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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Newton's Bucket

Newton's Bucket This thought experiment is originally due to Sir Isaac Newton. We have a sphere of water floating freely in an opaque box in intergalactic space, held together by surface tension and ...
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Is the total energy of the universe constant?

If total energy is conserved just transformed and never newly created, is there a sum of all energies that is constant? Why is it probably not that easy?
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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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910 views

Second Law of Black Hole Thermodynamics

I've been looking for a satisfying proof of this, and can't quite find it. I read the brief proof of the black hole area theorem in Wald, which is similar, but doesn't quite come down to the actual ...
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What did general relativity clarify about Mercury?

I frequently hear that Kepler, using his equations of orbital motion, could predict the orbits of all the planets to a high degree of accuracy -- except Mercury. I've heard that mercury's motion ...
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Does the speed of light vary in noninertial frames?

The speed of light is the same in all inertial frames. Does it change from a non-inertial frame to another? Can it be zero? If it is not constant in non-inertial frames, is it still bounded from ...
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In what limit does string theory reproduce general relativity? [duplicate]

In quantum mechanical systems which have classical counterparts, we can typically recover classical mechanics by letting $\hbar \rightarrow 0$. Is recovering Einstein's field equations (conceptually) ...
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Physical meaning of non-trivial solutions of vacuum Einstein's field equations

According to Einstein, the space-time is curved and the origin of the curvature is the presence of matter i.e. the presence of the energy-momentum tensor $T_{ab}$ in Einstein's field equations. If our ...
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952 views

Potential Energy in General Relativity

I often hear about how general relativity is very complicated because of all forms of energy are considered, including gravitation's own gravitational binding energy. I have two questions: In ...
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Would the inside of a black hole be like a giant mirror?

As any light reflected or emitted from objects inside a black hole (if it is possible to be there) does not leave the event horizon and comes back inside, would it be like seeing yourself? What I ...
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Is special relativity a special case of general relativity, qualitatively?

Since Einstein name his theory Special Relativity and General Relativity, there should be some expected relationship between them, particularly "Special Relativity" being a special case of the more ...
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Are gravitational time dilation and the time dilation in special relativity independent?

There are two kinds of time dilation: One because the other clock moves fast relative to me (special relativity). Another one because the other clock is in a stronger gravitational field (general ...
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How do Einstein's field equations come out of string theory?

The classical theory of spacetime geometry that we call gravity is described at its core by the Einstein field equations, which relate the curvature of spacetime to the distribution of matter and ...
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Deriving Birkhoff's Theorem

I am trying to derive Birkhoff's theorem in GR as an exercise: a spherically symmetric gravitational field is static in the vacuum area. I managed to prove that $g_{00}$ is independent of t in the ...
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568 views

Space Expansion vs. Relative Motion

Given 2 objects moving at some velocity $v$ relative to one another, is it possible to determine whether they are moving or whether the space between them is expanding?
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664 views

What is meant when it is said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic?

It is sometimes said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic. What is meant by each of these descriptions? Are they mutually exclusive, or does one require the other? And what implications rise ...
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2answers
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When does a singularity start to exist during a black hole formation?

Excuse me if the question is naïve. I am not a physicist. Let's imagine formation of a black hole from a homogeneous collapsing star. At certain moment when enough of matter is inside of a small ...
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Why is matter drawn into a black hole not condensed into a single point within the singularity?

When we speak of black holes and their associated singularity, why is matter drawn into a black hole not condensed into a single point within the singularity?
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Watching something fall into a black hole from far away

I am observing (theoretically) an object falling into a black hole from a safe distance away. My understanding is that from far away it appears as if the body will asymptotically approach the event ...
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Another faster-than-light question

Imagine we have something very heavy (i.e supermassive black hole) and some object that we can throw with 0.999999 speed of light (i.e proton). We are throwing our particle in the direction of hole. ...
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427 views

Books on cosmology

I am a 14 year old who is independently studying physics. I finished the book: Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity by Sean Carroll. I am specifically interested in cosmology, ...
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How does the friedmon solution to Einstein's equations resolve paradox of bounded infinities?

This article talks about a potential explanation of dark matter based on something called the "friedmon." I have no interest in the dark matter question, but the article has made me curious about ...
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556 views

Theory that gets rid of dark matter/energy

Is there any physics theory that either groups together gravity and dark energy/dark matter or eliminates dark energy/dark matter by modifying standard understanding of gravity or any force? If so, ...
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Time dilation at the Big Bang

At the time the Big Bang happened the matter had enormous density. According the GR (I may be wrong here) such density dilates time. If so, could it be that the time periods just after Big Bang which ...
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482 views

How much extra distance to an event horizon?

How much extra distance would I have to travel through space to get from Earth to a stellar mass event horizon? (compared to the same point in space without a black hole)
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What is the correct formula for gravitational time dilation for a satellite in a circular orbit?

In the Wikipedia article on Gravitational Time Dilation I see two formulae for the gravitational time dilation. One contains $\sqrt{1 - r_0/r}$ but the other $\sqrt{1 - 1.5 r_0/r}$. What formula ...
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3answers
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Speed of light originating from a star with gravitational pull close to black-hole strength?

Imagine you have a star which is on the brink of turning into a black hole. Lets say it is infinitely close to become a black hole, but not there yet. Since there is no event horizon, but a great ...
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1answer
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the higher you go the slower is ageing [duplicate]

as per to einstein as we go far from the earth the TIME tends to slow down , so it means when I am one metre above the earth's surface , the time has slow down for me as per ...
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Space expansion looking like time dilation

Space looks like time depending on the motion of the observer so I was going to ask if space expansion was the same as the unfolding of time, but this was asked on physics.stackexchange before and the ...
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At which point of the universe $R_{\mu \nu}=0$ if there is a source of gravitation (point mass)

Schwarschild found his solution to Einstein's field equations for vacuum ($T_{\mu \nu}=0$) by placing a point-mass in the center of origin. Since the Ricci tensor $R_{\mu \nu}$ and the Einstein ...
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Could gravity be an emergent property of nature?

Sorry if this question is naive. It is just a curiosity that I have. Are there theoretical or experimental reasons why gravity should not be an emergent property of nature? Assume a standard model ...
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How does “warp drive” not violate Special Relativity causality constraints?

I'm talking about this nonsense: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/06/11/this-is-the-amazing-design-for-nasas-star-trek-style-space-ship-the-ixs-enterprise/ Now, I'm aware that ...
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1answer
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Is String Theory formulated in flat or curved spacetime?

String Theory is formulated in 10 or 11 (or 26?) dimensions where it is assumed that all of the space dimensions except for 3 (large) space dimensions and 1 time dimension are a compact manifold with ...
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Why can't General Relativity be written in terms of physical variables?

I am aware that the field in General Relativity (the metric, $g_{\mu\nu}$) is not completely physical, as two metrics which are related by a diffeomorphism (~ a change in coordinates) are physically ...
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Can general relativity be completely described as a field in a flat space?

Can general relativity be completely described as a field in a flat space? Can it be done already now or requires advances in quantum gravity?
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Does a Weak Energy Condition Violation Typically Lead to Causality Violation?

In the answer to this question: ergosphere treadmills Lubos Motl suggested a straightforward argument, based on the special theory of relativity, to argue that light passing through a strong ...
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Is there a limit as to how fast a black hole can grow?

Astronomers find ancient black hole 12 billion times the size of the Sun. According to the article above, we observe this supermassive black hole as it was 900 million years after the formation of ...
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Can spacetime be non-orientable?

This question asks what constraints there are on the global topology of spacetime from the Einstein equations. It seems to me the quotient of any global solution can in turn be a global solution. In ...
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Extremal black hole with no angular momentum and no electric charge

A black hole will have a temperature that is a function of the mass, the angular momentum and the electric charge. For a fixed mass, Angular momentum and electric charge are bounded by the extremality ...
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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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Angular deficit

If one starts with a flat piece of paper, removes a wedge, and tapes the paper together, you get a cone. The angle of the removed wedge is called the "angular deficit". Now if this is done in 3 ...
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Why gauge theories have such a success?

[This question was inspired by a identical question asked on a other forum] Note that we may morally include general relativity in the gauge theories. We may have several (some are deliberately ...
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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 there a maximum possible acceleration?

I'm thinking equivalence principle, possibilities of unbounded space-time curvature, quantum gravity ...
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1answer
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Open problems in General Relativity [closed]

I would like to know if there are some open mathematical problems in General Relativity, that are important from the point of view of Physics. I mean is there something that still needs to be ...
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Explicit Variation of Gibbons-Hawking-York Boundary Term

Are there any references that present the explicit variation of the Hilbert-Einstein action plus the Hawking-Gibbons-York boundary term, and demonstrate the cancellation of the normal derivatives of ...
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Will an object always fall at an infinite speed in a black hole?

Most of you if not everybody will agree that the stronger the gravitational pull, the faster an object will fall. For example, on a planet with 50 times the gravity of Earth, any object will hit the ...
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What is the escape velocity of a Black Hole?

The escape velocity of Earth is $v=\sqrt{\frac {2GM}{R}}$, where $M$ is the mass of the Earth and $R$ it's radius (approximating it as a sphere), and is much less than light speed $c$. But I want to ...
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5D Ricci Curvature

As part of a hw problem for a class, we're supposed to be deriving the equivalence given in equation 2.3 of this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.5563. I was wondering if there is some special ...
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How does this thought experiment not rule out black holes?

How does the following brief thought experiment fail to show that general relativity (GR) has a major problem in regards to black holes? The full thought experiment is in my blog post. The post ...