# Tagged Questions

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### Is it correct to say that falling object are standing still?

As I was browsing youtube I came across the BBC video "Brian Cox visits the world's biggest vacuum chamber - Human Universe: Episode 4 Preview - BBC Two" He drops a bowling ball and a feather in a ...
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### Einstein's “happiest thought”

Einstein described his discovery of the equivalence principle as the "happiest thought of my life". Why? What, in broad conceptual terms, is the logical chain of reasoning that leads from the ...
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### When objects fall along geodesic paths of curved space-time, why is there no force acting on them?

On cseligman.com, it is written that So, we see things falling with an acceleration which we call the acceleration of gravity,and thinking that we live in a straight line , uniformly moving or ...
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### Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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### Gravitational potential in GR

In proving that the metric will play the role of gravitational potential, there is this chain of ideas: ...
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### Principle of equivalence

Einstein's principle of equivalence states that one can not distinguish between a freely falling nonrotating system in a gravitational field and a uniformly moving system in the absence of a ...
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### Black Hole horizons and the Equivalence Principle?

In the reference frame of a freefalling observer, does crossing the event horizon not cause a contradiction between two classical principles that supposedly apply at the event horizon: the equivalence ...
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### Equivalence principle for test fields

My question is very simple. We all know that, for a test particle(classical) in a gravitational field, the motion is only determined by the geodesic lines(let's forget about the initial conditions for ...
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### If gravitation is due to space-time curvature, how can a body free-fall in a straight line?

According to general relativity, Gravity is due to space-time curvature. Then all paths must be curved. If so, how can there be any straight line motion? The body must follow a curved path. So, there ...
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### What does gravitational mass mean if (weak) equivalence principle invalid? [closed]

As equivalence principle states Mass and weight are locally in identical ratio for all bodies. --Newton This implies that the gravitational mass does only depends on its inertial mass. Suppose ...
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### The equivalence principle and experiments concerning it?

Imagine that we are in a rocket accelerating with some magnitude $a_1 = dx^2/d^2t$, also imagine that we have a stationary rocket ship in close proximity to ours, stationary relative to our reference ...
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### What experience tells us that gravitational acceleration cannot vanish everywhere?

In attempt to describe the consequences of the Equivalence Principle: When there are gravitational accelerations present, as for example in the gravitational field of the earth, the space cannot be ...
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### Einstein's principle of equivalence; Standing on earth vs sitting in accelerated car

When I am seated in a car that is accelerating in a particular direction I could, for example, throw a ball and it would appear to be flying the opposite way. With the windows covered etc. An ...
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### Why does a free-falling body experience no force despite accelerating?

Note: For the purposes of my question, when I refer to free fall assume it takes place in a vacuum. From my (admittedly weak) understanding of the equivalence principle, falling in a gravitational ...
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### Curvature of spacetime and the equivalence principle

Assuming the Einstein equivalence principle, formulated as following: The outcome of any local non-gravitational experiment in a freely falling laboratory is independent of the velocity of the ...
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### Graviton and principle of equivalence

Is it possible that in a theory of gravitons, i.e., a quantum field theory of gravitation, general relativity's principle of the equivalence of gravitational mass and inertial mass, no longer holds?
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### I think I am misunderstanding Einstein's equivalence principle and his elevator

I'm having difficulties understanding why a gravitational acceleration can be guaranteed to be locally equivalent to an accelerating frame. Doesn't it matter on how the force is being applied? If the ...
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### Does a person inside a falling bus fall to the front of it?

So I was watching Final Destination 5 and something caught my attention. There's a part where a bridge collapses and everything falls apart, so there's this bus that has a person inside (unaware of ...
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### What is the difference between gravitation and magnetism?

If you compress a large mass, on the order of a star or the Earth, into a very small space, you get a black hole. Even for very large masses, it is possible in principle for it to occupy a very small ...
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### Paradox - Laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames vs Equivalence Principle (Pictures Added)

According to the equivalence principle, no experiment should exist that one can perform to determine whether one is in an accelerating elevator, or in a gravitational field. I will outline two ...
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### Taking selfies while falling, would you be able to notice a horizon before hitting a singularity?

I am generally interested in the role of "pings"(0a) between participants (a.k.a. "signal roundtrips"(0b), as familiar for instance from Synge's "five point curvature detector") in the determination ...
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### How (or why) equivalence principle led to Einstein field equations?

If equivalence principle was origin of general relativity what was the process that this principle led Einstein to developed his theory of general relativity?
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### Why do we feel resistance to gravity rather than the acceleration of gravity?

What's the reason it behaves differently from all other forces? What I mean is, if you're in orbit you're accelerating toward the earth at almost 9.8m/s^2, but you feel nothing. If you are riding a ...
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### Clarification with Einstein's explanation of inertial mass and gravitational mass from his book

In the book "Evolution of Physics" - Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld, the following explanation is given for two types of masses: A body at rest gives way before the action of an external ...
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### Free fall for a longer time

When I'm in free fall, I'm weightlessness for only about 1-2 seconds. Is there any way I can feel weightlessness for a longer period of time?
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### Conservation of Energy in Blue Shift

Imagine light coming down and hitting a neutron star. It light is blue-shifted. I know that energy/mass is conserved and that the energy to blue-shift it comes from the gravitational field, but how is ...
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### Can gyroscope work in zero gravity?

Most ships have two or more gyroscopes to balance on water, man made satellites uses gyroscope for orientation as they fall around earth. All these applications seems to be associated with gravity, ...
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### In circular motion, with a constant distance, why does the mass of the orbitting object have no effect on its revolution at all?

Using Newton's universal equation and some circular motion equation, the orbiting object's mass cancels out. But can someone please explain why this is without using pure algebra?
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### Is the lay explanation of the equivalence principle wrong?

The common explanation/trope for the equivalence principle always has something to do with you being inside an elevator or spaceship, and your supposed inability to differentiate, say, gravity from a ...
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### Relativity of simultaneity in Galileo's Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment

Galileo's conclusion can be roughly summed up as: objects of different masses, when dropped from the same height, descend in the same time interval, independent on their masses (neglecting friction). ...
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### Is there a fundamental reason why gravitational mass is the same as inertial mass?

The principle of equivalence - that, locally, you can't distinguish between a uniform gravitational field and a non-inertial frame accelerating in the sense opposite to the gravitational field - is ...
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### Understanding the different kinds of mass in gravity

On this site, the Phys.SE question Is there a fundamental reason why gravitational mass is the same as inertial mass? has been asked. See also this Phys.SE question. The 'answer' provided on this ...
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### Accelerating elevator?

If your in an elevator accelerating downwards faster than gravity, would you be pushed up to the ceiling? Since gravity cannot match the acceleration of the elevator, you're wouldn't be able to move ...
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### Is there an accepted axiomatic approach to general relativity?

I am reading Steven Weinberg's book Gravitation and Cosmology. He makes a big deal out of the equivalence principle and showed a bunch of deductions you can make based on it. This surprised me since ...
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### Inertial and Non-inertial frames of reference

I'm really beginner in physics and I recently started to study the concept of frames of reference, inertial and non-inertial ones. In the end, I thought I had understood it: frames of reference ...
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### Confusion about Weinberg's discussion of equivalence principle. Help understanding formula

I am reading Steven Weinberg's book Gravitation and Cosmology. On pages 67-68, he begins his discussion of the Principle of Equivalence of Gravitation and Indertia by saying the following: The ...
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### What am I missing in this thought experiment about a black hole?

I've got a problem setting up a general relativity (GR) thought experiment. Thanks for your help! I'm the observer, in a lab that is falling through the event horizon of a black hole, observing a ...
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### How much of General relativity follows from the invariance of $c$ and an escape velocity?

Just supposing Einstein hadn't come up with his idea of the equivalence principle, leaving him blind for a while. Would he still have been able to come up with General Relativity just using the ...
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### Orbital speed for a circular orbit?

I wanted to look up the formula for orbital speed for a circular orbit on Wikipedia, and I found 2 formulas: All bounded orbits where the gravity of a central body dominates are elliptical in ...
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### If dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the universe, why can't I feel it?

Based on the Lambda-CDM cosmological model, our universe is not only expanding, but is accelerating in its expansion. However, the Equivalence Principle would suggest that inertia manifests itself in ...
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### If a place a spring in a box and drop the box, what happens?

Suppose I a holding a box in my hands, and inside the box a spring with some mass attached hangs from the cieling of the box. Initial the system is at equilibrium, then I let go of the box and it ...
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### Is there a theory that physically explains the origin equivalence principle / explains gravity via acceleration?

I've been thinking about how gravity could arise from a 4th dimensional spinning cylinder with space-time that has pliability like rubber (which I think is a generally accepted analogy). The ...
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### Some confusions about principle of equivalence

By principle of equivalence, an accelerated system and in general a non-inertial system of reference is equivalent to a certain gravitational field. If there is gravitational field, spacetime is then ...
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### Elevator cabin problem

The following passage is extracted from the book "Concepts of Physics, Part 1" by H C Verma: Let us consider the situation shown in figure. An elevator cabin falls down after the cable breaks. ...
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### Does relativistic glider violate principle of equivalence?

The relativistic glider proposed can slow down the fall of an object in gravitational field. Will this violate the principle of equivalence which says that one cannot distinguish between free falling ...
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### Where is Strong Equivalence Principle stronger than Weak Equivalence Principle

In my note, the two equivalence principles are stated as follows Weak Equivalence Principle: Gravitational and inertial masses are equal. Strong Equivalence Principle: There is no observable ...
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### Imagining to speed up the Earth's revolution around the Sun until we feel its motion

If the Earth were revolving around the Sun much faster than it does, let's say 100 or 1000 times faster or whatever big-enough multiple of its actual speed, would we feel it? What sensation would we ...
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### Surely space-time Curvature does not explain gravity, it just describe its effects?

In special relativity co-moving objects see the other's 4-velocity as being only temporal. When they move relative to each other they see the other's 4-velocity has rotated so that it points less in ...