Go to previous page Go up Go to next page

1 Introduction

It has been realized long ago that spacetime singularities are generic in classical general relativity [91]. However, their exact nature is still far from being well understood. Although it is expected that spacetime singularities will ultimately be resolved in a complete quantum theory of gravity, understanding their classical structure is likely to shed interesting light and insight into the nature of the mechanisms at play in the singularity resolution. Furthermore, analyzing general relativity close to such singularities also provides important information on the dynamics of gravity within the regime where it breaks down. Indeed, careful investigations of the field equations in this extreme regime has revealed interesting and unexpected symmetry properties of gravity.

In the late 1960’s, Belinskii, Khalatnikov and Lifshitz (“BKL”) [16Jump To The Next Citation Point] gave a general description of spacelike singularities in the context of the four-dimensional vacuum Einstein theory. They provided convincing evidence that the generic solution of the dynamical Einstein equations, in the vicinity of a spacelike singularity, exhibits the following remarkable properties:

 1.1 Cosmological billiards and hidden symmetries of gravity
 1.2 Outline of the paper

  Go to previous page Go up Go to next page