Due to the recent spate of detections of gravitational waves by LIGO, my amateurish interest in the mathematics of general relativity has been revived.
The wave-forms of the detected gravitational waves are said to have been compared with predicted wave-forms produced by a combination of post-Newtonian approximations and revamped methods in numerical relativity, such as the puncture method and the excision technique.
Here then are my questions.
Question 1. In a discussion on the evolution of binary black holes, I suppose that one assumes the ADM formalism, in which space-time is divided into time slices. This reminds me of a famous result by Robert Geroch that a space-time is globally hyperbolic if and only if it admits a foliation by Cauchy hyper-surfaces. Hence, when performing computer simulations of binary black holes, does one assume that space-time is globally hyperbolic?
Question 2. I’ve read that the existence of gravitational waves involves analyzing what happens at ‘null infinity’, the definition of which presumably depends on some kind of asymptotic structure on space-time. Hence, when performing computer simulations of gravitational waves emanating from a black-hole merger, what asymptotic structure does one assume on space-time? Besides, I’ve heard that a definition of black holes has been satisfactorily given only for asymptotically flat space-times.
Question 3 (Not very mathematically precise). Can the movement of space-time singularities be shown to be consistent with the notion/axiom of general relativity that the world-lines of point particles are geodesics (after perhaps having performed some de-singularization process)?
Question 4. Does anyone here know of papers written to establish rigorous error bounds for the approximation methods used in numerical relativity?
Question 5. One of the reasons mentioned for justifying the use of the excision technique is that signals originating in a black hole cannot propagate out of it. Now, I understand that light signals cannot propagate out of a black hole because the world-lines of photons are null geodesics, and a black hole is defined as a portion of space-time not contained in the causal past of null infinity. However, in the context of full non-linear general relativity, a gravitational wave is not something that propagates with respect to a background metric but is intimately tied to the metric itself. The Cauchy problem in general relativity says that, due to the nature of hyperbolic PDE’s, perturbing metrical data on a portion of a Cauchy hyper-surface (subject to particular constraint conditions) affects the metric only within the future light-cone of that portion. However, if global hyperbolicity is not assumed (supposing that the answer to Question 1 is negative), then one may not have a Cauchy hyper-surface. Is there, then, an analog of finite propagation speed in any black hole?
Thank you for your help!