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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Singularities and quantized space time

Discrete space time quanta would solve the problems of infinite densities for singularities in General Relativity and Quantum Gravity by imposing a non zero limit on the minimum radius of black holes. ...
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1answer
326 views

Trying to understand the weak gravitational field metric (1)

In Carroll's online Lecture Notes on General Relativity (p112) he says, "the weakness of the gravitational field allows us to decompose the metric into the Minkowski form plus a small perturbation" ...
2
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3answers
245 views

Is there a single metric for a given system?

Let imagine a tunnel that connect two distant places at the globe (eastern-western or north-south) There are a lot of posible "distances" or metrics, defined by maps, routes, "as the crow flies", ...
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2answers
785 views

How long did inflation take to happen?

If inflation happened, it ended about 13.7 billion years ago. But how long was inflation going on before that? Was it just a short burst of time so that it's really okay to say that the age of the ...
1
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0answers
108 views

Knowledge needed to study and understand general and special relativity theory [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the prerequisites to studying general relativity? I'am 27 now and i have a burning desire to study math and physics from the ground up and I strongly prefer ...
2
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1answer
168 views

Does anisotropic expansion of the universe imply quintaessence?

a Recent paper establishes under solid grounds anisotropy in the expansion acceleration rate in the universe. My question is very simple: can this anomaly be explained entirely in terms of a ...
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0answers
130 views

K3 gravitational instanton

Could you please recommend a sufficiently elementary introduction to K3 gravitational instanton in general relativity and the problem of finding its explicit form? Under 'sufficiently elementary' I ...
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1answer
150 views

General relativity at 0K

Relativistic gravity affects particle in motion, does it affect particle that are resting too? How? and if not could one say that the matter at 0K is not affected by gravity? I'm not a physicist; is ...
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9answers
1k views

Is Einstein's 1916 General Relativity paper a recommended way to start learning about the subject?

If a person has a good grounding in classical mechanics, electrodynamics and special relativity, is Einstein's 1916 paper a recommended way of learning about the subject? After looking through it ...
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3answers
2k views

Ricci scalar for a diagonal metric tensor.

I was wondering if there is a general formula for calculating Ricci scalar for any diagonal n by n metric tensor?
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2answers
773 views

If a Kerr-Newman black hole is like a charged, spinning, heavy magnet, what kind of magnet is it like?

I was reading up on De Sitter spaces, which states that the gravitational effects from a black hole is indistinguishable from any other spherically symmetric mass distribution. This makes a lot of ...
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8answers
12k views

What are the prerequisites to studying general relativity? [closed]

This question recently appeared on Slashdot: Slashdot posts a fair number of physics stories. Many of us, myself included, don't have the background to understand them. So I'd like to ask the ...
5
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2answers
416 views

Can a black hole be formed by radiation?

I'm trying to find out if black holes could be created by focusing enough light into a small enough volume. So far I have found (any or all may be incorrect): Maxwell's equations are linear, ...
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5answers
6k views

How does gravitational lensing account for Einstein's Cross?

Einstein's Cross has been attributed to gravitational lensing. However, most examples of gravitational lensing are crescents known as Einstein's rings. I can easily understand the rings and crescents, ...
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2answers
883 views

What role does electrical charge play in black holes?

Not having studied General Relativity, I have sometimes been puzzled by references to the behaviour for "classic" black holes — as they are popularly portrayed — as being true for black ...
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1answer
228 views

How to bend 3d space embededd in a 4d enviornment? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Calculating position in space assuming general relativity I recently started to program a 4 dimensional visualization program. I have the 4 dimension space perspectively ...
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4answers
330 views

Solid objects inside the event horizon - can they remain “solid”?

So, once something is inside a black hole's event horizon, it can only move towards the center. This is fine for a point-object. But 3D solid objects rely on molecular forces to stay in one piece. ...
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2answers
535 views

Positive Mass Theorem and Geodesic Deviation

This is a thought I had a while ago, and I was wondering if it was satisfactory as a physicist's proof of the positive mass theorem. The positive mass theorem was proven by Schoen and Yau using ...
6
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1answer
197 views

What makes us think we can actually detect gravitational waves?

This refers to the discussion about gravitational waves for the YouTube video LIGO Gravitational Wave Observatory. I have two questions: When the gravitational wave passes through the space where ...
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3answers
248 views

Do all event horizons emit radiation?

So, the event horizon around a black hole emits radiation, and Rindler space is full of thermal energy. I guess I have two questions- does the Unruh effect have anything to do with radiation from the ...
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1answer
638 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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1answer
451 views

How does (or can) SR/GR extend to phase space or symplectic manifolds?

I'm asking this question because of an article in New Scientist about a recent preprint by a group including Lee Smolin. I haven't taken the time to comprehend the paper completely. My knowledge of ...
6
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2answers
402 views

Does rotational energy have effect on gravity/metric?

Intuitively, if energy can be stored in rotational motion, it has to obey $E=mc^2$. Does rotation of typical stellar-sized objects - BHs, pulsars, binaries - have measurable effect on their overall ...
7
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3answers
478 views

Getting back out of an Alcubierre warp bubble

Does the theory on paper provide a way for hypothetical travelers to get back out of the bubble that has gotten them close to their distant destination by compressing all the space in front of them ...
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4answers
929 views

Einstein's “happiest thought”

Einstein described his discovery of the equivalence principle as the "happiest thought of my life". Why? What, in broad conceptual terms, is the logical chain of reasoning that leads from the ...
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2answers
372 views

Can the distance of a quasar be determined accurately?

As noted in A doubt about the age of the universe, the wiki about quasars still contains the following misleading sentence: "The highest redshift quasar known (as of June 2011) is ULAS_J1120+0641, ...
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1answer
309 views

evidence on the equation of state for dark energy?

If dark energy contributes mass-energy density $\rho$ and pressure $p$ to the stress-energy tensor, then you can define $w=p/\rho$, where $w=-1$ gives a cosmological constant, $w<-1$ gives a big ...
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3answers
686 views

Vacuum and repulsive gravity

How can one show from General Relativity that gravity is attractive force, and under which conditions it becomes repulsive, also why positive energy vacuum drives repulsive gravity?
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1answer
409 views

Which Friedmann equation is redundant?

For flat FLRW cosmology, we can write down two Friedman equations and one matter equation: (1) $H^2=\frac{8 \pi G}{3} \rho$ (2) $\frac{\ddot{a}}{a} = -\frac{4 \pi G}{3} (\rho +3p)$ (3) $\dot{\rho} ...
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1answer
133 views

Time dilation and dimensional compactification

Is time dilation a form of dimensional compactification? As a probe approaches a black hole, toward a point on the equator of the event horizon, does general relativity predict that the time ...
6
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2answers
304 views

Physical Interpretation of a Scalar Quantity Related to Currents/Conservation Laws

Let $Q_{ab} = (\psi_{;a})(\psi_{;b}) - (1/2)g_{ab}|\nabla \psi|^2$ be the energy-momentum tensor of the wave equation in some space time. I will use semicolons to refer to covariant differentiation ...
5
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1answer
275 views

What does scalar phi represent in spacetime?

Trying to understand one-forms and vectors via Schutz's A First Course In General Relativity. His example uses a spacetime diagram, a scalar field phi, a curve (worldline) parametrized using proper ...
7
votes
1answer
299 views

Charged particle close to a charged black hole - what happens?

Let's assume the Reissner–Nordström metric (charged black hole, non-rotating), for simplicity. The black hole is charged with a powerful electric charge. There's a particle nearby, of non-zero mass, ...
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0answers
271 views

Gravitation and the QFT vacuum

I'm asking this to get yet another lessson in the inability of QFT and GR to cohabit. Many people believe GR must yield to quantization. The question here is as to why the activity of the vacuum ...
5
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2answers
754 views

When will the Hubble volume coincide with the volume of the observable Universe?

The Hubble volume is the volume that corresponds to objects so far from the Earth that the space between us and them is expanding faster than the speed of light. (I.e. objects outside this volume ...
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1answer
354 views

Using mass of the observable Universe to estimate an energy equivalent

For quite some time now, physicists have been able to estimate the mass of the observable universe. Reportedly it's around $10^{50} \:\mathrm{kg}$. There is also general relativity, which states ...
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1answer
448 views

Does the Big Bang need a cause? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: on causality and The Big Bang Theory Asking here in layman's terms.. When theoretical physicsists discuss the origin of our Universe, the wider consensus appears to be ...
2
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1answer
535 views

$N$-body simulation in General Relativity

How would one perform an $N$-body simulation in General Relativity (GR) for something like galaxy formation or galactic dynamics? Suppose one wants to simulate the rotation curve $v(r)$ for galaxies ...
5
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1answer
281 views

Why can't Schwarzschild wormholes exist?

So, I've recently been reading up on Schwarzschild wormholes and I've learned that they cannot exist becuase they violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. What I'm asking is: Why do they violate the ...
11
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2answers
600 views

argument about fallacy of diff(M) being a gauge group for general relativity

I want to outline a solid argument (or bulletpoints) to show how weak is the idea of diff(M) being the gauge group of general relativity. basically i have these points that in my view are very solid ...
3
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4answers
619 views

what is the difference between a blackhole and a point particle

Theoretically, What is the difference between a black hole and a point particle of certain nonzero mass. Of-course the former exists while its not clear whether the later exists or not, but both have ...
11
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5answers
1k views

What does a frame of reference mean in terms of manifolds?

Because of my mathematical background, I've been finding it hard to relate the physics-talk I've been reading, with mathematical objects. In (say special) relativity, we have a Lorentzian manifold, ...
7
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4answers
650 views

Why should one expect closed timelike curves to be impossible in quantum gravity?

From the Wikipedia article, it seems that physicists tend to view closed timelike curves as an undesirable attribute of a solution to the Einstein Field Equations. Hawking formulated the Chronology ...
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4answers
932 views

Detection of the Electric Charge of a Black Hole

By the "No Hair Theorem", three quantities "define" a black hole; Mass, Angular Momentum, and Charge. The first is easy enough to determine, look at the radius of the event horizon and you can use the ...
7
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1answer
824 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
304 views

How is the complexification of spacetime justified?

As always the caveat is that I am a mathematician with very little knowledge of physics. I've started my quest for knowledge in this field, but am very very far from having a good grasp. General ...
11
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2answers
598 views

Is spacetime simply connected?

As I've stated in a prior question of mine, I am a mathematician with very little knowledge of Physics, and I ask here things I'm curious about/things that will help me learn. This falls into the ...
9
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4answers
345 views

Would there be time dilation at the point where two gravitational fields cancel each other out?

My question is very simple, and most likely a stupid one: One observer is at a point in space were the gravitational force form massive bodies (or a single massive body) cancel each-other out. The ...
3
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2answers
339 views

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and its relation to Inertial Frames

We know that the CMB is isotropic when viewed outside of the spinning and revolving earth. Is it homogeneous? Can we relate the CMB to an inertial frame in the Newtonian sense (in which space and ...
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0answers
263 views

composition of space expansion and movement as a gauge invariance

suppose i have a space-time where we have one point-like object* which we will call movement space probe or $\mathbf{M}_{A}$ for short, and it will be moving with constant velocity $V^A_{\mu}$ in ...