General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1059–1062 | Cite as

Remarks on exact solutions

  • J. Ehlers
Research Article


This paper first discusses the historical context of the influential “Exact Solutions” book, which was co-authored by Malcolm MacCallum. It then makes various technical points about such solutions. It is useful to characterize solutions in terms of the properties of matter they contain or the kinds of test particle motions which are possible. It is also interesting to consider which isometries are implied by particular kinds of matter behaviour. Judging the validity of an approximation by the smallness of the tensor components can be misleading. Finally, an example is given of a result which is obvious in Newtonian theory but little understood in General Relativity.


General relativity Exact solutions Test particle Kerr-Schild form 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science and Business Media Inc., New York 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut f. GravitationsphysikAlbert-Einstein-InstitutPotsdam OT GolmGermany

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