Abstract:
General matterless models of gravity include dilaton gravity, arbitrary powers in curvature, but also dynamical torsion. They are a special class of "Poisson-sigma-models" whose solutions are known completely, together with their general global structure. Beside the ordinary black hole, arbitrary singularity structures can be studied. It is also possible to derive an action "backwards", starting from a given manifold. The role of conservation laws, Noether charge and the quantization have been investigated. Scalar and fermionic matter fields may be included as well.

Abstract:
The S-matrix is invariant with respect to the variation of any (global) parameter involved in the gauge fixing conditions, if that variation is accompanied by a certain redefinition of the basis of polarization vectors. Renormalizability of the underlying gauge theory is not required. The proof is nonperturbative and, using the `extended' BRS transformation, quite simple.

Abstract:
The bound state problem for a fermion-antifermion system is considered taking into account a finite decay width of the constituents. We propose an exactly solvable relativistic zero order equation similar to that of Barbieri and Remiddi, but including a constant width. We focus especially on the $t\bar{t}$ system for which we reconsider our recent calculation of the bound state corrections to the toponium width, which was performed in the narrow width approximation and needed the use of second order Bethe-Salpeter perturbation theory. We show that one obtains the same result already in first order BS perturbation theory if one uses our present approach. Furthermore the large cancellations of gauge dependent terms is demonstrated to be a consequence of a Ward identity. This cancellation mechanism is shown to be valid for general fermion-antifermion systems.

Abstract:
Off-shell and relativistic bound-state corrections for the decay $t \to b+W$ are calculated to $O(\a_s^2)$ making full use of the Bethe-Salpeter formalism for weakly bound systems. Thus we are able to take into account all terms to that order in a systematic and straightforward manner. One of the previously not considered contributions cancels precisely gauge dependent terms which appeared in an earlier off-shell calculation. Important cancellations also determine the gauge-independent part.

Abstract:
Although individual levels of toponium will be unobservable, the top--anti--top system near threshold fulfills all requirements of a rigorous perturbation theory in QCD for weakly bound systems. Corresponding techniques from positronium may thus be transferred successfully to this case. After clarifying the effect of a non-zero width we calculate the $t\bar{t}$ potential to be used for the calculation of e.g. the cross-sections near threshold.

Abstract:
Recent evidence for the top mass in the region of 160 $GeV$ for the first time provides an opportunity to use the full power of relativistic quantum field theoretical methods, available also for weakly bound systems. Because of the large decay width $\G$ of the top quark individual energy-levels in "toponium" will be unobservable. However, the potential for the $t\bar{t}$ system, based on a systematic expansion in powers of the strong coupling constant $\a_s$ can be rigorously derived from QCD and plays a central role in the threshold region. It is essential that the neglect of nonperturbative (confining) effects is fully justified here for the first time to a large accuracy, also just {\it because} of the large $\G$. The different contributions to that potential are computed from real level corrections near the bound state poles of the $t\bar{t}$-system which for $\G \ne 0$ move into the unphysical sheet of the complex energy plane. Thus, in order to obtain the different contributions to that potential we may use the level corrections at that (complex) pole. Within the relevant level shifts we especially emphasize the corrections of order $O(\a_s^4 m_t)$ and numerically comparable ones to that order also from electroweak interactions which may become important as well.

Abstract:
General matterless--theories in 1+1 dimensions include dilaton gravity, Yang--Mills theory as well as non--Einsteinian gravity with dynamical torsion and higher power gravity, and even models of spherically symmetric d = 4 General Relativity. Their recent identification as special cases of 'Poisson--sigma--models' with simple general solution in an arbitrary gauge, allows a comprehensive discussion of the relation between the known absolutely conserved quantities in all those cases and Noether charges, resp. notions of quasilocal 'energy--momentum'. In contrast to Noether like quantities, quasilocal energy definitions require some sort of 'asymptotics' to allow an interpretation as a (gauge--independent) observable. Dilaton gravitation, although a little different in detail, shares this property with the other cases. We also present a simple generalization of the absolute conservation law for the case of interactions with matter of any type.

Abstract:
It is well-known that all 2d models of gravity---including theories with nonvanishing torsion and dilaton theories---can be solved exactly, if matter interactions are absent. An absolutely (in space and time) conserved quantity determines the global classification of all (classical) solutions. For the special case of spherically reduced Einstein gravity it coincides with the mass in the Schwarzschild solution. The corresponding Noether symmetry has been derived previously by P. Widerin and one of the authors (W.K.) for a specific 2d model with nonvanishing torsion. In the present paper this is generalized to all covariant 2d theories, including interactions with matter. The related Noether-like symmetry differs from the usual one. The parameters for the symmetry transformation of the geometric part and those of the matterfields are distinct. The total conservation law (a zero-form current) results from a two stage argument which also involves a consistency condition expressed by the conservation of a one-form matter ``current''. The black hole is treated as a special case.

Abstract:
The infrared problem of the effective action in 2D is discussed in the framework of the Covariant Perturbation Theory. The divergences are regularised by a mass and the leading term is evaluated up to the third order of perturbation theory. A summation scheme is proposed which isolates the divergences from the finite part of the series and results in a single term. The latter turns out to be equivalent to the coupling to a certain classical external field. This suggests a renormalisation by factorisation.

Abstract:
Beside diffeomorphism invariance also manifest SO(3,1) local Lorentz invariance is implemented in a formulation of Einstein Gravity (with or without cosmological term) in terms of initially completely independent vielbein and spin connection variables and auxiliary two-form fields. In the systematic study of all possible embeddings of Einstein gravity into that formulation with auxiliary fields, the introduction of a ``bi-complex'' algebra possesses crucial technical advantages. Certain components of the new two-form fields directly provide canonical momenta for spatial components of all Cartan variables, whereas the remaining ones act as Lagrange multipliers for a large number of constraints, some of which have been proposed already in different, less radical approaches. The time-like components of the Cartan variables play that role for the Lorentz constraints and others associated to the vierbein fields. Although also some ternary ones appear, we show that relations exist between these constraints, and how the Lagrange multipliers are to be determined to take care of second class ones. We believe that our formulation of standard Einstein gravity as a gauge theory with consistent local Poincare algebra is superior to earlier similar attempts.