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In theoretical physics, the ADM energy (short for Richard Arnowitt, Stanley Deser and Charles Misner) is a special way to define the energy in general relativity which is only applicable to some special geometries of spacetime that asymptotically approach a well-defined metric tensor at infinity &mdash; for example a spacetime that asymptotically approaches Minkowski space. The ADM energy in these cases is defined as a function of the deviation of the metric tensor from its prescribed asymptotic form. In other words, the ADM energy is computed as the strength of the gravitational field at infinity.

The quantity is also called the ADM Hamiltonian, especially if one finds a different formula than the definition above that however leads to the same result.

If the required asymptotic form is time-independent (such as the Minkowski space itself), then it respects the time-translational symmetry. Noether's theorem then implies that the ADM energy is conserved. According to general relativity, the conservation law for the total energy does not hold in more general, time-dependent backgrounds - for example, it is completely violated in physical cosmology. Cosmic inflation in particular is able to produce energy (and mass) from "nothing" because the vacuum energy density is roughly constant, but the volume of the Universe grows exponentially.

ee also

* Mass in general relativity

References

* R. Arnowitt, S. Deser, C. Misner: "Coordinate Invariance and Energy Expressions in General Relativity", Phys. Rev. 122 (1961) 997-1006.

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