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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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
338 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 ...
2
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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 ...
8
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6answers
422 views

Objects in Physics as a mathematician would see them

I'm a mathematician with hardly any knowledge of physics. Before I start reading volumes of physics books, I have a few questions that have been bugging me and that will help me start reading physics. ...
8
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2answers
2k views

maximum rotational speed

I am wondering if there is a limit to rotational speed of an object just like there is one for translation speed ? what are the implications of general relativity for rotating objects ?
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2answers
78 views

In a gas of particles, how is the displacement vector related to the number density?

Suppose I have a gas of particles that is initially uniformly distributed so that the number density is $n_0$ (number of particles per unit volume), and then I displace the particles by the vector ...
4
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1answer
206 views

Is there a simple way to define/solve for a null cone for a general spacetime geometry?

I'm wondering if there's any simple way to define and solve for a null cone for a general spacetime geometry in $n+1$ dimensions, given its vertex $p^\mu$. I can't seem to find a simple way to do it ...
3
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5answers
683 views

How are the comoving coordinates NOT a prefered reference frame?

Physics me this: The equivalence principle has rigorous physical definitions that say, for one, that the laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames. This is to say that the ...
4
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0answers
273 views

Asymptotic Invariants in General Relativity

I was trying to understand Witten's proof of the Positive Energy Theorem in General Relativity by reading the original argument given by Witten. I am comfortable with the overall argument, but I would ...
16
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5answers
3k views

Why is gravitation force always attractive?

Why is the gravitation force always attractive? Is there a way to explain this other than the curvature of space time? PS: If the simple answer to this question is that mass makes space-time curve ...
2
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1answer
127 views

Notational(?) Question in Whiting's Paper “Mode Stability of the Kerr Black Hole”

I am a math grad student attempting to read Bernard Whiting's paper "Mode Stability of the Kerr Black Hole." If you are in a university network, the paper should be easily found by a google search. At ...
13
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6answers
18k views

How exactly does time slow down near a black hole?

How exactly does time slow down near a black hole? I have heard this as a possible way of time traveling, and I do understand that it is due in some way to the massive gravity around a black hole, but ...
6
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2answers
849 views

Why is BTZ black hole asymptotically $AdS_3$?

The metric for the BTZ black hole is $ds^2=-N^2dt^2+N^{-2}dr^2+r^2(N^\phi dt +d\phi)^2$ where $N^2=-M+\frac{r^2}{l^2}+\frac{J^2}{4r^2}$ and $N^\phi=-\frac{J}{2r^2}$. It is often said that BTZ black ...
5
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2answers
301 views

Small change in theta - polar coordinates

I'm reading (I'm trying to read) Schutz's "A first course in general relativity" (1985). On page 126 he mentions that a small change in angle theta in polar coordinates is given by: I can't see why ...
1
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1answer
175 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
146 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 ...
9
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2answers
293 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 ...
16
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4answers
6k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
417 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 ...
10
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3answers
858 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
274 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 ...
1
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1answer
741 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 ...
14
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3answers
252 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 ...
5
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1answer
461 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?
0
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1answer
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 ...
9
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
276 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 ...
4
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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. ...
1
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1answer
350 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
214 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 ...
1
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2answers
205 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 ...
7
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2answers
257 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?
3
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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 ...
3
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3answers
284 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
436 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} ...
3
votes
1answer
937 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 ...
0
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1answer
197 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
318 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
465 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 ...
27
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3answers
992 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 ...
2
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1answer
159 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
334 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
254 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 ...
2
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1answer
170 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 ...
3
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2answers
288 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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2answers
233 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 ...
7
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2answers
671 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
583 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 ...
12
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3answers
587 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 ...