Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 339–355 | Cite as

On the structure of space-time caustics

  • Kjell Rosquist


Caustics formed by timelike and null geodesics in a space-timeM are investigated. Care is taken to distinguish the conjugate points in the tangent space (T-conjugate points) from conjugate points in the manifold (M-conjugate points). It is shown that most nonspacelike conjugate points are regular, i.e. with all neighbouring conjugate points having the same degree of degeneracy. The regular timelikeT-conjugate locus is shown to be a smooth 3-dimensional submanifold of the tangent space. Analogously, the regular nullT-conjugate locus is shown to be a smooth 2-dimensional submanifold of the light cone in the tangent space. The smoothness properties of the null caustic are used to show that if an observer sees focusing in all directions, then there will necessarily be a cusp in the caustic. If, in addition, all the null conjugate points have maximal degree of degeneracy (as in the closed Friedmann-Robertson-Walker universes), then the space-time is closed.


Neural Network Manifold Statistical Physic Complex System Nonlinear Dynamics 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kjell Rosquist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsQueen Mary CollegeLondonEngland

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