A theory that describes how matter interacts dynamically with 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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Simple tetrad exercises

I am reading Andrew Hamilton's really nice notes on Tetrad formalism of general relativity, and I am having trouble finding assignments/exercises on tetrad formalism. Would anyone know a good resource ...
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124 views

How does a mass create the gravitational field of GR? [closed]

As far as I understand, and please correct me if I am wrong, but the basic idea of general relativity is that spacetime is curved by matter. What we call gravity is then not a force as per Newton but ...
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263 views

When sitting on a chair is it the chair actually pushing against me?

I was listening to The Infinite Monkey Cage on the BBC and they were talking about general relativity and gravity. They were saying that gravity is not a force as Newtonian laws describe and is at ...
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218 views

What is gravitational energy in general relativity?

In GR the curvature of spacetime "is gravity". This curvature is expressed via the Riemann tensor (or the Ricci tensor + Ricci scalar). The curvature is connected via the Einstein Field Equations with ...
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100 views

How to understand the relationship between these two geometrical structures?

During my study of quantum information processing, I occasionally meet two different geometrical structures: (a) The geometry of the Hilbert space of quantum state, where the superposition and ...
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54 views
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130 views

Why does a light wave fade as it travels through space?

It stands to reason: if it didn't, the entire sky would be covered with stars shining blindingly day and night. But what causes a light wave (or an electromagnetic wave) to fade if there are no ...
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55 views

Could we have blue/violet shifting?

As the universe expands, it stretches light into longer wavelengths, resulting in what we know as red shifting. But some say that there is a chance in which the universe will stop expanding and then ...
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122 views

Is causality a total order?

I've read that it is physically not possible to violate causality defined as a total order on the spacetime graph. So I was wondering if at least causality can be broked down to a partial order and if ...
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15 views

Angular Optical Resolution [duplicate]

Can a series of optical telescopes from orbit (like the radio Event Horizon Telescope) see an object with higher resolution not possible with one telescope?
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129 views

With gravitational lensing could we see our selves from a right angle?

When looking at a black hole the ability to see ourselves is compromised by the small window for the light trajectory to come back to us. The light from the Earth that is bent by (almost) 180° and ...
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117 views

Simple metric of stellar collapse

Is there a simple metric (Lorentzian manifold) known which exhibits the formation of a black hole while not having any white hole counterpart and which moreover satisfies the strong and dominant ...
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77 views

Proving that Killing form contractions with geodesics are constants of motion

I want to prove the fundamental theorem of Killing forms, namely that $$\frac{d}{d \lambda} \Big( \frac{d P^{\mu}}{d \lambda} \xi_{\mu}(P(\lambda)) \Big) = 0 $$ If $P(\lambda)$ is a Geodesic curve,...
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71 views

Einstein tensor as a conserved current?

As is well-known, the ``traditional" conserved quantities (energy, momentum...) are Noether currents whose conservation depends on the existence of various Killing fields in Minkowski space. In ...
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130 views

Why can't gravitational force have repulsive counter part?

The valleys in the space-time curvature signifies the existence of an attractive body which causes the curvature. So why can't we say that the hills in the fabric of space-time is a source of ...
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relativity, light, transformations [duplicate]

is the light itself a reference frame in special relativity? Can we write the special relativity transformations between a photon and other reference frames? If we can't then what other transformation ...
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4answers
256 views

Can there be acceleration without velocity?

If I was in a spaceship continually accelerating at $9.81m/s^2 =1g$ in a straight line, I would reach near light speed within a year. On Earth, we are in a gravitational field of $1g$, which ...
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94 views

The Riemannian Penrose Inequality in higher dimensions

I am reading the proof of the Riemannian Penrose Inequality by Huisken and Ilmamen in The Inverse Mean Curvature Flow and the Riemannian Penrose Inequality and I was wondering why they restrict their ...
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411 views

Zero $g$ in a black hole?

At the very centre of the Earth, masses cancel each other out, creating an effective zero-$g$ environment. Would the same happen in a black hole?
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201 views

What is the physical meaning of the Levi-Civita connection?

I'm taking a course in General Relativity and I have studied the fundamental theorem of Riemannian geometry: Let $M$ be a manifold with metric $g$. Then exists an unique torsion-free connection $\...
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123 views

I do not understand this comparison?

It is frequently discussed that to find solutions having some sort of supersymmetry is easier than solving Einstein’s equations of motion. I do not understand this discussion though. Specifically, ...
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153 views

Why supergravity is extension of GR?

Why is it that supergravity is an extension to general relativity? In what ways? What I have read until now says the following: GR got itself concerned with gravity after the revolution of special ...
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49 views

Rocket or elevator?

I realize the gravitational effect in a rocket can be equivalent to the gravity on the surface of Earth. I always hear there is no way to tell the difference between the two but if there were what are ...
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The spatial Schwarzschild metric

The Schwarzschild spacetime is defined by the following line element \begin{equation*} ds^2 = - \left( 1 - \frac{2m}{r} \right)dt^2 + \frac{1}{1-\frac{2m}{r}}dr^2 + r^2 d\theta^2 + r^2\sin \theta^2 d\...
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Using a black hole as a mirror?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENd8Sz0AFOk The YouTube video is a good example how the gravity of this merging binary black holes bend light around themselves.
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100 views

Black hole merger orbital speed

If a ship is close to a black hole and we see it getting slower to the point if could see them not for red shift would almost stop moving. Then how fast is the little black hole moving in this video? ...
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59 views

See behind the black hole

Why in this video does the 2nd black hole appears to change size and appear larger the farther away it gets? How can you see behind it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENd8Sz0AFOk
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Black hole and relativity [duplicate]

This link shows movement around the black whole. It seems impossible for them to move this fast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENd8Sz0AFOk If we were able to watch a ship of people go into a black ...
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140 views

What exactly does the Kretschmann scalar implies and how does it work?

From the General Relativity class lectures I understood that this particular invariant, the Kretschmann scalar namely $$R_{\mu\nu\lambda\rho} R^{\mu\nu\lambda\rho}$$ is really important because, ...
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How can I prove that for a Killing vector $\nabla^a \nabla_a \xi^\mu = -R^b_a \xi^a$? [closed]

I'm taking a course on General Relativity and I'm trying to prove that for a Killing vector field $\xi^\mu$ the following equation holds: $$\nabla^a \nabla_a \xi^\mu = -R^\mu_a \xi^a$$ Where $R_ab$ ...
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Question 17 in section 2.9 in Schutz's A First Course in General Relativity [closed]

The question is as follows: Prove that any timelike vector for which $U^0>0$ and $\vec{U}\cdot \vec{U} = -1$ is the 4-velocity of some world line. I need to show that there exists a 4-vector $\...
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What is the gravitational pull if one has as much mass above them as below them? [duplicate]

I understand the previous responses to other answering if you were at the center of a planet, would you be weightless? Yes you would due to the forces of gravity pulling at you from all sides. ...
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49 views

Proper time and asymptotic flatness

I'm trying to understand the concept of asymptotic flatness in general relativity, and came up with the following question: If the proper time $\tau$ is infinite for a timelike geodesic, does it mean ...
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37 views

Breakdown of correspondence principle: null dust case

In both quantum and general relativity theories we are used to provide results in the "limited" conditions to demonstrate a correspondence between new and old formalism. For instance deflection of ...
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Comparing durations for two simply described motions in Schwarzschild geometry

I have some basic qualitative questions about the setup with: one satellite $A$ orbiting freely, on a stable circular path, a spherical non-rotating object of mass $M$; and another participant $B$ ...
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Why are Killing fields relevant in physics?

I'm taking a course on General Relativity and the notes that I'm following define a Killing vector field $X$ as those verifying: $$\mathcal{L}_Xg~=~ 0.$$ They seem to be very important in physics ...
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54 views

How can I prove that the covariant acceleration is normal to the velocity?

I'm trying to show that the covariant acceleration is normal to the velocity for a massive particle. I think that I understand why this has to happen because I understand the covariant acceleration as ...
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1answer
144 views

Diffeomorphism group vs. $GL(4,\mathbb{R})$ in General Relativity

I am quite confused with the groups Diff$(M)$ and $GL(4,\mathbb{R})$ in the context of general relativity. I understand that the symmetries of GR are the transformations that leave the equations ...
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How does bending in space-time caused by mass energy translate into acceleration of object? [duplicate]

Let say we have 2 similar apples separated by a distance apart, just their mass energy alone is sufficient to cause bending in the space-time. I think it is this bending in the space-time that cause ...
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190 views

What allows us to assume spacetime is flat when no normal matter is present?

Dark matter causes a bend in spacetime. We see this through gravitational lensing. But what allows us to assume spacetime is flat when no normal matter is present? Why can't we say that dark matter ...
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Variation of Bazanski Lagrangian

The Bazanski Lagrangian is defined as $$ L=g_{\alpha \beta }U^{\alpha }\frac{D\psi ^{\beta }}{Ds} $$ and $$ U^{\alpha }=\frac{\mathrm{d} x^{\alpha }}{\mathrm{d} s} $$ $x^{\alpha }$ is the ...
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Why does the curvature of space decrease during inflation but increase after it?

According to the Friedmann equation, curvature of space will increase with time/expansion of space, but I've also read that during Inflation, the expansion caused the Universe to flatten out. What is ...
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157 views

Is there a Maupertuis principle for General Relativity?

The motion of a point particle in classical mechanics is given by Newton's equation, $\mathbf{F}=m\mathbf{a}$. Suppose all forces considered are conservative and we have a constant total energy $h$. ...
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Can gravitational effects create a plane of the ecliptic?

Lots of questions about the why of the plane of the ecliptic, and good answers, but I was wondering about gravitational effects. If we picture for example, Saturn as being a few degrees above the ...
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1answer
553 views

Do light waves precisely follow null geodesic paths in General Relativity?

In special relativity one may show that a plane wave solution of Maxwell's equations (in a vacuum), of the form $A^a=C^a\mathrm{e}^{\mathrm{i}\psi}$ has the following properties: The normal $k:=\...
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1answer
109 views

How did inflation lead to the expansion of space?

Big bang Theory gives a scientific explanation of the evolution of the Universe, where the scientific picture of it starts with Universe(space) uniformly filled with matter and energy, already ...
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2answers
109 views

For a giving metric in GR, how do we learn which observer the metric refer to?

For example, I have been told the Schwarzschild observer is far away from blackhole and events,(namely, I think, the observer is static at infinity of the coordinate.) And the second example,the ...
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1answer
362 views

Simple quadrupole field not yet in Lorenz gauge?

I'm having trouble reproducing some of the results regarding gravitational waves in the Wald's General Relativity. In section 4.4 of gravitational radiation, eq.4.4.49 shows the far-field generated ...
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1answer
141 views

A question about gravity [duplicate]

Some time ago I encouraged by 11 year old son to watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and subsequently Cosmos: A personal Voyage with Carl Sagan, as well as other astronomy ...
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1answer
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How does time look relatively in a gravity well? [duplicate]

Relativistically, when two frames, say A & B are moving apart inertially, then the clock of B will look slow compared to that of A; and the same holds for the clock of A from B. What does the ...