Abstract:
We present a classification of the possible regular, spherically symmetric solutions of the Einstein-Yang-Mills system which is based on a bundle theoretical analysis for arbitrary gauge groups. It is shown that such solitons must be of magnetic type, at least if the magnetic Yang-Mills charge vanishes. Explicit expressions for the Chern-Simons numbers of these selfgravitating Yang-Mills solitons are derived, which involve only properties of irreducible root systems and some information about the asymptotics of the solutions. It turns out, as an example, that the Chern-Simons numbers are always half-integers or integers for the gauge groups $SU(n)$. Possible physical implications of these results, which are based on analogies with the unstable sphaleron solution of the electroweak theory, are briefly indicated.

Abstract:
We prove that static, spherically symmetric, asymptotically flat, regular solutions of the Einstein-Yang-Mills equations are unstable for arbitrary gauge groups. The proof involves the following main steps. First, we show that the frequency spectrum of a class of radial perturbations is determined by a coupled system of radial "Schroedinger equations". Eigenstates with negative eigenvalues correspond to exponentially growing modes. Using the variational principle for the ground state it is then proven that there always exist unstable modes (at least for "generic" solitons). This conclusion is reached without explicit knowledge of the possible equilibrium solutions.

Abstract:
It is shown that the dynamical evolution of linear perturbations on a static space-time is governed by a constrained wave equation for the extrinsic curvature tensor. The spatial part of the wave operator is manifestly elliptic and self-adjoint. In contrast to metric formulations, the curvature-based approach to gravitational perturbation theory generalizes in a natural way to self-gravitating matter fields. It is also demonstrated how to obtain symmetric pulsation equations for self-gravitating non-Abelian gauge fields, Higgs fields and perfect fluids. For vacuum fluctuations on a vacuum space-time, the Regge-Wheeler and Zerilli equations are rederived.

Abstract:
The pulsation equations for spherically symmetric black hole and soliton solutions are brought into a standard form. The formulae apply to a large class of field theoretical matter models and can easily be worked out for specific examples. The close relation to the energy principle in terms of the second variation of the Schwarzschild mass is also established. The use of the general expressions is illustrated for the Einstein-Yang-Mills and the Einstein-Skyrme system.

Abstract:
It is proven that there are precisely $n$ odd-parity sphaleron-like unstable modes of the $n$-th Bartnik-McKinnon soliton and the $n$-th non-abelian black hole solution of the Einstein-Yang-Mills theory for the gauge group $SU(2)$.

Abstract:
We prove the instability of the gravitating regular sphaleron solutions of the $SU(2)$ Einstein-Yang-Mills-Higgs system with a Higgs doublet, by studying the frequency spectrum of a class of radial perturbations. With the help of a variational principle we show that there exist always unstable modes. Our method has the advantage that no detailed knowledge of the equilibrium solution is required. It does, however, not directly apply to black holes.

Abstract:
It is shown that the non-Abelian black hole solutions have stationary generalizations which are parameterized by their angular momentum and electric Yang-Mills charge. In particular, there exists a non-static class of stationary black holes with vanishing angular momentum. It is also argued that the particle-like Bartnik-McKinnon solutions admit slowly rotating, globally regular excitations. In agreement with the non-Abelian version of the staticity theorem, these non-static soliton excitations carry electric charge, although their non-rotating limit is neutral.

Abstract:
A classification of the possible symmetric principal bundles with a compact gauge group, a compact symmetry group and a base manifold which is regularly foliated by the orbits of the symmetry group is derived. A generalization of Wang's theorem (classifying the invariant connections) is proven and local expressions for the gauge potential of an invariant connection are given.

Abstract:
We present a numerical classification of the spherically symmetric, static solutions to the Einstein--Yang--Mills equations with cosmological constant $\Lambda$. We find three qualitatively different classes of configurations, where the solutions in each class are characterized by the value of $\Lambda$ and the number of nodes, $n$, of the Yang--Mills amplitude. For sufficiently small, positive values of the cosmological constant, $\Lambda < \Llow(n)$, the solutions generalize the Bartnik--McKinnon solitons, which are now surrounded by a cosmological horizon and approach the deSitter geometry in the asymptotic region. For a discrete set of values $\Lambda_{\rm reg}(n) > \Lambda_{\rm crit}(n)$, the solutions are topologically $3$--spheres, the ground state $(n=1)$ being the Einstein Universe. In the intermediate region, that is for $\Llow(n) < \Lambda < \Lhig(n)$, there exists a discrete family of global solutions with horizon and ``finite size''.

Abstract:
We analyze the stability properties of the purely magnetic, static solutions to the Einstein--Yang--Mills equations with cosmological constant. It is shown that all three classes of solutions found in a recent study are unstable under spherical perturbations. Specifically, we argue that the configurations have $n$ unstable modes in each parity sector, where $n$ is the number of nodes of the magnetic Yang--Mills amplitude of the background solution. The ``sphaleron--like'' instabilities (odd parity modes) decouple from the gravitational perturbations. They are obtained from a regular Schr\"odinger equation after a supersymmetric transformation. The body of the work is devoted to the fluctuations with even parity. The main difficulty arises because the Schwarzschild gauge -- which is usually imposed to eliminate the gravitational perturbations from the Yang--Mills equation -- is not regular for solutions with compact spatial topology. In order to overcome this problem, we derive a gauge invariant formalism by virtue of which the unphysical (gauge) modes can be isolated.