Contributions to the Study of the Validity of Huygens' Principle for the Non-self-adjoint Scalar Wave Equation on Petrov Type D Spacetimes
This thesis makes contributions to the solution of Hadamard's problem through an examination of the question of the validity of Huygens'principle for the non-self-adjoint scalar wave equation on a Petrov type D spacetime. The problem is split into five further sub-cases based on the alignment of the Maxwell and Weyl principal spinors of the underlying spacetime. Two of these sub-cases are considered, one of which is proved to be incompatible with Huygens' principle, while for the other, it is shown that Huygens' principle implies that the two principal null congruences of the Weyl tensor are geodesic and shear-free. Furthermore, an unpublished result of McLenaghan regarding symmetric spacetimes of Petrov type D is independently verified. This result suggests the possible existence of counter-examples of the Carminati-McLenaghan conjecture.