An asymptotic framework for gravitational scattering

Geoffrey Compère, Samuel E. Gralla, Hongji Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Asymptotically flat spacetimes have been studied in five separate regions: future/past timelike infinity i ± , future/past null infinity , and spatial infinity i 0. We formulate assumptions and definitions such that the five infinities share a single Bondi-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) group of asymptotic symmetries and associated charges. We show how individual ingoing/outgoing massive bodies may be ascribed initial/final BMS charges and derive global conservation laws stating that the change in total charge is balanced by the corresponding radiative flux. This framework provides a foundation for the study of asymptotically flat spacetimes containing ingoing and outgoing massive bodies, i.e. for generalized gravitational scattering. Among the new implications are rigorous definitions for quantities like initial/final spin, scattering angle, and impact parameter in multi-body spacetimes, without the use of any preferred background structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205018
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 19 2023


  • Beig-Schmidt
  • BMS group
  • supertranslation
  • timelike infinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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