Department of Mathematics


  •  Demetre Kazaras, Duke University
  •  The geometry of scalar curvature and mass in general relativity
  •  01/12/2023
  •  4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
  •  C304 Wells Hall (Virtual Meeting Link)
  •  Sabrina M Walton (

In general relativity, the space we inhabit is modeled by a Riemannian manifold. The fundamental restriction this theory places upon spatial geometry is a lower bound on this manifold's scalar curvature. It is an important problem in pure geometry to understand the geometric and topological features of this condition. For instance, if a manifold has positive scalar curvature, what may we conclude about the lengths of its curves, the areas of its surfaces, and the topology of the underlying manifold? I will explain many results (originally proven by Schoen-Yau and Gromov-Lawson) in this direction, and sketch proofs by analyzing objects I call 'spacetime harmonic functions.' Leveraging these new ideas, I will also describe progress on geometric versions of the following questions: How flat is a gravitational system with little total mass? How can we tell when matter will coalesce to form a black hole?



Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science