Symmetries of linearized gravity from adjoint operators
Journal article, 2019
Based on operator identities and their formal adjoints, we derive two symmetry operators for the linearized Einstein operator on vacuum backgrounds of Petrov type D and, in particular, the Kerr spacetime. One of them is of differential order four and coincides with a result of Cohen and Kegeles. The other one is a new operator of differential order six. The corresponding operator identities are based on the Teukolsky equation and the Teukolsky-Starobinsky identities, respectively. The method applies to other field equations as well, which is illustrated with the Maxwell equation. The resulting symmetry operators are connected to Hertz and Debye potentials as well as to the separability of the Teukolsky equation for both Maxwell and linearized gravity.