A theory that describes how matter produces and responds to the geometry of space and time. It was first published by Einstein in 1915 and is currently used to study the structure and evolution of the universe, as well as having practical applications like GPS.

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Direction of expansion of the universe

From what I understand the expansion of the universe has no "center". If we're flying through space away from the "center of the big bang", there's basically no way to tell. Every two given points in ...
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1answer
92 views

Null Geodesics in flat 2+1 dimensional Minkowski space

For a given line element in flat 2+1 dimensional Minkowski space $$ g = ds^{2} = − dz \otimes dz + dx \otimes dx + dy \otimes dy .$$ The null geodesics are supposedly given by: $$ x = lu + l' $$ ...
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72 views

Einstein frame vs. Matter frame

What is the difference between Einstein frame and Matter frame in General Relativity? -A brief comment on each could be useful too. These two frames were used in this manuscript ...
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92 views

Computing the Einstein tensor for a spherically symmetrical metric using the tetrad formalism

I am having some trouble understanding how to use the tetrad formalism. I will start with what I have so far, my question will be after that. I begin with the metric $$ \text{d}s^2 = e^{2a} \text{ ...
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2answers
84 views

Asymptotic flatness implies existence of rotation axis

Suppose we have an asymptotically flat, globally hyperbolic spacetime $M$ endowed with two one-parameter isometry groups $\sigma_t$ and $\chi_{\phi}$ which commute (i.e. $\sigma_t \circ \chi_{\phi}= ...
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80 views

What are the factors affecting the spacetime curvature?

Large masses in space as stars and planets cause a curvature in the spacetime fabric. What are the factors that affect this curvature? Is it only mass? And can we conclude these factors using Tensors? ...
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1answer
278 views

Minimal vs. Non-minimal coupling

What is the difference between Minimal vs. Non-minimal coupling in General Relativity? A brief introduction to Minimal Coupling in General Relativity could be useful too.
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0answers
58 views

Topology of spacetime in 2+1 dimension

In the book Quantum Gravity in 2+1 dimension by S. Carlip, in the second chapter (section 2.1), he comments that a compact 3-manifold with a flat time orientable Lorentzian metric and a purely ...
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92 views

General formula to compute the redshift (first order perturbations)

Consider an expanding universe with the following metric in conformal time/co-moving coordinates: ...
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57 views

Very specific type of GR paper hunt [duplicate]

My General relativity skills suck. I need a good paper that does not start with equivalence principle and pages of elevator experiments derives principles mathematically, not by physical intuition ...
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377 views

Why can we assume torsion is zero in GR?

The first Cartan equation is $$\mathrm{d}\omega^{a} + \theta^{a}_{b} \wedge \omega^{b} = T^{a}$$ where $\omega^{a}$ is an orthonormal basis, $T^{a}$ is the torsion and $\theta^{a}_{b}$ are the ...
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1answer
79 views

What happens if a body free-falls at a certain speed?

It is known that a body falling to the ground is affected by gravity, and its velocity increases by 9.8 m/s per second. But when this body is falling, and it reaches the speed of 340 m/s (the speed of ...
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1answer
122 views

Stress-Energy Tensor

As of recent, I've been doing a bit of self education in GR, equipped with a working knowledge of the key elements of the differential geometry in GR, and in looking at the Einstein-Rosen bridge, I ...
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1answer
414 views

Was Einsteins work with relativity necessary for successful space travel?

So I know that Einstein and general relativity had huge impacts on the way we view the world, but how crucial were these scientific advancements to the success of our space programs? Would Newtonian ...
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0answers
103 views

Covariant Derivative with a Torsion Free Metric

Where $\triangledown$ is the covariant derivative and we are to assume that the connection is torsion free (that is, we can exchange the lower indices of the connection coefficients), how can I prove ...
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2answers
2k views

How can a singularity in a black hole rotate if it's just a point?

I guess nobody really knows the true nature of black holes, however, based on everything I know about black holes, there is a "singularity" at their center, which has finite mass but is infinitely ...
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1answer
112 views

Can geodesics in a Lorentzian manifold change their character?

From a physics perspective, it's pretty easy to see why a a massive particle will be restricted to timelike paths, etc. but does the math guarantee that on its own or do we have to impose it? More ...
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42 views

Space time curvature due to electric charge or magnetic charges [duplicate]

since we know that gravitational force is nothing but a curvature in space-time. I have a similar analogous for the electric or magnetic charges. Similarity is that both electromagnetic and ...
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2answers
194 views

Does the stretching of space time have a limit?

Why does the stretching of spacetime have no limit? If multiple universes exist. Wouldn't each universe occupy a defined area? If these universes do occupy a defined area wouldn't there be a limit to ...
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1answer
157 views

Interpreting perturbation theory in general relativity

In quantum mechanics we start with a Hamiltonian $H_0$ for which we know the exact eigenstates and energy eigenvalues. We perturb it by a known term $H$, and then attempt to compute (approximately) ...
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4answers
7k views

Why would spacetime curvature cause gravity?

It is fine to say that for an object flying past a massive object, the spacetime is curved by the massive object, and so the object flying past follows the curved path of the geodesic, so it "appears" ...
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114 views

Induced metric on the boundary of a manifold

The Gibbons-Hawking-York term which supplements the Einstein-Hilbert action is, $$S_{GH} = \frac{1}{8\pi G} \int_{\partial M} d^3 x\sqrt{-h} \, K$$ where $\partial M$ is the boundary of the manifold ...
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1answer
224 views

Stress energy tensor and the covariant derivative of the 4-momentum

Another basic question. I have usually seen the stress energy tensor $T^{ij}$ described as the flow of the 4-momentum field $p^i$ along direction $x^j$ in spacetime with $p^0$ as energy and $x^0$ as ...
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165 views

Computing Curvature via Cartan Formalism

Given a metric $g_{\mu \nu}$, one can select an orthonormal basis $\omega^{\hat{a}}$ such that, $$ds^2= \omega^{\hat{t}}\otimes\omega^{\hat{t}} - \omega^{\hat{x}} \otimes \omega^{\hat{x}} - ...$$ By ...
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How to calculate the minimum number of extrinsic dimensions of a metric tensor?

The Question How does one calculate the minimum number of dimensions of an extrinsic space that can be used to define the metric tensor \begin{align} g_{mn} = \dfrac{\partial y^k}{\partial x^m} ...
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40 views

Positive Mass Theorem [duplicate]

I'm a third year maths undergrad doing a project on minimal surfaces. However I'm really struggling to understand what the PMT is trying to explain? Could anyone help explain this (as simply as ...
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5answers
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Naive visualization of space-time curvature

With only a limited knowledge of general relativity, I usually explain space-time curvature (to myself and others) thus: "If you throw a ball, it will move along a parabola. Initially its vertical ...
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28 views

gravitational lensing [duplicate]

I had read somewhere that a star, whose light passes very close to the sun and reaches the earth produces 4 images of the same star (left, right, top and bottom) in a telescope due to gravitational ...
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1answer
154 views

General relativity, gravity and spacetime curvature [duplicate]

There is a very fundamental flaw in the common explanation given of the space-time curvature due to massive objects. It is said that a massive object curves space time just like a bowling ball on a ...
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0answers
74 views

Reissner-Nordström Black Holes

The Reissner-Nordström black holes are described by the metric, \begin{align} ds^2 = -\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}\right)dt^2 + \frac{1}{1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}}+r^2d\Omega^2 ...
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2answers
245 views

Mistake in Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking [closed]

I was reading A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking and Mlodinow. I found something silly. On page 36 at the bottom, it says the following : If, say, the sun suddenly disappeared, Maxwell's ...
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2answers
293 views

How long does it take for a black hole to form?

The well-known fable of an astronaut sending signals out to an external observer while falling toward an event horizon states that the time lapse between such signals becomes greater even if in the ...
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145 views

The difference between an apparent horizon and event horizon?

I'm currently writing a project on minimal surfaces and general relativity - however I don't understand the difference between the apparent and event horizon? They ultimately both seemed to be defined ...
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1answer
385 views

Can Information Travel Faster Than The Speed Of Light? [duplicate]

Many believe that nothing can travel faster than speed of light, not even information. Personally, i think theoretically information can. Consider this following imaginary experiment: Imagine we are ...
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1answer
50 views

Smaller mass in gravity well?

When sitting in a gravity well, as we do on earth, does our effective mass become smaller than our rest mass due to having negative potential energy? Correspondingly, does a free falling mass (from ...
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2answers
148 views

Speed of gravity in cosmological codes and ephemeris generation

There are few questions in Phys.SE concerning the speed of gravity, and the answers are traditionally that the speed of gravity equals to the speed of light. But in that case I have three more ...
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2answers
298 views

Can special/general relativity be derived from the standard model?

Can special/general relativity be derived from the standard model? For example the time dilatation in strong gravitation? My feeling is yes, but I am not quite sure.
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2answers
230 views

Why does gravity attract non-metallic objects?

Why does gravity attract non-metallic objects as magnetism does? I understand why gravity, because of mass of an object, works. But earth has a magnetic field, and the moon does not. Indeed, many ...
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1answer
44 views

How is the scale factor from the FLRW equation used with Volume?

I'm trying to put a spreadsheet together that shows the co-moving volume of the universe from the time soon after the Big Bang through the present and then as predicted into the future. I am pretty ...
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1answer
87 views

Regarding the possibility of Closed Timelike Curves

I've been looking a lot at Closed Timelike Curves, and how if a theory allows for these curves it doesn't respect causality. I understand that about the curves themselves (Grandfather Paradox), but ...
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0answers
57 views

Gravitational redshift of temperature and electrostatic potential

Consider a charged black hole in four-dimensional Minkowski spacetime, with charge $Q$, mass $M>Q$: $ds^2=-f(r)dt^2+\frac{1}{f(r)}dr^2+r^2d\Omega_2^2$, with $f(r)=1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}$. ...
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3answers
476 views

D'Alembertian for a scalar field

I have read that the D'Alembertian for a scalar field is $$ \Box = g^{\nu\mu}\nabla_\nu\nabla_\mu = \frac{1}{\sqrt{-g}}\partial_\mu (\sqrt{-g}\partial^\mu). $$ Exactly when is this correct? Only for ...
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1answer
135 views

How can a black hole have spin?

How is it possible, or even meaningful, to say that a black hole has spin? (Tangentially, if the singularity is assumed to be a point, it must have either zero or infinite angular momentum, in both ...
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3answers
434 views

How to prove the covariant derivative cannot be written as an eigendecomposition of the partial derivative?

The Question How does one prove that Rindler's definition of the covariant derivative of a covariant vector field $\lambda_a$ as \begin{align} \lambda_{a;c} = \lambda_{a,c} - \Gamma^{b}_{\ \ ca} ...
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1answer
125 views

Positive Mass Theorem

I'm currently a third year undergrad writing about Minimal Surfaces. In particular, trapped surfaces and black holes. What does the Positive Mass Theorem have to do with this? And does the theorem ...
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4answers
153 views

How to determine “timelike”-ness without using a coordinate system?

It has been stated here that: we can say, without introducing a coordinate system, that the interval associated with two events is timelike, lightlike, or spacelike. This assertion appears at ...
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1answer
70 views

Is conformal time observable?

The standard FRW metric with cosmic time is $$ ds^2 = -dt^2 + a^2(t)(\gamma_{ij}dx^i dx^j),$$ and we can measure $t$ as the proper time for comoving observers. Thus it makes sense to talk about the ...
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0answers
43 views

Information paradox and spacelike slices

I'm reading S. Mathur's paper on the information paradox and I can't seem to understand the reason why we choose spacelike slices. Is it because we want to have a global timelike vector so that we ...
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1answer
39 views

Why will choice of coordinates impose functional relations on the metric?

I am reading Steven Weinberg's Gravitation and Cosmology. On page 10 he says: In $D$ dimensions there will be $D(D+1)/2$ independent metric functions $g_{ij}$, and our freedom to choose the $D$ ...
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1answer
149 views

Stress-energy tensor explicitly in terms of the metric tensor

I am trying to write the Einstein field equations $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu} R=\frac{8\pi G}{c^4}T_{\mu\nu}$$ in such a way that the Ricci curvature tensor $R_{\mu\nu}$ and scalar curvature ...