A new numerical framework, based on the use of a simple first-order strongly hyperbolic evolution equations, is introduced and tested in the case of four-dimensional spherically symmetric gravitating systems. The analytic setup is chosen such that our numerical method is capable of following the time evolution even after the appearance of trapped surfaces, more importantly, until the true physical singularities are reached. Using this framework, the gravitational collapse of various gravity-matter systems is investigated, with particular attention to the evolution in trapped regions. It is verified that, in advance of the formation of these curvature singularities, trapped regions develop in all cases, thereby supporting the validity of the weak cosmic censor hypothesis of Penrose. Various upper bounds on the rate of blow-up of the Ricci and Kretschmann scalars and the Misner-Sharp mass are provided. In spite of the unboundedness of the Ricci scalar, the Einstein-Hilbert action was found to remain finite in all the investigated cases. In addition, important conceptual issues related to the phenomenon of topology changes are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)