Date of Thesis

2010

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Jeffrey M. Bowen

Abstract

As the number of solutions to the Einstein equations with realistic matter sources that admit closed time-like curves (CTC's) has grown drastically, it has provoked some authors [10] to call for a physical interpretation of these seemingly exotic curves that could possibly allow for causality violations. A first step in drafting a physical interpretation would be to understand how CTC's are created because the recent work of [16] has suggested that, to follow a CTC, observers must counter-rotate with the rotating matter, contrary to the currently accepted explanation that it is due to inertial frame dragging that CTC's are created. The exact link between inertialframe dragging and CTC's is investigated by simulating particle geodesics and the precession of gyroscopes along CTC's and backward in time oriented circular orbits in the van Stockum metric, known to have CTC's that could be traversal, so the van Stockum cylinder could be exploited as a time machine. This study of gyroscopeprecession, in the van Stockum metric, supports the theory that CTC's are produced by inertial frame dragging due to rotating spacetime metrics.

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