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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Conformal Compactification of spacetime

I have been reading Penrose's paper titled "Relativistic Symmetry Groups" where the concept of conformal compactification of a space-time is discussed. My other references have been this and this. In ...
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846 views

Can spacetime exist in the absence of matter and energy?

I'm pretty sure Ernst Mach would have said that spacetime cannot exist without matter in it. But I'm also pretty sure that a black hole can be described as a self-sustaining gravitational field, ...
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Contracting Indices

Does anyone know how to get from (1) to (2) in the system $$ \begin{align} \mathrm{g}^{\mu\nu}_{,\rho}+ \mathrm{g}^{\sigma\nu}{{\Gamma}}^{\mu}_{\sigma\rho}+ ...
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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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419 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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188 views

Equation of state of cosmic strings and branes

I'm sure these are basic ideas covered in string cosmology or advanced GR, but I've done very little string theory, so I hope you will forgive some elementary questions. I'm just trying to fit some ...
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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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288 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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378 views

Can masses move in 2+1 gravity?

I would like to understand basic concepts of the general relativity in 2+1 spacetime. As far as I know, GR predicts that such a spacetime is flat everywhere except for the point masses which create ...
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What different approximations yield Gravitoelectromagnetism and Weak Field Einstein Equations?

This question is inspired by this answer, which cites Gravitoelectromagnetism (GEM) as a valid approximation to the Einstein Field Equations (EFE). The wonted presentation of gravitational waves is ...
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185 views

Positivity of Total Gravitational Energy in GR

I read the following statement in the introduction to an article: Over the last 30 years, one of the greatest achievements in classical general relativity has certainly been the proof of the ...
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325 views

Do intergalactic magnetic fields imply an Open Universe?

According to a recent paper on the arXiv, they do. How credible is this result? The abstract says: The detection of magnetic fields at high redshifts, and in empty intergalactic space, support ...
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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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“Redshifting” of forces in stationary space - times

Here's the problem statement: Let $(M,g_{ab})$ be a stationary spacetime with timelike killing field $\xi ^{a}$. Let $V^{2} = -\xi _{a}\xi ^{a}$ ($V$ is called the redshift factor). (a) Show that the ...
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Shape of the universe?

What is the exact shape of the universe? I know of the balloon analogy, and the bread with raisins in it. These clarify some points, like how the universe can have no centre, and how it can expand ...
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737 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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751 views

Group Theory in General Relativity

In Special Relativity, the Lorentz Group is the set of matrices that preserve the metric, i.e. $\Lambda \eta \Lambda^T=\eta$. Is there any equivalent in General Relativity, like: $\Lambda g ...
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What makes the stars that are farther from the nucleus of the galaxy go faster than those in the middle?

It has no sense that stars that have a bigger radius and apparently less angular speed($\omega$) goes faster than the ones near the center.
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Does space curvature automatically imply extra dimensions?

Total newbie with basically no physics knowledge here :) I would welcome any correction to the steps of my reasoning that lead to my question, which could easily turn out to be invalid :) My current ...
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What is the physical size of a black hole?

Something that's always confused me. How large is a black hole's physical size - not mass? From descriptions, it would seem that the 'singularity' is a single point, but is it really? Say for ...
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537 views

What is the weight equation through general relativity?

The gravitational force on your body, called your weight, pushes you down onto the floor. $$W=mg$$ So, what is the weight equation through general relativity?
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How to prove the covariant derivative cannot be written as an eigendecomposition of the partial derivative?

The Question How does one prove that Rindler's definition of the covariant derivative of a covariant vector field $\lambda_a$ as \begin{align} \lambda_{a;c} = \lambda_{a,c} - \Gamma^{b}_{\ \ ca} ...
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Can spacetime be non-orientable?

This question asks what constraints there are on the global topology of spacetime from the Einstein equations. It seems to me the quotient of any global solution can in turn be a global solution. In ...
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How does faster than light travel violate causality?

Let's say I have two planets that are one hundred thousand lightyears away from each other. I and my immortal friend on the other planet want to communicate, with a strong laser and a tachyon ...
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Visualizing Ricci Tensor

By definition Ricci Tensor is a Tensor formed by contracting two indices of Riemann Tensor. Riemann Tensor can be visualized in terms of a curve, a vector is moving and orientation of the initial and ...
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Dirac equation in curved space-time

I have seen the Dirac equation in curved space-time written as $$[i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\frac{\partial}{\partial x^{\mu}}-i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\Gamma_{\mu}-m]\psi=0 $$ This ...
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406 views

Is spacetime flat inside a spherical shell?

In a perfectly symmetrical spherical hollow shell, there is a null net gravitational force according to Newton, since in his theory the force is exactly inversely proportional to the square of the ...
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What is the condition for accelerating charge to radiate?

I was always taught that any accelerating charge produces radiation, but I don't think this condition is sufficient condition. For instance, any free charge on Earth is accelerated due to Earth ...
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Cancelling special & general relativistic effects

We know that for a GPS we need to make a correction for both general and special relativity: general relativity predicts that clocks go slower in a higher gravitational field (the clock aboard a GPS ...
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Special Relativistic approximation to GR

Some time ago I was talking to a professor in college about some of the fundamental aspects and origin of General Relativity. I was surprised to learn, in fact, that a pretty good approximation to GR ...
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280 views

Why can we assume torsion is zero in GR?

The first Cartan equation is $$\mathrm{d}\omega^{a} + \theta^{a}_{b} \wedge \omega^{b} = T^{a}$$ where $\omega^{a}$ is an orthonormal basis, $T^{a}$ is the torsion and $\theta^{a}_{b}$ are the ...
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How to prove that a spacetime is maximally symmetric?

In Carroll's book on general relativity, I found the following remark: In two dimensions, finding that $R$ is a constant suffices to prove that the space is maximally symmetric [...] In higher ...
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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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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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617 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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Different age of universe

According to general relativity time runs slowly near a massive body. So, I have a question bothering me from some time, that if time for every body/object in universe runs at a different rate, then ...
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Since there are gravitational lenses, are there gravitational mirrors?

Gravitational lensing is an observed phenomenon. Can one have a gravitational mirror? A slightly unrelated question: Can gravitational waves be reflected?
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Wavefunction collapse and gravity

If gravity can be thought of as both a wave (the gravitational wave, as predicted to exist by Albert Einstein and certain calculations) and a particle (the graviton), would it make sense to apply ...
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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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Do traversable wormholes exist as solutions to string theory?

There has been some heated debate as to whether the laws of physics allow for traversable wormholes. Some physicists claim we require exotic matter to construct wormholes, but then others counter the ...
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Could an ultra-relativistic particle tunnel directly through a stellar mass black hole?

It occurred to me in passing that the Lorentz contraction of a black hole from the perspective of an ultra-relativistic (Lorentz factor larger than about 10^16) particle could reduce the thickness of ...
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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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How important is the cosmic censorship conjecture?

I would like to know how important the cosmic censorship conjecture is? Should a quantum theory of gravity must obey this? It was never rigorously proved in classical GR too. What would be the ...
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398 views

The Role of Active and Passive Diffeomorphism Invariance in GR

I'd like some clarification regarding the roles of active and passive diffeomorphism invariance in GR between these possibly conflicting sources. 1) Wald writes, after explaining that passive ...
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Energy balance of closed timelike curves in Gödel's universe

I recently read Palle Yourgrau's book "A World Without Time" about Gödel's contribution to the nature of time in general relativity. Gödel published his discovery of closed timelike curves in 1949. ...
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How does one get these definitions of the energy momentum tensor?

I was just reading a book - Mirror Symmetry by Clay Mathematics Institute, and on Page 402 of the book, the writer says that energy momentum tensor is defined classically by $$\delta S = -\frac{1}{4 ...
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Why is Einstein gravity not renormalizable at two loops or more?

(I found this related Phys.SE post: Why is GR renormalizable to one loop?) I want to know explicitly how it comes that Einstein-Hilbert action in 3+1 dimensions is not renormalizable at two loops or ...
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How much does the curvature of space change the volume of Earth by?

If we assume space is flat the volume of Earth is: $$ V = \frac{4 \pi R^3}{3} = \frac{4 \pi (6378.1 km)^3}{3} = 1.086 \times 10^{21} m^3 $$ The Einstein field equations, however, predict that the ...
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Black hole complementarity - absorption of Hawking radiation

I try to understand two principles formulated by Leonard Susskind in his book The Black Hole War: 1, To any observer who remains outside a black hole, the stretched horizon appears to be a hot layer ...
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Our Universe Can't be Looped? [duplicate]

With reference to the Twin-Paradox (I am new with this), now information of who has actually aged comes from the fact that one of the twins felt some acceleration. So if universe was like a loop, and ...