupole moment. The corresponding interior solution is obtained numerically and the matching with the exterior solution gives as a result the minimum radius of the mass configuration.

Abstract:
We establish a formal relationship between stationary axisymmetric spacetimes and $T^3$ Gowdy cosmological models which allows us to derive several preliminary results about the generation of exact cosmological solutions and their possible behavior near the initial singularity. In particular, we argue that it is possible to generate a Gowdy model from its values at the singularity and that this could be used to construct cosmological solutions with any desired spatial behavior at the Big Bang.

Abstract:
We present the fundamentals of geometrothermodynamics, an approach to study the properties of thermodynamic systems in terms of differential geometric concepts. It is based, on the one hand, upon the well-known contact structure of the thermodynamic phase space and, on the other hand, on the metric structure of the space of thermodynamic equilibrium states. In order to make these two structures compatible we introduce a Legendre invariant set of metrics in the phase space, and demand that their pullback generates metrics on the space of equilibrium states. We show that Weinhold's metric, which was introduced {\it ad hoc}, is not contained within this invariant set. We propose alternative metrics which allow us to redefine the concept of thermodynamic length in an invariant manner and to study phase transitions in terms of curvature singularities.

Abstract:
We present a parametrization of $T^3$ and $S^1\times S^2$ Gowdy cosmological models which allows us to study both types of topologies simultaneously. We show that there exists a coordinate system in which the general solution of the linear polarized special case (with both topologies) has exactly the same functional dependence. This unified parametrization is used to investigate the existence of Cauchy horizons at the cosmological singularities, leading to a violation of the strong cosmic censorship conjecture. Our results indicate that the only acausal spacetimes are described by the Kantowski-Sachs and the Kerr-Gowdy metrics.

Abstract:
The thermodynamics of black holes is reformulated within the context of the recently developed formalism of geometrothermodynamics. This reformulation is shown to be invariant with respect to Legendre transformations, and to allow several equivalent representations. Legendre invariance allows us to explain a series of contradictory results known in the literature from the use of Weinhold's and Ruppeiner's thermodynamic metrics for black holes. For the Reissner-Nordstr\"om black hole the geometry of the space of equilibrium states is curved, showing a non trivial thermodynamic interaction, and the curvature contains information about critical points and phase transitions. On the contrary, for the Kerr black hole the geometry is flat and does not explain its phase transition structure.

Abstract:
We investigate the gravitational field of a static mass with quadrupole moment in empty space. It is shown that in general this configuration is characterized by the presence of curvature singularities without a surrounding event horizon. These naked singularities generate an effective field of repulsive gravity which, in turn, drastically changes the behavior of test particles. As a possible consequence, the accretion disk around a naked singularity presents a particular discontinuous structure.

Abstract:
A class of exact solutions of the Einstein-Maxwell equations is presented which contains infinite sets of gravitoelectric, gravitomagnetic and electromagnetic multipole moments. The multipolar structure of the solutions indicates that they can be used to describe the exterior gravitational field of an arbitrarily rotating mass distribution endowed with an electromagnetic field. The presence of gravitational multipoles completely changes the structure of the spacetime because of the appearance of naked singularities in a confined spatial region. The possibility of covering this region with interior solutions is analyzed in the case of a particular solution with quadrupole moment.

Abstract:
The trajectories of test particles moving in the gravitational field of a non-spherically symmetric mass distribution become affected by the presence of multipole moments. In the case of hyperbolic trajectories, the quadrupole moment of an oblate mass induces a displacement of the trajectory towards the mass source, an effect that can be interpreted as an additional acceleration directed towards the source. Although this additional acceleration is not constant, we perform a general relativistic analysis in order to evaluate the possibility of explaining Pioneer's anomalous acceleration by means of the observed Solar quadrupole moment, within the range of accuracy of the observed anomalous acceleration. We conclude that the Solar quadrupole moment generates an acceleration which is of the same order of magnitude of Pioneer's constant acceleration only at distances of a few astronomical units.

Abstract:
We present the basic mathematical elements of geometrothermodynamics which is a formalism developed to describe in an invariant way the thermodynamic properties of a given thermodynamic system in terms of geometric structures. First, in order to represent the first law of thermodynamics and the general Legendre transformations in an invariant way, we define the phase manifold as a Legendre invariant Riemannian manifold with a contact structure. The equilibrium manifold is defined by using a harmonic map which includes the specification of the fundamental equation of the thermodynamic system. Quasi-static thermodynamic processes are shown to correspond to geodesics of the equilibrium manifold which preserve the laws of thermodynamics. We study in detail the equilibrium manifold of the ideal gas and the van der Waals gas as concrete examples of the application of geometrothermodynamics.