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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Light orbiting a massive body [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can a photon be made to orbit a known (or undiscovered theoretical) body? How massive would a black hole have to be for light to orbit it at 1km away from the ...
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Dimensional reduction and Schwarzschild solution

It is well-known that, given a Killing vector $\xi_\mu$ for a metric, this can be dimensionally reduced. This is exactly the case of the Schwarzschild solution due to the rotational symmetry. This ...
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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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Is a volumetric rate frame-invariant in general relativity?

Imagine that I have a radioactive material with a long half life. The atoms in this material decay at a certain rate $R$. The rate is the decay constant times the number density $R = \lambda N $. ...
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Relationship between Alcubierre drive space-time evolution and speed of gravity

The top rated answer to this question about the Alcubierre drive asserts, "spacetime can dynamically evolve in a way which apparently violates special relativity," but according to the Wikipedia ...
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What is the 'apparent horizon' of a black hole?

The Wikipedia article is full of general relativistic and differential geometry jargon, and its accuracy is questionable. So, without such (or explaining said jargon without more jargon), what is the ...
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137 views

What is the curvature scalar $\Psi_{4}$?

What is the curvature scalar $\Psi_{4}$? Is it related to the scalar curvature $R$? What does its real and imaginary parts represent?
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How do black holes in merging galaxies find each other to merge?

In many accounts of galaxy mergers, the prompt merging of their central black holes, if any, is stated seemingly as too obvious to need further explanation. While I don't dispute that this may indeed ...
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Flow of momentum is pressure

In the diagonal terms of the energy-momentum tensor, the flow of $x$-momentum in the $x$-direction is the $x$-pressure. Why the flow of momentum is pressure?
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Will cosmological gravitational waves be weaker or stronger than astrophysical ones?

Will gravitational waves of cosmological origin be weaker or stronger (higher amplitude $h \simeq\Delta L/L$) than those created from astrophysical sources? I'm having a real hard time finding the ...
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110 views

Are all static solutions of Einstein's equations spherically symmetric?

Is it true that all static solutions in GR are also spherically symmetric? Is there a proof of this? Similarly, are all stationary solutions axisymmetric?
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How did Einstein derive general relativity?

How did Einstein derive general relativity (GR)? Did he use: the equivalence principle? The principle of least action? Anything else? Note, I'm not looking for a full mathematical derivation of GR! ...
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What is the variation of Gauss-Bonnet term a total derivative of?

What is the variation of Gauss-Bonnet term total derivative of? i.e. Variation of Gauss-Bonnet combination $= \nabla_{\mu} C^{\mu}$. What's $C^{\mu}$ in 4-dimensions?
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The radius of the universe and time [closed]

Ok - fair warning - Non-physicist asking dumb-assed questions here again. I've been reading a lot of Einstein, Feynmann, Ferris etc. I'm just loving this stuff. But I suddenly found myself looking at ...
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717 views

What do you feel when crossing the event horizon?

I have heard the claim over and over that you won't feel anything when crossing the event horizon as the curvature is not very large. But the fundamental fact remains that information cannot pass ...
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Harold White's work on the Alcubierre warp drive

I've read a bit on Harold White's recent work. (A paper on Nasa's site) I haven't been able to find any comments by people claiming to know anything about the physics involved. Is this really serious? ...
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Could tidal effects make matter hot enough for nuclear fusion?

There was a recent question about cosmological firewalls. Putting aside questions of entanglement and information and looking at the problem from a pure mechanical viewpoint, we know that although ...
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Implications of Unruh-inertia to theories of gravity

If it turns out to be true that the galaxy rotation curves can be explained away by Unruh modes that become greater than the Hubble scale at accelerations around $10^{-10} m/s^2$ as proposed in here, ...
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443 views

Einstein's Explanation for gravity vs. Newtonian

I was trying to understand the Einstein's explanation for gravity (gravitational force), and while I am able to understand why two moving masses will be attracted, due to the curving of the space, I ...
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gravitational convergence of light

light has a non-zero energy-stress tensor, so a flux of radiation will slightly affect curvature of spacetime Question: assume a flux of radiation in the $z$ direction, in flat Minkowski space it ...
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Where does this equation for a perturbed metric come from?

I'm reading an article which includes the following equation involving a perturbed metric: $$G_{AB} = \eta_{AB} + \overset{1}{\gamma}_{AB} + 2\overset{1}{\chi}_{(A,B)}\tag{4.1}$$ I don't understand ...
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271 views

Can a single particle create a black hole?

Let us suppose a particle with so much energy $ E= h \frac{c}{\lambda} $ so $ \lambda $ is smaller than Planck's length ? Would it be possible? I mean if the particle has so much energy then its mass ...
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Are covariant vectors representable as row vectors and contravariant as column vectors

I would like to know what are the range of validity of the following statement: Covariant vectors are representable as row vectors. Contravariant vectors are representable as column vectors. ...
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Cosmological relativistic effects : misunderstanding between cosmological and relativistic communities?

I would like to clarify something that mixes cosmology and relativistic effects. Maybe I'm not understanding something or maybe there a difference of vocabulary between the cosmological and the ...
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If it is given which intervals are spacelike, can be determined which intervals are lightlike?

Provided that the notion of "$\mbox{spacelike}$"-ness (of an interval) is symmetric: $$\text{spacelike}( \, x - y \, ) \Longleftrightarrow \text{spacelike}( \, y - x \, ),$$ then for any set $X$ (of ...
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Space expansion looking like time dilation

Space looks like time depending on the motion of the observer so I was going to ask if space expansion was the same as the unfolding of time, but this was asked on physics.stackexchange before and the ...
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479 views

Do atoms expand with universe? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why space expansion affects matter? Why does space expansion not expand matter? As we know, the universe is expanding, galaxies are away from each other. But what ...
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Is it possible to have faster-than-light movement in General Relativity?

The speed of light as the maximal possible speed is build into Special Relativity as a premise of the theory. However I know of no such premise in General Relativity. When looking at two stars laying ...
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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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Linearizing Gravity to ${\cal O}(h^3)$

I've seen the action of linearized gravity in many places. We basically have $${\cal L} ~\sim~ \frac{1}{G_N}\left( - \frac{1}{2}h^{\alpha\beta} \Box h_{\alpha\beta} + \frac{1}{4} h \Box h + {\cal ...
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Event Horizon fluctuating due to gravitational waves

Do the interiors of black-holes create gravitational waves and if so do these waves cause the radius of the event horizon to fluctuate as the waves pass the horizon ?
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333 views

What does adding a scalar field component to the Einstein field equations mean for black holes and string theory?

If a scalar field component has to be added to the Einstein field equations (see below) to solve dark matter/energy, then how would string theory need to be modified and do black holes still exist? ...
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Is it possible to describe the entire universe with the behavior of an $\mathbb{R}^n$ field?

Suppose every phenomena in this universe (of course most are reducible to some particular general ideal ones - basically I'm talking about those!) could be described as ...
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Counterpart of the Klein Gordon Equation on the “Coordinate Shell”

The relation $$\psi=Ce^{i/\hbar(Et-\mathbf{p}\cdot\mathbf{x})}\tag{1}$$ satisfies the Klein Gordon equation on the mass shell, i.e. for $E^2=p^2+m^2$. Now let's think in the reverse direction. ...
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Discarded by Relativity [closed]

Both the General & Special Relativity discarded Newtonian mechanics of absoluteness. According to Einstein's view, Time, Mass, Length and Space are interdependent. So, Did Relativity discarded ...
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570 views

The vacuum light speed: Is it really constant, i.e., independent of location in space-time?

I am by no means an expert in this field, however something puzzles me about the speed of light and the relativity of time and space (space-time). Is is universally acknowledged that the speed of ...
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why nontrivially space-like connected event horizons do not respect unitarity?

I want to understand the assertion that the gluing between distant event horizons is forbidden by unitarity. What is exactly the argument that unitarity will necessarily forbid topological nontrivial ...
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Is it possible that QM is just GR?

The more I learn about General Relativity, the more it seems like it isn't fully understood. It seems that before it's full consequences were exhaustively understood, not 10 years after its discovery, ...
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2answers
203 views

Einsteins equation : Black hole solution

Let Einstein's equations satisfy $ R_{\mu \nu } = 0 $. Suppose we solve it numerically with the aid of a computer. Can we know from the numerical solution if there is a black HOle in the solutions? ...
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656 views

Is there a thought experiment which brings to light the contradiction between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics?

I've been told that GR and QM are not compatible, is there an intuitive reason/thought experiment which demonstrates the issue? (Or one of the issues?)
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5answers
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Is the law of conservation of energy still valid?

Is the law of conservation of energy still valid or have there been experiments showing that energy could be created or lost?
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279 views

Relativistic Mass and Dark Matter

In a question here Ron Maimon comments that "relativistic mass makes gravity, not rest mass." If so, does that mean that the faster that stars orbit the galaxy the larger the relativistic mass of the ...
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LIGO Gravitational Waves [closed]

Has LIGO detected any gravity waves yet, or any hints of them? Is it just that LIGO is not sensitive enough or are we now entering disconfirmation territory? If we never detect gravity waves with any ...
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Maximal kinetic energy due to gravitational attraction

Two related questions: Small object of mass $m$ is falling into the supermassive black hole of mass $M$. What is the maximal kinetic energy can be acquired by the small object, from the point of ...
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How could the unit of a constant be unit of tension $N^{-1}$?

From my pervious Question:What are the units of the quantities in the Einstein field equation? i noticed that the unit of this constant $\frac {G}{c^4}$ is the unit of tenstion $$\frac ...
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What are the units of the quantities in the Einstein field equation?

The Einstein field equations (EFE) may be written in the form: $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac {1}{2}g_{\mu\nu}R+g_{\mu\nu}\Lambda=\frac {8\pi G}{c^4}T_{\mu\nu}$$ where the units of the gravitational constant $G$ ...
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Does electric charge affect space time fabric?

I am confused with this question. Does electric charge affect the space time fabric? If so, why? Also if electric charge does not affect the space time fabric, how can we interpret the origin of the ...
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Is it possible for a black hole to form for an observer at spatial infinity?

To my knowledge if you calculate the coordinate time (time experienced by an observer at spatial infinity) it takes an infinite amount of time for an object to fall past the horizon of a Schwarzschild ...
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278 views

Why isn't Hawking radiation frozen on the boundary, like in-falling matter?

From the perspective of a far-away observer, matter falling into a black hole never crosses the boundary. Why doesn't a basic symmetry argument prove that Hawking radiation is therefore also frozen on ...
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variations of Einstein equations with conversion between gravitational and non-gravitational energy

I'm looking for existing papers studying a variation to Einstein equation that does not rely on the annoying matter conservation identity: $$ T_{\mu \nu; \nu} = 0 $$ And instead tries to equate the ...