Abstract:
A common approach for the numerical simulation of wave propagation on a spatially unbounded domain is to truncate the domain via an artificial boundary, thus forming a finite computational domain with an outer boundary. Absorbing boundary conditions must then be specified at the boundary such that the resulting initial-boundary value problem is well posed and such that the amount of spurious reflection is minimized. In this article, we review recent results on the construction of absorbing boundary conditions in General Relativity and their application to numerical relativity.

Abstract:
Many evolution problems in physics are described by partial differential equations on an infinite domain; therefore, one is interested in the solutions to such problems for a given initial dataset. A prominent example is the binary black-hole problem within Einstein's theory of gravitation, in which one computes the gravitational radiation emitted from the inspiral of the two black holes, merger and ringdown. Powerful mathematical tools can be used to establish qualitative statements about the solutions, such as their existence, uniqueness, continuous dependence on the initial data, or their asymptotic behavior over large time scales. However, one is often interested in computing the solution itself, and unless the partial differential equation is very simple, or the initial data possesses a high degree of symmetry, this computation requires approximation by numerical discretization. When solving such discrete problems on a machine, one is faced with a finite limit to computational resources, which leads to the replacement of the infinite continuum domain with a finite computer grid. This, in turn, leads to a discrete initial-boundary value problem. The hope is to recover, with high accuracy, the exact solution in the limit where the grid spacing converges to zero with the boundary being pushed to infinity. The goal of this article is to review some of the theory necessary to understand the continuum and discrete initial boundary-value problems arising from hyperbolic partial differential equations and to discuss its applications to numerical relativity; in particular, we present well-posed initial and initial-boundary value formulations of Einstein's equations, and we discuss multi-domain high-order finite difference and spectral methods to solve them.

Abstract:
We study the evolution of bubble spacetimes in vacuum and electrovac scenarios by numerical means. We find strong evidence against the formation of naked singularities in (i) scenarios with negative masses displaying initially collapsing conditions and (ii) scenarios with negative masses displaying initially expanding conditions, previously reported to give rise to such singularities. Additionally, we show that the presence of strong gauge fields implies that an initially collapsing bubble bounces back and expands. By fine-tuning the strength of the gauge field we find that the solution approaches a static bubble solution.

Abstract:
Recently, spherically symmetric, static wormholes supported by exotic dust and a radial magnetic field have been derived and argued to be stable with respect to linear radial fluctuations. In this report we point out that these wormholes are unstable due to the formation of shell-crossing singularities when the nonlinearities of the theory are taken into account.

Abstract:
We discuss several properties of static, spherically symmetric wormholes with particular emphasis on the behavior of causal geodesics and the propagation of linear fields. We show there always exist null geodesics which are trapped in a region close to the throat. Depending upon the detailed structure of the wormhole geometry, these trapped geodesics can be stable, unlike the case of the Schwarzschild black hole. We also show that test scalar fields propagating on such wormholes are stable. However, when a mixture of ghost and Klein-Gordon scalar fields is used as a source of the Einstein equations we prove that the resulting static, spherically symmetric wormhole configurations are linearly unstable.

Abstract:
Many evolution problems in physics are described by partial differential equations on an infinite domain; therefore, one is interested in the solutions to such problems for a given initial dataset. A prominent example is the binary black hole problem within Einstein's theory of gravitation, in which one computes the gravitational radiation emitted from the inspiral of the two black holes, merger and ringdown. Powerful mathematical tools can be used to establish qualitative statements about the solutions, such as their existence, uniqueness, continuous dependence on the initial data, or their asymptotic behavior over large time scales. However, one is often interested in computing the solution itself, and unless the partial differential equation is very simple, or the initial data possesses a high degree of symmetry, this computation requires approximation by numerical discretization. When solving such discrete problems on a machine, one is faced with a finite limit to computational resources, which leads to the replacement of the infinite continuum domain with a finite computer grid. This, in turn, leads to a discrete initial-boundary value problem. The hope is to recover, with high accuracy, the exact solution in the limit where the grid spacing converges to zero with the boundary being pushed to infinity. The goal of this article is to review some of the theory necessary to understand the continuum and discrete initial-boundary value problems arising from hyperbolic partial differential equations and to discuss its applications to numerical relativity; in particular, we present well-posed initial and initial-boundary value formulations of Einstein's equations, and we discuss multi-domain high-order finite difference and spectral methods to solve them.

Abstract:
This article discusses the relativistic kinetic theory for a simple collisionless gas from a geometric perspective. We start by reviewing the rich geometrical structure of the tangent bundle TM of a given spacetime manifold, including the splitting of the tangent spaces of TM into horizontal and vertical subspaces and the natural metric and symplectic structure it induces on TM. Based on these structures we introduce the Liouville vector field L and a suitable Hamiltonian function H on TM. The Liouville vector field turns out to be the Hamiltonian vector field associated to H. On the other hand, H also defines the mass shells as Lorentzian submanifolds of the tangent bundle. A simple collisionless gas is described by a distribution function on a particular mass shell, satisfying the Liouville equation. Together with the Liouville vector field the distribution function can be thought of as defining a fictitious incompressible fluid on the mass shells, with associated conserved current density. Flux integrals of this current density provide the averaged properties of the gas, while suitable fibre integrals of the distribution function define divergence-free tensor fields on the spacetime manifold such as the current density and stress-energy tensor. Finally, we discuss the relationship between symmetries of the spacetime manifold and symmetries of the distribution function. As a first application of our formalism we derive the most general spherically symmetric distribution function on any spherically symmetric spacetime and write the Einstein-Liouville equations as effective field equations on the two-dimensional radial manifold. As a second application we derive the most general collisionless distribution function on a Kerr black hole spacetime background.

Abstract:
We analyze the dynamical stability of black hole solutions in self-gravitating nonlinear electrodynamics with respect to arbitrary linear fluctuations of the metric and the electromagnetic field. In particular, we derive simple conditions on the electromagnetic Lagrangian which imply linear stability in the domain of outer communication. We show that these conditions hold for several of the regular black hole solutions found by Ayon-Beato and Garcia.

Abstract:
We analyze the steady radial accretion of matter into a nonrotating black hole. Neglecting the self-gravity of the accreting matter, we consider a rather general class of static, spherically symmetric and asymptotically flat background spacetimes with a regular horizon. In addition to the Schwarzschild metric, this class contains certain deformation of it which could arise in alternative gravity theories or from solutions of the classical Einstein equations in the presence of external matter fields. Modeling the ambient matter surrounding the black hole by a relativistic perfect fluid, we reformulate the accretion problem as a dynamical system, and under rather general assumptions on the fluid equation of state, we determine the local and global qualitative behavior of its phase flow. Based on our analysis and generalizing previous work by Michel, we prove that for any given positive particle density number at infinity, there exists a unique radial, steady-state accretion flow which is regular at the horizon. We determine the physical parameters of the flow, including its accretion and compression rates, and discuss their dependency on the background metric.

Abstract:
We give a well posed initial value formulation of the Baumgarte-Shapiro-Shibata-Nakamura form of Einstein's equations with gauge conditions given by a Bona-Masso like slicing condition for the lapse and a frozen shift. This is achieved by introducing extra variables and recasting the evolution equations into a first order symmetric hyperbolic system. We also consider the presence of artificial boundaries and derive a set of boundary conditions that guarantee that the resulting initial-boundary value problem is well posed, though not necessarily compatible with the constraints. In the case of dynamical gauge conditions for the lapse and shift we obtain a class of evolution equations which are strongly hyperbolic and so yield well posed initial value formulations.