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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Conservation in space-time curvature

Pardon this possibly naive question. I'm starting to poke around in the topic of General Relativity (as soon as I can pull myself back up out of the vortex of underlying mathematics that I've gotten ...
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1answer
178 views

A clock in freefall

Time dilation calculated using Schwarzschild metric for a non rotating spherical body is: $$t_0=t_f\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}}$$ For such a non rotating spherical body, what would the time dilation of ...
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17 views

Are closed timelike curves generic feature of ANEC-violating stress-energy tensor?

Kip Thorne has shown that in order to create closed timelike curves (CTCs), one needs stress-energy tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$ that violates averaged null energy condition (ANEC). Will $T^{\mu\nu}$ with ...
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2answers
69 views

Rectifying incomplete popular notions in cosmology

In looking at the answers to this question regarding light from distant galaxies ever being visible to us: Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us? I came across a ...
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42 views

In KK theory, is proper time defined using the 5 dimensional or the 4 dimensional line element?

Let's consider five dimensional KK theory. This is Klein's metric $\hat{g}_{AB}= \begin{pmatrix} g_{00}+A_{0}A_{0}&g_{01}+A_{0}A_{1}&g_{02}+A_{0}A_{2}&g_{03}+A_{0}A_{3}&A_ 0\\ ...
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58 views

Gravitational Length Contraction

General Relativity predicts that a clock at rest in a gravitational field will run slower than a clock in free fall. Similarly, will a vertical ruler on the earth's surface be shorter than a ruler in ...
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1answer
75 views

At what speed will objects hit a singularity? [duplicate]

I have read in numerous places like here that an object in free fall into a black hole will be travelling the speed of light when it passes the event horizon. How is it possible to go this fast? ...
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44 views

Radial Null Geodesics in Static Maximally Symmetric DeSitter Space

Given a DeSitter-space metric from the line element: $$ ds^2=\left(1-\frac{r^2}{R^2}\right)dt^2-\left(1-\frac{r^2}{R^2}\right)^{-1}dr^2-r^2d\Omega^2 $$ Where $R=\sqrt{\frac{3}{\Lambda}}$, and ...
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35 views

Bondi-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) symmetry of asymptotically flat space-times

I started studying the BMS symmetry in connection with the paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.2229 and there are a few strange things I noticed. First of all, from reading the original papers by Bondi, ...
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2answers
36 views

Spin of anti-particles

Pretty simple question (I think), probably stemming from my lack of formal background in physics. I've been reading questions like this one related to attraction with respect to spin (a term I'm not ...
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234 views

Does a 4-current J determine a unique maxwell-faraday F tensor up to isometry?

Maxwell's equations on a pseudo-Riemannian manifold $(M,g_{ab})$ say, $$d_a F_{bc} = \nabla_{[a}F_{bc]} = 0,$$ $$\nabla_a F^{ab} = J^b,$$ where $d_a$ is the exterior derivative, $\nabla_a$ is the ...
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4answers
114 views

What experiment would disprove Friedmann model of cosmology?

What experiment would disprove Friedmann model of cosmology? As a layman, I have read a lot of articles and threads in specialized forums. I am probably wrong, but I developed an impression that that ...
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1answer
118 views

Is “now” the bounding edge of the universe in the time dimension? [duplicate]

The universe is expanding in the 3 spatial dimensions, could it not also be expanding in time dimension. In other words, are we stuck in 3 dimensions because we are riding the "bow wave" of the big ...
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53 views

BTZ Black Hole Central Charge and Conformal Weight

I have been trying to reproduce a calculation (equation 4.12) in this paper http://arxiv.org/pdf/1107.2678v1.pdf by Carlip reviewing the derivation of the effective central charge of the BTZ Black ...
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42 views

Unknown Function in the Tolman-Bondi-de Sitter Metric

I've been working with some dust solutions in General Relativity, practicing calculating the Riemann curvature tensor, and I came across an odd metric: the Tolman-Bondi-de Sitter metric. A quick ...
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46 views

Irreducible representation for the massless particle with helicity 2 and the Weyl tensor

As it can be shown, the equations for the irrep with zero mass and helicity 2, -2 respectively can be given in a form $$ \tag 1 \partial^{\dot {b}a}C_{abcd} = 0, \quad ...
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56 views

Misner String Singularity

In correspondence to AdS black hole solutions, what does it mean by Misner string singularities? And when there are no Misner string singularities, what does this mean in terms of curvature ...
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34 views

Can you explain the rationale of FLRW cosmology and the expansion of space? [duplicate]

I have read here and there about Friedman equations and that they interpret/simplify GR cosmology. The main idea is that mass curves spacetime, then there are the stress/energy tensor and the density ...
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26 views

Caustic and Singularities in General Relativity

What is the relation between the formation of caustics of a family of null geodesics and the existence of an incomplete null geodesic?
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1answer
48 views

Quantum uncertainty of a singularity: A Black Hole Problem

A black hole in GR seems to have a sharply defined radius. Of zero, that is since all the mass has been compressed into the infinitely dense center point. However, shouldn't the fuzziness of quantum ...
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2answers
65 views

Static geodesics in GR

Can we find static geodesics of the type $$x^{\nu}=x_0^{\nu}+\delta_0^{\nu}\tau$$ in some space-time other than Minkowski's?
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77 views

Does the formula $ \theta = \frac{v}{c} $ to find out deflection of light make sense?

I read in reliable sites that GR and classical physics calculate the angle of deflection in the same manner. The formula is almost identical: $$\theta = \frac{4GM}{c^2*r} \rightarrow \frac{4GM}{c*r} = ...
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128 views

Why does the second law of thermodynmics only occur in the time dimension?

If I break an egg, how broken it is depends on "when" I am not "where" I am. Why is the time dimension special?
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1answer
96 views

Regarding Non-renormalizatibility of GR

I've been doing some reading trying to get to a better understanding of some renormalization issues with the Einstein-Hilbert action. But, something odd came into mind that I'm hoping some users may ...
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58 views

Parity invariance of Einstein-Hilbert Lagrangian

How can we show that the Einstein-Hilbert action is Parity invariant? $$ S_{EH}=\int \sqrt{-g}R d^4x $$
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59 views

The universe could have created itself? [duplicate]

So in this Youtube video http://youtu.be/ZjaaSUHG7Xo The guy says, around 6:15, that the total energy of the universe is zero because of gravitational potential (or something like that i dont ...
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1answer
91 views

Calculating Hubble's constant at earlier times [duplicate]

I want to calculate Hubble's constant at some redshift $z$. I have found the following formula: $$H^2=H_0^2\left(\Omega_m\left(1+z\right)^3+\Omega_{\Lambda}\right)$$ Now it's obvious that at higher ...
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1answer
62 views

Deflection of light by the Sun

Can you give details of a recent experiment of deflection of light by the Sun? What is the distance from the surface of the Sun and what is the exact value of the angle of deflection?
3
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1answer
184 views

Light Deflection by a Black Hole

I think I've come across a paradox while studying general relativity. Wikipedia states that the deflection angle of light by a point mass is $4GM/(c^2b)$. ...
3
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1answer
80 views

Why do we do partial and not covariant differentiation with $x^{\nu}$?

Why when taking the velocity vector we make $$u^{\nu}=\frac{d}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ and not $$u^{\nu}=\frac{\nabla}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ where in the last equation I meant the covariant derivative. Why?
3
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2answers
134 views

Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes

Does Huygen's principle hold in even dimensional (2m+1,1) curved spacetimes, or are there certain necessary conditions for it to hold? In other words, if I have Cauchy data for a field satisfying the ...
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94 views

What are the implications for the AdS/Cft program if AdS is unstable?

To my understanding recent progress in the study of the non linear stability of AdS spacetime suggest that $AdS$ might be unstable. If this is true, what are the physical and mathematical ...
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79 views

GR exercise: falling particles on earth's surface

I'm having some trouble with Exercise 5.1 in Shapiro's BH,WD&NS book, which goes as follows: Consider two particles of mass $m$ at distance $r$ and $r+h$, such that $h\ll r$, on the same ...
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0answers
41 views

“Dictionnary” between QFTs in D and D-1 dimensions?

Considering Einstein equations, suppose, for instance, that the RHS, the stress-energy tensor, is uniquely due to the electromagnetic field. Now, if we imagine a quantized version of these Einstein ...
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1answer
148 views

What are the conditions around Sgr A* for a space ship trying to plunge into the central black hole?

The possible problems for a space ship near an active galactic nucleus are the following: tidal forces, hot plasma accreting into the black hole and "jetting" out, radiation, and magnetic fields. If I ...
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26 views

Is gravitational acceleration less affected by relativistic mass increase? [duplicate]

Acceleration due to mechanical force will lessen due to relativistic mass increase as kinetic energy becomes significant near c. But if acceleration is gravitational, the gain in relativistic mass ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Can an underdensity in space act as a negative matter density powering a warp drive?

Consider a homogeneous isotropic universe filled with a perfect fluid with density $\rho$ and pressure $P = \rho/w$. E.g. for $w=-1$ we get a universe equivalent to one with "vacuum energy" or with ...
3
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61 views

Is the “Force” of Gravity Simply Hamilton's Principle on a Curved Spacetime?

It's my understanding that General Relativity abstracts away the concept of gravity as a force, and instead describes it as a feature of spacetime by which massive objects cause curvature. Then it ...
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Inside a huge sphere, which is being converted to a black hole

Suppose the following scenario: You reside inside a huge stable spherical star with non-lethal environment at its core. The object is so huge and massive, that its radius is only slightly above its ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How could we travel to the nearest supermassive Black hole?

I have just watched a trailer for the upcoming movie Interstellar and started to wonder about some physics involved. In the end of the trailer, they are obviously plunging into a Black hole hoping to ...
2
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2answers
96 views

Is Moon really rotating about its axis?

Wikipedia says yes but on Newtonian arguments. From general relativistic point of view Moon is not rotating but moving along geodesic trajectory. And like parallel transport of a vector (pointing to ...
2
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1answer
88 views

parity invariance of Einstein, Maxwell and Dirac Lagrangians

How can we show that Einstein, Maxwell and Dirac Lagrangians are parity invariant?
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1answer
85 views

Killing Equation, trouble with tensor algebra

I'm attempting to follow a proof that the commutator of two Killing vectors is itself a Killing vector. The source that I've posted is from my course notes. I've highlighted the part I'm stuck on. ...
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130 views

The Alcubierre drive and closed timelike curves

Under what conditions would it be possible to create closed timelike curves, assuming an Alcubierre drive could exist? Would it be possible to have the latter without the former? See here for ...
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0answers
55 views

Higher-Dimensional Metrics in (Hyper)-Spherical Coordinates

I want to compute the components of the Riemann curvature tensor (for a case similar to the Schwarzschild solution) in 4 + 1 dimensions, but I want to use a higher-dimensional analogue of spherical ...
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2answers
47 views

Charge Distribution in Reissner-Nordström Black Holes

In an electrically charged black hole, such as the one described by the Reissner-Nordström metric (i.e. with no angular momentum), where would the electric charge be situated (neglecting any charged ...
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1answer
46 views

The commutator of Killing vectors

I'm going over an assignment for my general relativity course. My solution to the question below strikes me as too short, considering that it appeared in the "longer questions" section of the ...
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1answer
45 views

Derivation of f(R) field equations, problem with integration by parts

I am following the derivation of the field equations on the the Wikipedia page for $f(R)$ gravity. But I do not understand the following step: $$ \delta S = \int \frac{1}{2\kappa} \sqrt{-g} ...
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2answers
108 views

How can space be euclidean when light bends?

I have read people arguing that tridimensional space sections of space time continuum (whatever its number of dimensions) appears to be euclidean from empirical evidence. I cannot reconcile it with my ...
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49 views

Lagrangian for FRW metric

For the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+a^2(t)(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2),$$ $$L= \sqrt{-g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{dx^\alpha}{dt}\frac{dx^\beta}{dt}}$$ How does this become $$L= \sqrt{1-a^2 (\frac{dx}{dt})^2}~? $$ I guess ...