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Advances in Mathematical Physics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 905168, 6 pages
A Relativistic Algorithm with Isotropic Coordinates
Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
Received 9 June 2013; Accepted 18 November 2013
Academic Editor: Stephen C. Anco
Copyright © 2013 S. A. Ngubelanga and S. D. Maharaj. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
We study spherically symmetric spacetimes for matter distributions with isotropic pressures. We generate new exact solutions to the Einstein field equations which also contain isotropic pressures. We develop an algorithm that produces a new solution if a particular solution is known. The algorithm leads to a nonlinear Bernoulli equation which can be integrated in terms of arbitrary functions. We use a conformally flat metric to show that the integrals may be expressed in terms of elementary functions. It is important to note that we utilise isotropic coordinates unlike other treatments.
We consider the interior of static perfect fluid spheres in general relativity with isotropic pressures. The predictions of general relativity have been shown to be consistent with observational data in relativistic astrophysics and cosmology. For a discussion of the physical features of a gravitating model, we require an exact solution to the Einstein field equations. Exact solutions are crucial in the description of dense relativistic astrophysical problems. Many solutions have been found in the past. For some comprehensive lists of known solutions to the field equations, refer to Delgaty and Lake , Finch and Skea , and Stephani et al. . Many of these solutions are not physically reasonable. For physical reasonableness, we require that the gravitational potentials and matter variables are regular and well behaved, causality of the spacetime manifold is maintained and values for physical quantities, for example, the mass of a dense star, are consistent with observation.
Solutions have been found in the past by making assumptions on the gravitational potentials, matter distribution, or imposing an equation of state. These particular approaches do yield models which have interesting properties. However in principle, it would be desirable to have a general method that produces exact solutions in a systematic manner. Some systematic methods generated in the past are those of Rahman and Visser , Lake , Martin and Visser , Boonserm et al. , Herrera et al. , Chaisi and Maharaj , and Maharaj and Chaisi . In general relativity, we have the freedom of using any well-defined coordinate system. The references mentioned above mainly use canonical coordinates. The use of isotropic coordinates may provide new insights and possibly lead to new solutions. This is the approach that we follow in this paper. We generate a new algorithm producing a new solution, to Einstein field equations in isotropic coordinates. From a given solution we can find a new solution with isotropic pressures.
The objective of this paper is to find new classes of exact solutions of the Einstein field equations with an uncharged isotropic matter distribution from a given seed metric. In Section 2, we derive the Einstein field equations for neutral perfect fluids in static spherically symmetric spacetime. We introduce new variables due to Kustaanheimo and Qvist  to rewrite the field equations and the condition of pressure isotropy in equivalent forms. In Section 3, we introduce our algorithm and the master nonlinear second order differential equation containing two arbitrary functions, that has to be solved. In Section 4, we present new classes of exact solutions in terms of the arbitrary functions. In Section 5, we give an example for a conformally flat metric showing that the integrals generated in Section 4 may be explicitly evaluated. In Section 6, we summarise the results obtained in this paper.
2. The Model
We are modelling the interior of a dense relativistic star in strong gravitational fields. The line element of the interior spacetime, with isotropic coordinates, has the following form: where and are arbitrary functions representing the gravitational potentials. Relativistic compact objects such as neutron stars in astrophysics are described by this line element. The energy momentum tensor for the interior of the star has the form of a perfect fluid where is the energy density and is the isotropic pressure. These quantities are measured relative to a timelike unit four-velocity ().
The Einstein field equations for (1) and (2) have the formin isotropic coordinates. Primes denote differentiation with respect to the radial coordinate . On equating (3b) and (3c), we obtain the condition of pressure isotropy which has the form This is the master equation which has to be integrated to produce an exact solution to the field equations.
It is possible to write the system (3a)–(3c) in an equivalent form by introducing new variables. We utilize a transformation that has proven to be helpful in relativistic stellar physics. We introduce the new variables
We note that (6a)–(6c) are highly nonlinear in both and . In this system, there are three independent equations and four unknowns , , , and . So we need to choose the functional form for or in order to integrate and obtain an exact solution. The value of the transformation (5) is highlighted in the reduction of the condition of pressure isotropy. On equating (6b) and (6c), we get which is the new condition of pressure isotropy which has a simpler compact form.
3. The Algorithm
It is possible to find new solutions to the Einstein’s equations from a given seed metric. Examples of this process are given in the treatments of Chaisi and Maharaj  and Maharaj and Chaisi . They found new models, with anisotropic pressures, from a given seed isotropic metric in Schwarzschild coordinates. Our intention is to find new models, with isotropic pressures, from a given solution in terms of the isotropic line element (1).
We can provide some new classes of exact solutions to the Einstein field equations by generating a new algorithm that produces a model from a given solution. We assume a known solution of the form , so that holds. We seek a new solution given by where and are arbitrary functions. On substituting (9) into (7), we obtain which is given in terms of two arbitrary functions and . Then realizing that is a solution of (7) and using (8), we obtain the reduced result
4. New Solutions
We consider several cases of (11) for which we have been able to complete the integration.
4.1. Is Specified
It is possible to integrate (13) since it is linear in to obtain
We can formally integrate (14) to obtain the function as where and are arbitrary constants.
4.2. Is Specified
We can also integrate (11) if is specified. As another simple example, we take . Then (11) becomes which is nonlinear in . This is a first order Bernoulli equation in . The differential equation (17) has a form similar to (12) in Section 4.1. Following the same procedure, we obtain where and are arbitrary constants.
Then another new solution to (7) is given byTherefore we have determined that if a solution to the field equations is known, then a new solution is given by (19a) and (19b). Note that the solution of (19a) and (19b) is different from that of (16a) and (16b).
We can integrate (11) if a relationship between the functions and exists. We illustrate this feature by assuming that where is an arbitrary constant. Then (11) becomes which is a first order Bernoulli equation in . For convenience, we let so that we can write (21) as which is linear in . We integrate (23) to obtain
We now formally integrate (24) to obtain where and are constants.
We now have a new solution of (7) given bywhere and are given in (22). Therefore we have demonstrated that if a solution to the field equations is specified, then a new solution is provided by (26a) and (26b).
Case iii . If , then (26a) and (26b) are not valid. For this case, (11) becomes When is constant, then is also constant by (20); then, (7) does not produce a new solution because of (9). When is not constant, then we can integrate (29) to produce the solutionwhere is a constant. Thus generates another new solution to (11).
We show by means of a specific example that the integrals generated in Section 4 may be evaluated to produce a new exact solution to the field equations in terms of elementary functions. In our example, we chooseThen the corresponding line element is given by which is conformally flat. The energy density for the metric (32) is constant, so that we have the Schwarzschild interior solution in isotropic coordinates.
Conformally flat metrics are important in gravitational physics in a general relativistic setting. They arise, for instance, in the gravitational collapse of a radiating star, as shown in the treatments of Herrera et al. , Maharaj and Govender , Misthry et al. , and Abebe et al. . For the choice of (31a) and (31b), we find that (27a) and (27b) become
The integrals in (33a) and (33b) can be evaluated and we obtainwhere and and we have set Thus the known solution in (31a) and (31b) produces a new solution in (34a) and (34b). The line element for the new solution has the form where is given by (35). Thus our algorithm has produced a new (not conformally flat) solution to the Einstein’s field equations. This has been generated from a seed conformally flat model.
We now comment on the physical properties of the example. We have generated plots for the energy density , pressure , and the speed of sound in Figures 1, 2, and 3, respectively. These graphical plots indicate that and are positive and well behaved. The speed of sound is less than the speed of light as required for causality. Therefore the algorithm presented in this paper produces new solutions which are physically reasonable.
We have generated an algorithm to produce a new solution to the Eistein field equations from a given seed metric. We observe that the resulting model contains isotropic pressures unlike the approach of Chaisi and Maharaj  and Maharaj and Chaisi ; in their treatment, the new model has anisotropic pressures. Another advantage of our approach is the use of isotropic coordinates in the formulation of the condition of pressure isotropy. This may leads to new insights into the behaviour of gravity since previous treatments mainly utilised canonical coordinates. The algorithm produced a new solution in terms of integrals containing arbitrary functions. We have shown, with the help of a conformally flat metric, that these integrals may be evaluated in terms of elementary functions. This example suggests that our approach may be extended to other physically relevant metrics.
S. A. Ngubelanga thanks the National Research Foundation and the University of KwaZulu-Natal for financial support. S. D. Maharaj acknowledges that this work is based upon research supported by the South African Research Chair Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation.
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