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George Lam : The Positive Mass Theorem in General Relativity

The Positive Mass Theorem in general relativity states that a spacelike hypersurface of a spacetime satisfying the dominant energy condition must have nonnegative total mass. In the special case in which the hypersurface is totally geodesic, local energy density coincides with scalar curvature, and the above theorem becomes a purely geometric statement about complete, asymptotically flat Riemannian manifolds. I will try to present the necessary background for one to understand the statement of the theorem. I will also discuss attempts to better understand the relationship between scalar curvature and total mass. Note that this talk is especially geared towards early graduate students and people specializing in other fields, and thus I will assume no previous knowledge of smooth manifolds, Riemannian geometry or general relativity.

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