Foundations of Physics

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 249–257 | Cite as

Boundary terms in the action principles of general relativity

  • James W. YorkJr.
Part II. Invited Papers Dedicated To John Archibald Wheeler


I address the question: “What is fixed on the boundary in the action principles of general relativity?” Four forms of the action are considered: the Einstein action, the Hilbert action, the first order action, and what may be called the cosmological action. The relationships and boundary data of these actions are described geometrically. Formal passage to the “Euclidean” forms of these actions is effected in detail.


General Relativity Boundary Data Action Principle Boundary Term Order Action 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. YorkJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Field Physics, Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill

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