A Gravitational Entropy Proposal
Classical and Quantum Gravity
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We propose a thermodynamically motivated measure of gravitational entropy based on the Bel-Robinson tensor, which has a natural interpretation as the effective super-energy-momentum tensor of free gravitational fields. The specific form of this measure differs depending on whether the gravitational field is Coulomb-like or wave-like, and reduces to the Bekenstein-Hawking value when integrated over the interior of a Schwarzschild black hole. For scalar perturbations of a Robertson-Walker geometry we find that the entropy goes like the Hubble weighted anisotropy of the gravitational field, and therefore increases as structure formation occurs. This is in keeping with our expectations for the behaviour of gravitational entropy in cosmology, and provides a thermodynamically motivated arrow of time for cosmological solutions of Einstein's field equations. It is also in keeping with Penrose's Weyl curvature hypothesis.