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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How does Newton's 2nd law correspond to GR in the weak field limit?

I can only perform the demonstration from the much simpler $E = mc^2$. Take as given the Einstein field equation: $G_{\mu\nu} = 8 \pi \, T_{\mu\nu}$ ... can it be proved that Newton's formulation ...
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316 views

Freefall in/out of an enclosed environment

I've just been learning about Einstein, relativity, and the equivalence principle in Physics. I'm fascinated with the idea of being inside a free-falling enclosed environment (such as, e.g., rocket, ...
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1k views

How long would it take to travel through a wormhole?

Assuming wormholes exist and you put some matter into one, how long would it take to reach the other end versus how far apart the two ends are? Basically, by how much does a wormhole stretch ...
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254 views

Modification of de Donder gauge

The de Donder gauge is often used to simplify the linearised equations of motion of general relativity. If the metric is linearised as $g_{ab} = \bar g_{ab} + \gamma_{ab}$, then the de Donder gauge ...
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What are the limitations of the FLRW metric?

I was wondering, given how in any other area of life making an explosion spherically symmetric is more or less impossible is there any reason to expect that the universe is? I appreciate that the FLRW ...
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Entering a black hole, jumping into another universe---with questions

I'm quite familiar with SR, but I have very limited understanding in GR, singularities, and black holes. My friend, which is well-read and is interested in general physics, said that we can "jump" ...
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Why is Mendel Sachs's work not taken seriously? Or is it? [closed]

Back in college I remember coming across a few books in the physics library by Mendel Sachs. Examples are: General Relativity and Matter Quantum Mechanics and Gravity Quantum Mechanics from General ...
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728 views

What is a gauge transformation of the metric in GR?

I'm confused by this question: Why can't General Relativity be written in terms of physical variables? I can't quite see how you can make any change to the metric without either: (a) changing ...
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1answer
150 views

Do we need a quantum theory of gravity in order to describe photons blueshifted past planck energy?

If yes, then how does this accord with relativity: the laws of physics are the same in all reference frames? We can move from a reference frame in which the photon has near zero energy density, to a ...
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0answers
95 views

How complete is our understanding of general-relativistic solutions for extremal black holes?

Putting aside quantum mechanics (or at least putting aside the question of fermions), is our knowledge of extremal General-Relativity solutions good enough that we would be able to rule out a ...
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237 views

Why are geons unstable? Are there other problems with geons?

I read in various places geons are "generally considered unstable." Why? How solid is this reasoning? Is the reason geons are not studied much anymore because we can't make more progress without ...
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2answers
284 views

Could gravity hold electron charge together?

Could the gravitational force be what holds the charge of the electron together? It seems to be the only obvious possibility; what other ideas have been proposed besides side-stepping the issue and ...
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228 views

Could strings be geons?

Is it possible that string theory strings are geons? This may be an overly speculative or naive question, but is there an obvious reason why not? Both strings and geons seem to have roughly the same ...
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1answer
152 views

The Light Ray Bends Round!

Let's consider the equation y=x in the x-y rectangular Cartesian frame in flat space time. We use the transformations in the first quadrant: $$y=y'^2$$ $$x=x'$$ $$t=t'$$ For the first ...
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2answers
138 views

Torsion and gauge invariant EM kinetic term

Everytime I hear about adding torsion to GR, something struggles me: how do you create a kinetic term for the electromagnetic field that is still gauge-invariant? One of the consequences of torsion is ...
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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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Proof that Energy Momentum Tensor of Scalar Field Theory satisfies Weak Energy Condition

It's a question on Sean Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry, where we are supposed to prove that the energy momentum tensor of scalar field theory satisfies Weak Energy Condition (WEC). The energy ...
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705 views

Why is spacetime near a quantum black hole approximately AdS?

In this link, one of the answers contains the statement If you examine the space-time near a finite area quantum black hole, you will see an approximate AdS space. Presumably "approximate" ...
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1answer
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Why dynamic Casimir effect does not appear in static gravity field?

Dynamic Casimir effect tells us that a constantly-accelerated mirror should emit radiation due to interaction with vacuum. Following principle of equivalence, a similar mirror placed in static ...
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How can I vizualize and understand curved spaces in general relativity?

I'm taking a basic physics class and the teacher described space with a special table that has curves and black holes etc. He would throw a metal ball down onto it and the class would watch it circle ...
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General parameters of the stress energy tensor in local inertial frame

A general 4x4 symmetric tensor has 10 independent components. How many components are we free to prescribe in the local inertial frame? For example, relativistic dust is $\mbox{diag}(\rho c^2, 0, 0, ...
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Lagrangian for Euler Equations in general relativity

The stress energy tensor for relativistic dust $$ T_{\mu\nu} = \rho v_\mu v_\nu $$ follows from the action $$ S_M = -\int \rho c \sqrt{v_\mu v^\mu} \sqrt{ -g } d^4 x = -\int c \sqrt{p_\mu ...
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What is wrong in this representation of relative reference systems?

Up until now I've explained relative time to myself as looking at the 3D world from different four-dimensional perspectives, analogous to how looking at a 2D-ish object (eg. a sheet of paper) from ...
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546 views

Reducing General Relativity to Special Relativity in limiting case

I understand that general relativity is applicable to gravitational fields and special relativity is applicable to case when there is no gravity. But is there a derivation on how to reduce General ...
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1answer
818 views

If photons are deflected by a strong gravitational field, then how come photons do not have mass? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Explain how (or if) a box full of photons would weigh more due to massless photons It has been proved and showed through experiments that light can be bent by the Sun or ...
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3answers
527 views

Need some basic help with notation and the Christoffel symbols

Apologies in advance if some of the questions below seem overly simple. In an introductory GR book, I find the following expression for the autoparallel of the affine connection (the upper bound of ...
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323 views

how many times have the first photons lapped the universe?

I'm not really interested in the actual number of times, but rather an explanation of a closed Universe. How do we still measure the background radiation of the Big Bang? Those electromagnetic waves ...
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General Relativity research and QFT in curved spacetime

A naive question: Are these subjects, i.e. classical GR and QFT in curved spacetime, being worked upon much anymore? Who is researching this and what are the problems within these fields? Any ...
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1answer
487 views

How do we know the geodesic is a minimum?

The geodesic equation is derived from the Euler-Lagrange equation, which (as I understand it) is a necessary but not sufficient condition to ensure that the geodesic is a minimum. The introductory GR ...
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249 views

Black hole collision and the event horizon

Will the event horizons of a two black holes be perturbed or bent before a collision? What will the shape of the event horizon appear to be immediately after first contact?
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2answers
226 views

Using the area element in derivation of geodesic

In the derivation of the geodesic, one starts with the integral of the line element (arclength): $$L(C)=\int_{\tau_1}^{\tau_2}d\tau\sqrt{g_{\mu \nu}\dot{x}^{\mu} \dot{x}^{\nu}}$$ The integrand is ...
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Plausible explanations for 3 local space dimensions

Every now and then I see accounts of models that claim to explain why we experience only 3 space dimensions (locally, i.e. within cosmic horizons and outside black hole horizons). One such of course ...
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Projective Transformations in GR

A Thought Experiment: We are in flat spaceime provided with a reference frame—a rectangular Cartesian frame. The coordinate labels[the spatial labels] are visible to us. Each spatial point is ...
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Proper distance and embedding diagrams?

I'm trying to understand proper distance equation in Schwarzschild spacetime. $d\sigma=\frac{dr}{\left(1-\frac{R_{S}}{r}\right)^{1/2}}$. I'm sure I'm missing something really obvious here, but how ...
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521 views

Difference between coordinate and proper distance in Schwarzschild geometry

I'm trying to understand the difference between proper distance $d\sigma$ and coordinate distance $dr$ in Schwarzschild geometry. The bottom bit of the diagram represents flat space, the upper bit ...
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2answers
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Value of the Hubble parameter over time

There is something I don't understand about the Hubble parameter $H$, as it seems to clump two concepts together that I can't quite unify in my head. On the one side, we have $$V = D H$$ which means ...
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0answers
254 views

The structure of space-time

I came across this paper recently called The Small Scale Structure of Spacetime and the following idea occured to me: To uninformed humans the universe appears Euclidean but we know from GR that on a ...
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1answer
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Vanishing Ricci flow on a curved manifold

If I understand this right the Ricci flow on a compact manifold given by $\partial g_{\mu \nu} = - 2R_{\mu \nu} + \frac{2}{n}\!R_{\alpha}^{\alpha} \,g_{\mu \nu}$ tends to expand negatively curved ...
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2answers
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Can the implications of dark energy be used to bridge the gap between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity?

Can the findings of the Physics Nobel Laureates of 2011, namely the overpowering existence of dark energy (vacuum energy) have any implications in the quest the combine Quantum Mechanics and General ...
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282 views

Is it necessary to embed a 4D surface in 5D space?

Lets consider the line element: $$ds^2=dr^2+r^2[d\theta^2+\sin^2\theta d\phi^2]$$ There are three variables r,theta and phi. If we use a surface constraint like r=constant the number of independent ...
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2answers
405 views

This Expansion-of-the-Universe-Diagram Confuses Me

The following blue-cone Wikipedia diagram confuses me. At any point of cosmological time the encircling horizontal lines in the diagram are of finite circumference. That is indicative of a closed ...
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That 10km/day error predicted if GPS satellite clocks not corrected for relativity

Some authorities have stated publicly and without explanation that if the theories of Special and General Relativity were not taken into account in the design of the GPS (by building the satellite ...
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2answers
210 views

curvature tensor component capable of doing work on $T_{\mu \nu}$

I'm wondering what part of the curvature tensor is able to do work (and hence transfer energy) in matter. I'm wondering if this tensor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress-energy-momentum_pseudotensor ...
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1answer
838 views

Lagrangian for Relativistic Dust derivation questions

In most GR textbooks, one derives the stress energy tensor for relativistic dust: $$ T_{\mu\nu} = \rho v_\mu v_\nu $$ And then one puts this on the right hand side of the Einstein's equations. I ...
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Action principle for the Electromagnetism and Gravity

Here is the formula for the stress energy tensor: $$ T_{\mu\nu} = - {2\over\sqrt{ |\det g| }}{\delta S_{EM}\over \delta g^{\mu\nu}} $$ (This follows from varying the total action $S ...
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1answer
182 views

Dark matter and mass-energy conservation

I have been thinking recently about dark matter, and it lead me to the following question. Consider a hypothetical particle which, like the photon, is chargless and massless. However, unlike the ...
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What is the physical meaning of the affine parameter for null geodesic?

For time-like geodesic, the affine parameter is the proper time $\tau$ or its linear transform, and the geodesic equation is ...
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Charged black holes in equilibrium

Consider a pair of (possibly rotating) charged black holes with masses m1, m2 and like charges q1, q2. It seems that under certain conditions gravitational attraction should exactly cancel ...
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Velocity Time Dilation

In Wikipedia article about time dilation, it says: "Hafele and Keating, in 1971, flew caesium atomic clocks east and west around the Earth in commercial airliners...the moving clocks were expected ...
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The Sun as a gravitational lens

Since the Sun is a gravitational lens with as focal length of 550 AU for visible light, with an immense amplification factor, shouldn't it light up objects hanging out there? We should get solar ...