Properties of the symplectic structure of General Relativity for spatially bounded spacetime regions
We continue a previous analysis of the covariant Hamiltonian symplectic structure of General Relativity for spatially bounded regions of spacetime. To allow for near complete generality, the Hamiltonian is formulated using any fixed hypersurface, with a boundary given by a closed spacelike 2-surface. A main result is that we obtain Hamiltonians associated to Dirichlet and Neumann boundary conditions on the gravitational field coupled to matter sources, in particular a Klein-Gordon field, an electromagnetic field, and a set of Yang-Mills-Higgs fields. The Hamiltonians are given by a covariant form of the Arnowitt-Deser-Misner Hamiltonian modified by a surface integral term that depends on the particular boundary conditions. The general form of this surface integral involves an underlying “energy-momentum” vector in the spacetime tangent space at the spatial boundary 2-surface. We give examples of the resulting Dirichlet and Neumann vectors for topologically spherical 2-surfaces in Minkowski spacetime, spherically symmetric spacetimes, and stationary axisymmetric spacetimes. Moreover, we show the relation between these vectors and the ADM energy-momentum vector for a 2-surface taken in a limit to be spatial infinity in asymptotically flat spacetimes. We also discuss the geometrical properties of the Dirichlet and Neumann vectors and obtain several striking results relating these vectors to the mean curvature and normal curvature connection of the 2-surface. Most significantly, the part of the Dirichlet vector normal to the 2-surface depends only the spacetime metric at this surface and thereby defines a geometrical normal vector field on the 2-surface. Properties and examples of this normal vector are discussed.