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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

An algorithm using symbolic techniques for the Bel-Petrov classification of gravitational fields

In this note, an algorithm is presented for the symbolic calculation of certain algebraic invariants of the Weyl tensor which permits the determination of the Bel-Petrov types of a gravitational field. This algorithm, although more specialized than that of D'Inverno and Russell-Clark, requires neither the use of a special coordinate system nor the spin coefficient formalism. The algorithm has been implemented in FORMAC and is designed to complete the classification scheme proposed by Petrov in his book. An appendix contains examples illustrating the use of the algorithm.

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