Stellar gravitational collapse, singularity formation and theory breakdown


We review three definitions (missing point(s) unsteadiness, infinite quadratic curvature invariant, and geodesic incompleteness) of what a gravitational singularity is, and argue that prediction of a gravitational singularity is problematic for General Relativity (GR), indicating breakdown of Lorentzian geometry, only insofar as it concerns the infinite curvature singularity characterization. In contrast, the geodesic incompleteness characterization is GR’s innovating hallmark, which is not meaningfully available in Newtonian gravity formulations (locally infinite density field, and locally infinite gravitational force) of what a gravitational singularity is. It is the continuous, non-quantized, nature of Lorentzian geometry which admits gravitational contraction be continued indefinitely. The Oppenheimer-Snyder 1939 analytical solution derives formation of a locally infinite curvature singularity and of incomplete geodesics, while Penrose’s 1965 theorem concerns formation of incomplete (null) geodesics only. We critically examine the main physical arguments against gravitational singularity formation in stellar collapse, with scope restriction to decades spanning in between Schwarzschild’s 1916 solution and Penrose’s 1965 singularity theorem. As the most robust curvature singularity formation counter-argument, we assess Markov’s derivation of an upper bound on the quadratic curvature invariant RμνλδRμνλδ≤1ℓP4 from a ratio of natural constants ħ, c and G, in connection with Wheeler’s grounding of the premise that the Planck scale ℓP is ultimate.


DOI: 10.1142/9789811269776_0298

Research Groups: Physics of Stellar Objects

Publication type: Journal

Journal: The Sixteenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting

Book Title: The Sixteenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting

Citation: The Sixteenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting,pp.3596-3625,WORLD SCIENTIFIC

Date Published: 1st Feb 2023


Registered Mode: imported from a bibtex file

Author: Kiril Maltsev

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Maltsev, K. (2023). Stellar gravitational collapse, singularity formation and theory breakdown. In The Sixteenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting. Proceedings of the MG16 Meeting on General Relativity. WORLD SCIENTIFIC.

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Created: 13th Feb 2023 at 14:56

Last updated: 5th Mar 2024 at 21:25

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