General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 28, Issue 11, pp 1401-1407

First online:

Comment on “smooth and discontinuous signature change in general relativity”

  • Tevian DrayAffiliated withSchool of Physics & Chemistry, Lancaster University
  • , Charles HellabyAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town

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Kossowski and Kriele derived boundary conditions on the metric at a surface of signature change. We point out that their derivation is based not only on certain smoothness assumptions but also on a postulated form of the Einstein field equations. Since there is no canonical form of the field equations at a change of signature, their conclusions are not inescapable. We show here that a weaker formulation is possible, in which less restrictive smoothness assumptions are made, and (a slightly different form of) the Einstein field equations are satisfied. In particular, in this formulation it is possible to have a bounded energy-momentum tensor at a change of signature without satisfying their condition that the extrinsic curvature vanish.