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WANDs in higher-dimensional gravity

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In 4 dimensions, the Petrov classification and Newman-Penrose formalism have for many years proved a useful tool in studying various aspects of general relativity, for example in the construction of the Kerr solution, and the study of linearized perturbations. In recent years, a higher-dimensional version has been developed by Coley, Milson, Pravda and Pravdova (CMPP) and others, based around so-called Weyl-Aligned Null Directions (WANDs). The usefulness of this for practical calculations is not yet entirely clear. This talk will give an introduction to the CMPP formalism, discuss some possible applications, before describing some recent results on the geodesity of WAN Ds in arbitrary dimension. arXiv:0908.2771 [gr-qc], arXiv:0904.4367 [gr-qc]

This talk is part of the DAMTP Friday GR Seminar series.

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