, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1233-1247
Date: 19 Oct 2008

On the gravitational angular momentum of rotating sources

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The gravitational energy–momentum and angular momentum satisfy the algebra of the Poincaré group in the full phase space of the teleparallel equivalent of general relativity. The expression for the gravitational energy–momentum may be written as a surface integral in the three-dimensional spacelike hypersurface, whereas the definition for the angular momentum is given by a volume integral. It turns out that in practical calculations of the angular momentum of the gravitational field generated by localized sources like rotating neutron stars, the volume integral reduces to a surface integral, and the calculations can be easily carried out. Similar to previous investigations in the literature, we show that the total angular momentum is finite provided a certain asymptotic behaviour is verified. We discuss the dependence of the gravitational angular momentum on the frame, and argue that it is a measure of the dragging of inertial frames.