We give a constructive proof that coordinate transformations exist which raise the regularity of the gravitational metric tensor from C0,1 to C1,1 in a neighbourhood of points of shock wave collision in general relativity. The proof applies to collisions between shock waves coming from different characteristic families, in spherically symmetric spacetimes. Our result here implies that spacetime is locally inertial and corrects an error in our earlier Proc. R. Soc. A publication, which led us to the false conclusion that such coordinate transformations, which smooth the metric to C1,1, cannot exist. Thus, our result implies that regularity singularities (a type of mild singularity introduced in our Proc. R. Soc. A paper) do not exist at points of interacting shock waves from different families in spherically symmetric spacetimes. Our result generalizes Israel's celebrated 1966 paper to the case of such shock wave interactions but our proof strategy differs fundamentally from that used by Israel and is an extension of the strategy outlined in our original Proc. R. Soc. A publication. Whether regularity singularities exist in more complicated shock wave solutions of the Einstein–Euler equations remains open.
- Received October 27, 2014.
- Accepted March 24, 2015.
- © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.