Variational Principle for Gravity with Null Boundaries

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The fact that the Einstein-Hilbert action, by itself, does not lead to a well-posed variational principle has become textbook knowledge. It can be made well-posed by the addition of suitable boundary terms. There are many boundary terms available in the literature, of which the most famous and most widely used is the Gibbons-Hawking-York (GHY) boundary term. The GHY term is ostensibly defined only for a non-null boundary. There have been very few efforts in the literature to extend its definition to null boundaries. The speaker will present his group's work towards finding a boundary term to render the Einstein-Hilbert action well-posed in the presence of null boundaries. He shall discuss a proposed boundary term, associated boundary conditions, outstanding issues and possible applications.