Covariant theory of asymptotic symmetries, conservation laws and central charges
Under suitable assumptions on the boundary conditions, it is shown that there is a bijective correspondence between equivalence classes of asymptotic reducibility parameters and asymptotically conserved n-2 forms in the context of Lagrangian gauge theories. The asymptotic reducibility parameters can be interpreted as asymptotic Killing vector fields of the background, with asymptotic behaviour determined by a new dynamical condition. A universal formula for asymptotically conserved n-2 forms in terms of the reducibility parameters is derived. Sufficient conditions for finiteness of the charges built out of the asymptotically conserved n-2 forms and for the existence of a Lie algebra g among equivalence classes of asymptotic reducibility parameters are given. The representation of g in terms of the charges may be centrally extended. An explicit and covariant formula for the central charges is constructed. They are shown to be 2-cocycles on the Lie algebra g. The general considerations and formulas are applied to electrodynamics, Yang-Mills theory and Einstein gravity.