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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Hermitian Metric and Geodesics

Why isn't general relativity developed with a Hermitian metric and a theory of complex valued paths and geodesics? The concept of arc length and geodesic suffers under a pseudo-Riemannian metric. My ...
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76 views

Recommendation on books with problems for general relativity?

I am reading Sean Carroll's book on GR and have read the first two chapters, which are on manifolds and differential geometry. However, there are only 12 problems for both chapters. In fact, there ...
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44 views

Invariance of the low energy effective string action

It is well known that the action of General Relativity $$S = \frac{1}{16\pi G}\int R\;\sqrt{-g} d^D X$$ is invariant under "diffeomorphisms". The low energy effective action for bosonic strings is ...
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If a point r lies in the boundary of the chronological future of another point p, why does the chronological future of r belong to that of p?

I am studying the global causality of the spacetime. Here, I come across a problem. Suppose a point $r\in \partial I^+(p)$. $I^+(p)$ is the chronological future of a different point $p$ in ...
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20 views

Measuring speed of an object relative to what? [duplicate]

I understand that everything in the universe is moving through spacetime and the spacetime vector is equal for all the objects. So if If something is moving at speed of light, the mass of it is zero ...
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Will the center of mass of the whole system change when object swims on curved surface?

In the example given here, the object can move on the frictionless surface of the sphere by changing its shape periodically. So will the center of mass of the whole system change after the object ...
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222 views

It's established that universal energy is not constant. But is the net change positive or negative?

Dark energy is density is constant and that's something like 75% of the universe, so I am pretty sure that the net change must be positive. But photons redshift and so loose energy. I assume other ...
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81 views

Doubt regarding stress-energy tensor definition

I'm having some trouble understanding the following definition of the stress energy tensor: $T^{\mu\nu}$ is the flux of four-momentum $p^{\mu}$ across a surface of constant $x^{\nu}$. Here's an ...
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83 views

Is Energy attracted to Energy?

Newton taught us that bodies with mass attract each other according to the universal law of gravitation (mass-mass attraction) and Einstein taught us that mass and energy are equivalent though his ...
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42 views

What is static mass increase effect predicted by General relativity?

According to wikipedia, static mass increase is predicted by Einstein's General Relativity. In the book 'The Meaning of Relativity' by Einstein, inertia will increase when the object is near a ...
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178 views

Geometric meaning of parallel transport

The definition of parallel transport of a vector $v^b$ along a curve $C$ with tangent field $\it{t}^a$ is given by Wald's GR as $$t^a \nabla_a v^b = 0$$ Is it correct to think of $\nabla_a v^b$ as ...
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Is energy-momentum of curvature a boundary/holographic density?

Since the beginnings of General Relativity, we have had this awkward, unholy separation of the universe in marble versus wood. divergence of the stress-energy momentum holds at all points of ...
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320 views

What is gravity and what causes objects to act against it?

So I understand the concept of gravity, in that it's not actually a force, but more of a displacement in the spacetime grid. An object with a big enough mass will bend the spacetime, causing smaller ...
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447 views

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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94 views

Gravity: Is there curved space besides curved spacetime?

Wikipedia: Curved spaces play an essential role in General Relativity where gravity is often visualized as curved space. Is the Wikipedia article "curved space" talking about curved space or ...
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37 views

Does the curvature of spacetime by gravity affect homogeneity and isotropy of the space of the universe?

The FLRW metric starts with the assumption of homogeneity and isotropy of space.(Wikipedia) FLRW metrics of the universe have no or only very weak curvature - It is curved space. In contrast, ...
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1answer
112 views

Non-trivial scalar quantity

Is there any scalar quantity made of only the Christoffel symbols, determinant of a metric and tensors, not derivatives? In other words, can we construct a scalar quantity which cannot be written in ...
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1answer
100 views

Boundary term in Einstein-Hilbert action

Why is the boundary term in the Einstein-Hilbert action, the Gibbons-Hawking-York term, generally "missing" in General Relativity courses, IMPORTANT from the variational viewpoint, geometrical setting ...
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453 views

Positivity of Total Gravitational Energy in GR

I read the following statement in the introduction to an article: Over the last 30 years, one of the greatest achievements in classical general relativity has certainly been the proof of the ...
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Shine a beam of light horizontally, drop a stone from same height - would both hit the ground at the same time?

If a beam of light was shone horizontally, and at the same time a stone was dropped from the same height, would they both hit the ground a the same time? Of course on Earth they would not, but let's ...
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81 views

Can two distinct events occur at precisely the same moment in time?

I am writing a simulation and am having difficulty resolving the order in which two distinct forces occur. The simulation will give different results if the forces are applied to the state in ...
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30 views

Penrose diagram (Reissner-Nordstrom metric)

I try to derive the Penrose diagram for the Reissner-Nordstrom metric $$ \text d s^2 = -\frac{(r-r_+)(r-r_-)}{r^2}\text d t^2 + \frac{r^2}{(r-r_+)(r-r_-)}\text d r^2 + r^2 \text d \Omega^2\;,\qquad ...
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28 views

Assigning an asymptotic power to the volume form?

I was reading about the covariant theory of asymptotic symmetries in this review: http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0111246 I have a question about eq. (1.8), but before I ask I should describe what the ...
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Definition of stress at the microscale

Take, for simplicity, a Lennard-Jones fluid below the critical temperature, which is to say that there is a phase separation into fluid and gas and thus an interface is formed. The macroscale picture ...
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95 views

Physical visualisation of curvature

I was wondering-how do you visualise curvature in the context of general relativity. The gravity well and trampoline analogies are quite wrong, so I want a more realistic approach to it (say, the way ...
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197 views

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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Gravitation is not force?

Einstein said that gravity can be looked at as curvature in space- time and not as a force that is acting between bodies. (Actually what Einstein said was that gravity was curvature in space-time and ...
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How close can an observer approach the black hole in an unpowered flyby without falling into it?

In classical mechanics by choosing the right trajectory you can approach a planet arbitrarily closely, if there is no atmosphere or anything to slow you down, you can approach the surface then fly ...
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44 views

Stress-Energy Tensor Integral Identity [closed]

I'm attempting to work a problem in Schutz's A First Course in General Relativity, and I'm running into something curious with tensor indices. The problem states: Use the Identity ...
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1answer
58 views

White Hole Formation [duplicate]

How does a white hole form in nature if it were to exist? No knowledge of general relativity or advanced mathematics but doing a researching a physics project and need a basic explanation.
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183 views

Really nothing special when falling into a black hole?

It has been said time and again, that an observer who falls into a black hole will not notice anything special. Is this really true? There is of course the problem with the tidal forces, but I ...
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1answer
119 views

Does the definition of the SI unit “second” require that possible perturbation of primary frequency standards should be measured?

The definition of the SI unit "second" is stated as The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground ...
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631 views

Are quantum mechanics and general relativity predictions of string theory, or were they built into the theory from the start?

Are quantum mechanics and general relativity predictions of string theory, or were they built into the theory from the start? If the former, why aren't tests of GR and QM considered simultaneous tests ...
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Definition of “nonlinear” in the context of perturbation of gravity

What exactly is the definition of a nonlinear perturbation when applied to a background spacetime metric? I have seen so called "linear perturbations" which look like $$ds^2 = -(1+2\Phi)dt^2 ...
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62 views

Spin connection and covariant derivative

How to prove explicitly (i.e., to don't postulate it) that by including Lorentz indices $a$ the covariant derivative $D_{\mu}$ looks like $$ D_{\mu}A^{\nu a} = \partial_{\mu}A^{\nu a} + ...
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2answers
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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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No hair theorem and black hole entropy

The no hair theorem says that black holes rapidly converge to a state that is completely described just by their mass, spin and charge. Black hole thermodynamics says that the black hole entropy is ...
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1answer
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Hawking radiation (black hole evaporation) [duplicate]

I understand that one of the simplified ways of looking at Hawking radiation is a pair of virtual particles close to the event horizon (but outside of it). The particle with negative energy falls into ...
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1answer
78 views

Question on Einstein's derivation of the equation of the geodesic line?

While reading one of the original paper on general relativity written by Albert Einstein, titled the foundations of general relativity, I came across the following passage in pages 167-168, or pages ...
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1answer
50 views

What does this Hodge dual symbol $\star_3$ mean?

We know that in this $$\star {f(...)}$$ the $\star$ represents the Hodge dual. But in this: $\star_3 f(...)$ what does specifically the $\star_3$ symbol mean?
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Should all theories of gravity have Schwarzschild solution?

A consistent theory of gravity must include the Newton's classical theory of gravity as a weak field approximation. Moreover, to satisfy the experiments in the solar system, the Schwarzschild ...
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545 views

What is space made of?

General Relativity posits that matter curves spacetime, such that geodesics point towards the object in question, hence, gravity. Now, how does matter do this? What is spacetime "made of", anyway, ...
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536 views

Can a metric in General Relativity, Supergravity, String Theory, etc., be asymmetric?

Why is it that all problems I encountered until now have metrics that when represented in a matrix form turn out to be symmetric? Aren't there asymmetric matrices representing some metrics?
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Tensors as multilinear maps

Sean Carrol's in his book on GR introduces tensors as a multilinear map of a set of dual vectors and vectors onto R. I usually think of tensors as a multidimensional array of numbers with fixed ...
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1answer
43 views

Can a free falling observer localize the event horizon by calculations?

I'm think that in general relativity we can always pass the one curve in one coordinate system for another coordinate system. My intuition say that the free falling observer locate the event horizon ...
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67 views

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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41 views

Schwarzschild Solution Convention

In looking at the components of the Schwarzschild Metric, one finds $ g_{00} = (1 - \frac{r_s}{r})c^2 $. Wikipedia states that $r$ is measured as the circumference, divided by $2π$, of a sphere ...
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Visualizing GR spacetime distortion in 1+1D spacetime instead of 2D space

Usually spacetime distortion due to mass in GR is visualized as a rubber sheet distorted under some massive object, like this: source or as shown in this link. But what has always bothered me is ...
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Is topology of universe observable?

There is an idea that the geometry of physical space is not observable(i.e. it can't be fixed by mere observation). It was introduced by H. Poincare. In brief it says that we can formulate our ...
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Duality and 1 forms

If a Killing vector is equal to: $$X= -\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\partial _t + \frac{\alpha}{\sqrt{2}}\partial_1.$$ But as far as I know is that the dual of a vector is a 1-form, so can I represent that ...