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
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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
460 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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1answer
271 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
732 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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2answers
254 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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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 ...
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2answers
275 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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5answers
477 views

Black Hole Singularities

If two black holes collide and then evaporate, do they leave behind two naked sigularities ore? If there are two, can we know how they interact?
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343 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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2answers
213 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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1answer
927 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
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 ...
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2answers
412 views

Expansion of the space-time metric [duplicate]

If the space-time metric is expanding with the expansion of the universe, if I could travel back in time, would I be less dense than the matter in that previous era?
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2answers
250 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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2answers
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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2answers
230 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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3answers
569 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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1answer
480 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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2answers
891 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
726 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 ...
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2answers
385 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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739 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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1answer
424 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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1answer
304 views

Measurement of kaluza-klein radion field gradient?

I've been very impressed to learn about kaluza-klein theory and compactification strategies. I would like to read more about this but in the meantime i'm curious about 2 different points. I have the ...
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0answers
77 views

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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3answers
675 views

Maximum time difference between clocks in a gravity field

From Surely you must be joking, Mr Feynman. You blast off in a rocket which has a clock on board, and there's a clock on the ground. The idea is that you have to be back when the clock on ...
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1answer
244 views

Scale set by cosmological constant

Following on Jim Graber's answer to: Can "big rip" rip apart an atomic nucleus? If the cosmological constant is large enough, even the ground state of a hydrogen atom can be affected. So ...
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2answers
262 views

Does throwing a watch into the air cause it to gain or lose time?

Suppose I'm on a non rotating planet. I have two identical, perfect watches. I synchronize them. Then I throw one of them into the air and catch it. Does the one I throw into the air gain or lose time ...
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2answers
201 views

Can a trapped surface be formed by a mass configuration outside of that trapped surface?

Can a trapped surface be formed without any massive bodies inside that trapped surface, but only by a configuration of massive bodies surrounding the trapped volume?
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459 views

Perturbation of a Schwarzschild Black Hole

If we have a perfect Schwarzschild black hole (uncharged and stationary), and we "perturb" the black hole by dropping in a some small object. For simplicity "dropping" means sending the object on ...
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0answers
289 views

net displacement and path dependence

reading the paper about spacetime swimming by Wisdom (something related to this has been previously asked here) can't help but think that there is more to this than what is on the paper. Basically ...
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3answers
412 views

How were non-Euclidean manifolds applied to physics before Einstein?

In the letter of introduction to Einstein's 1916 paper on General Relativity, he writes, "The mathematical tool sthat are necessary for general relativity were readily available in the 'absolute ...
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1answer
687 views

Can GR be derived by postulating a maximum force?

This paper was published in a peer review journal, and claims the answer is yes. http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0607090 The derivation in the paper seems more like dimensional analysis hand-waving in ...
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2answers
868 views

Is there an energy density limit in GR?

I am speaking about GR with classical fields and energy. One question, spread over three increasingly strict situations: Is there an energy density limit in GR? (literally, can the energy density ...
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1answer
493 views

Why is GR ghost-free?

I wonder how one can show that general relativity is ghost-free? By ghost I mean the negative norm state that breaks the unitarity. I think it is a well-known "fact" but I just couldn't find any ...
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7answers
408 views

Can astronomers directly detect black holes?

Are there any methods of direct detection for black holes? I'm not referring to gravitational lensing, or measuring the orbits of a star in a binary pair. Is there any way of directly 'seeing' them? ...
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2answers
742 views

Intrinsic angular momentum in classical mechanics

Please note, I am only interested in classical mechanics discussion on this. Please do not involve quantum mechanics. Inspired by this question: Is Angular Momentum truly fundamental? My question ...
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1answer
1k views

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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2answers
1k views

How do wormholes work?

Firstly, I understand that we have no observational evidence for 'wormholes'. They are theorised solutions to general relativity equations. That said, if macroscopic wormholes do exist---how do they ...
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2answers
915 views

Space-like Killing vector of Robertson-Walker metric?

In the book "Kinetic theory in the expanding Universe" (J. Bernstein, 1988, Camb. Univ. Press), it was stated that "for nonstationary Robertson-Walker matrixes [sic] there is no spacelike ...
6
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3answers
315 views

How can you tell if a critical energy density is actually a black hole?

Here's a question inspired by Edward's answer to this question. It's my understanding that the average energy density of a black hole in its rest frame is $\rho_\text{BH}(A)$, a function of surface ...
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1answer
430 views

Does change of coordinate system require acceleration?

This question came about from a side discussion that arose on this: Does GR provide a maximum electric field limit? Can we change our choice of coordinate system completely independent of physical ...
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1answer
656 views

What all is needed to solve for the metric in GR?

Einstein's field equations are: $R_{ab} - {1 \over 2}g_{ab}\,R + g_{ab} \Lambda = {8 \pi G \over c^4} T_{ab}$ And since the Ricci curvature tensor is "less information" than the Riemann curvature ...
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1answer
304 views

Is GR vacuum equation unique?

The title question would be too long if I tried to specify it clearly. So let me be more clear. Consider the class of theories having the following properties: The langrangian density is only ...
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8answers
563 views

Gravity theories with the equivalence principle but different from GR

Einstein's general relativity assumes the equivalence of acceleration and gravitation. Is there a general class of gravity theories that have this property but disagree with general relativity? Will ...