Dynamical symmetries in relativistic kinetic theory

R. Maartens*, D. R. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is part of a program investigating symmetries that are defined at a physical or observational level rather than purely geometrically. Here we generalize previous work on dynamical "matter" symmetries of relativistic gases. If the matter symmetry vector is surface-forming with the dynamical Liouville vector, then Einstein's equations reduce it to a Killing symmetry of the metric. We show that this conclusion is unaltered if the gas particles are subject to a nongravitational force (including the electromagnetic force on charged particles) or if the gravitational field obeys higher-order field equations. In the Brans-Dicke theory, the matter symmetry reduces to a homothetic symmetry of the metric. This is also the case for a generalized conformal symmetry in Einstein's theory. We consider the problem of relaxing the surface-forming assumption in an attempt to determine whether there are dynamical symmetries that do not necessarily reduce to geometrical symmetries of the metric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1715-1732
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Theoretical Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1994


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