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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Can space-time be defined by the requirement that the physical laws are simple?

When I was student I was told that time is defined by the requirement that the physical laws are simple. For example, in classical mechanics time can be defined by the requirment that the velocity of ...
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1answer
143 views

Does space-time have a projection to time?

I get confused when I see expressions like "the universe is $x$ years old" or "$10^{-2}$ seconds after the big bang" since it seems to me that relativity shows such statements don't have meaning. Is ...
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2answers
290 views

Effect of gravitation on light

Einstein predicted that the gravitational force can act on light. This was verified in one solar eclipse that light from a star near to the sun's disc bent due to Sun's gravity as predicted. Since ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
414 views

Does gravitation of a sphere equal gravitation of a point?

Under Newtonian model of gravity, a perfect sphere creates the same gravitation field as a point mass in its center. General Relativity describes gravitation differently. How much this difference ...
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827 views

Does gravity require strings?

OK, before I ask my question, let me frame it with a few (uncontroversial?) statements: The low-field-limit plane-wave solution to Einstein's equations is helicity-2. In the early days of string ...
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266 views

Calculating position in space assuming general relativity

Suppose two pointed masses are given in space. Suppose further that one of the masses has a given velocity at (local) time 0. Is there a way to compute its position in a future time? Neglecting ...
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1answer
719 views

2nd order variation of Hilbert-Einstein action + Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term

While the first order metric variation of Hilbert-Einstein action plus Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term is well-known and takes the form: $\delta S_{HE}+\delta S_{GHY}=-\frac{1}{16\pi G}\int d^3x ...
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244 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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447 views

Length contraction in rotating frame?

If an observer were to rotate around a point at near light speeds, what sort of length contraction would he observe the universe undergo?
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191 views

If you removed every particle from space…? [closed]

I'm trying to find something Einstein (I think) said about time...It was something like.. "If you removed every particle from space and were left with only one pocket watch (clock, timepiece?), time ...
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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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2answers
274 views

How can one reconcile the temperature of a black hole with asymptotic flatness?

A stationary observer very close to the horizon of a black hole is immersed in a thermal bath of temperature that diverges as the horizon is approached. $$T^{-1} = 4\pi \sqrt{2M(r-2M)}$$ The ...
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2answers
2k views

What experimental proof has been found of Einstein's theory?

As a casual science reader, I've always found the implications of relativity (inconsistent clocks after near-light-speed travel and various space-time paradoxes) to be confusing and magical-sounding. ...
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1answer
340 views

A question on an assumption of space-time

"A four-dimensional differentiable (Hausdorff and paracompact) manifold $M$ will be called a space time if it possesses a pseudo-Riemannian metric of hyperbolic normal signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and a ...
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5answers
2k views

Conservation law of energy and Big Bang?

Did the law of conservation of energy apply to the earliest moments of the Big Bang? If so, what theoretical physics supports this? I hear that Einstein's theory of relativity disputes the law of ...
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2answers
211 views

a question about singularities in gravity and Physics in general

I had this doubt bugging my mind for a long time about singularities in Physics. I heard that R.Penrose and S.Hawking have proposed that there could be singularities at Blackholes and at the time of ...
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2answers
203 views

Question about gravity probe B

I have a question about the gravity probe B experiment. According to this site: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/04may_epic/ The measurements they made confirm Einsteins ...
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2answers
253 views

Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?

Would the vast and seemingly diffuse clouds of dark matter floating around our galaxy (and most others) absorb gravitational waves? Is this perhaps why we haven't detected any yet?
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3answers
2k views

Gravitational time dilation at the earth's center

I would like to know what happens with time dilation (relative to surface) at earth's center . There is a way to calculate it? Is time going faster at center of earth? I've made other questions ...
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3answers
281 views

Singularity-free stationary electro-vacuum solution

Let's say we have a spherically symmetric fluid: $$ T^{\alpha \beta} = \begin{bmatrix} \rho & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & p & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & p & 0 \\ 0 ...
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2answers
428 views

Brans-Dicke gravity and Black-Hole “vacuum”

The field equations of the Brans-Dicke gravity are $$\Box\phi = \frac{8\pi}{3+2\omega}T$$ $$G_{ab} = \frac{8\pi}{\phi}T_{ab}+\frac{\omega}{\phi^2} ...
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1answer
909 views

Voyager local time dilation (caused by gravity)

Voyager I, as an example, taking account gravity and setting aside effects of speed as cause of time dilation. If it is very far away from earth and sun, so then there must be a difference in the ...
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1answer
196 views

Is relativistic motion equivalent to fluctuating gravitational fields?

The theory of relativity makes very precise predictions about how an object's motion through space-time affects the passage of time for both the object and observers in other frames of reference. I ...
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5answers
311 views

In GR, how do particles know how to fall in instead of out of a gravitational well?

The geodesic equation (let's suppose that we're talking about massive particles, so I'll parameterize the path by proper time $\tau$) $\frac{d^2 x^\mu}{d \tau^2} + \Gamma^\mu_{\rho \sigma}\frac{d ...
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2answers
457 views

How can a point-like particle “feel” gravity, if locally the curvature of spacetime is always flat?

I imagine a point-like particle can only experience the local properties of spacetime. But locally there is no curvature and no gravity, as it is often stated that Locally, as expressed in the ...
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3answers
970 views

The Pioneer anomaly finally explained?

Pioneer 10 & 11 are robotic space probes launched by the NASA in the early 1970's. After leaving our solar system, an unusual deceleration of both spacecrafts has been measured to be approximately ...
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Does the recent Gravity Probe - B mission mean both the mass of an object and the spin of an object affect time?

I'm a non-engineer interested in the recent GP-B mission results: http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/06/nasa-concludes-gravity-probe-b-space-time-experiment-proves-e/#disqus_thread Is it correct that ...
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3answers
313 views

How close can two extremal black holes with the same charge can get?

Here's a puzzle I have been pondering over. If we have two extremal black holes with the same charge, the electrostatic repulsion between them ought to cancel the gravitational attraction between ...
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2answers
248 views

Can the equivalence principle be tested to high precision in a human-sized lab falling through the horizon of a black hole, in principle?

Can the equivalence principle be tested to high precision in a human-sized lab falling through the horizon of a black hole, in principle? By "human-sized lab" I mean a lab the size of the ...
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1answer
168 views

Testing General Relativity

Ever since Einstein published his GR theory in 1916, there have been numerous experimental tests to confirm its correctness--and has passed with flying colors. NASA and Stanford have just announced ...
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281 views

Gravitational wave energy

Electromagnetic energy can be related to it's frequency via $E=h\nu$. Is there a comparable relationship between gravitational wave energy and frequency?
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227 views

Do all of our discoveries of black holes in nature depend on the validity of GR?

In the question Is there a black hole in the centre of the Milky Way? the answer by Motl seems to all but say the existence of that black hole is a fact (see also Evidence for black hole event ...
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641 views

Can colliding gravitational waves create a black hole?

Whether gravitational waves are real or just a coordinate freedom was argued in the early days of GR. Eventually the conclusion was that they were real. And if they are 'real' then I'm curious if... ...
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3answers
559 views

Anti-matter repelled by gravity - is it a serious hypothesis? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why would Antimatter behave differently via Gravity? Regarding the following statement in this article: Most important of these is whether ordinary gravity attracts ...
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3answers
569 views

Why is there a flux of radiation in the Hawking effect but not in the Unruh effect? (and other questions)

This question is slightly related to this one Do all massive bodies emit Hawking radiation?, which I think was poorly posed and so didn't get very useful answers. There are several questions in this ...
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1answer
472 views

How will the Twin Paradox become, for Time Dilation, if no acceleration was ever involved?

I think one catch in Twin Paradox was about the big acceleration that can turn back the traveling twin from light speed outward bound, to become light speed inward bound. What if there is strictly no ...
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3answers
778 views

Does the Unruh effect violate Mach's principle?

Mach's principle says that it is impossible to tell if something is accelerating unless there is something else in the universe to compare that motion to, which seems reasonable. However, if you had ...
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4answers
908 views

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 noninertial frame accelerating in the sense opposite to the gravitational field - is ...
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2answers
838 views

Is dark matter repulsive to dark matter? Why?

I think I saw in a video that if dark matter wasn't repulsive to dark matter, it would have formed dense massive objects or even black holes which we should have detected. So, could dark matter be ...
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1answer
713 views

Time dilation when falling into black hole

I know that if one astronaut falls into a black hole, then a distant observer will see him take an infinite amount of time to reach the event horizon (provided the observer can see light of ...
3
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2answers
361 views

General Relativity Paradox: Holding a string across a gravitational gradient

The paradox I envision involves two objects that exist in very different gravitational potentials -- one very high (eg: close to a black hole) and one very low (eg: far away from a black hole). Now, ...
9
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2answers
727 views

Can a non-euclidean space be descripted through an euclidean of higher dimension? so why use non-euclidean?

If you draw a big triangle in earth 2D surface you will have an aproximated spherical triangle, this will be a non euclidean geometry. but from a 3D perspective, for example the same triangle from ...
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Alcubierre Drive - Clarification on relativistic effects

On the Wikipedia article on the Alcubierre drive, it says: Since the ship is not moving within this bubble, but carried along as the region itself moves, conventional relativistic effects such as ...
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1answer
419 views

Math and Wormholes

Hopefully this is the correct forum for this. I felt that Physics Overflow may not be the correct place. I had a student approach me ask me what kinds of mathematics goes into the study of wormholes. ...
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2answers
380 views

Conical spacetime of cosmic string

Inspired by: Angular deficit The 2+1 spacetime is easier for me to visualize, so let's use that here. (so I guess the cosmic string is now just a 'point' in space, but a 'line' in spacetime) Edward ...
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5answers
447 views

Is special relativity an exact description of reality?

In discussing relativity with a (somewhat mathematical) friend the other day, I ran into a problem showing why special and/or general relativity could be considered as exact descriptions of reality ...
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A question about the relativity of time [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Invariant spacetime - distance - Circular Motion I understand that the closer something travels to the speed of light, that time will stretch by a factor, and distance ...
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1k views

Invariant spacetime - distance - Circular Motion

I understand that the closer something travels to the speed of light, that time will stretch by a factor, and distance will compress by the same factor. My question is, if something travels in a ...
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337 views

Calculation of the non-Gaussity parameter for primordial cosmological perturbations by the ADM Formalism

Maldacena has used the ADM Formalism in one of his papers (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0210603) in computing the the three point correlation function (i.e the non-Gaussianity) parameter for ...