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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How do the LASERs in LIGO realize that space has expanded as a gravitational wave passes by?

I read an article on LIGO, and I heard it mentioned that it is a nontrivial argument to say that the effect can be measured by interferometry. What happens to space as the wave passes? Does the light ...
4
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3answers
448 views

Could a ship equipped with Alcubierre drive theoretically escape from a black hole?

Could a ship equipped with Alcubierre drive theoretically escape from a black hole? Also, could it reach parts of the universe that are receding faster than the speed of light from us?
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2answers
754 views

Can an “absolute” frame of reference be determined by measuring the compression of light?

General relativity tells us that there is no absolute frame of reference (actually, it tells us that all frames are relative, which is close but not the same as there is no absolute frame). Special ...
3
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2answers
326 views

Pressure Inside an Ideal Gas

A non-relativistic ideal gas exerts a pressure at the surface of its container $p = \frac13 \rho \langle v^2 \rangle$ where $\rho$ is the mass density of the gas and $\langle v^2 \rangle$ is the ...
5
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1answer
275 views

What is a black hole?

Is there a definition of a black hole in a generic spacetime? In some books, for example Wald's, black holes are defined for asymptotically flat spacetime with strong asymptotic predictability, ...
3
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2answers
413 views

Black hole complementarity

Black hole complementarity states that two observers, one falling into a black hole, and one observing outside, experience two different histories but since they can not communicate there is no ...
4
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1answer
498 views

How does an object falling into a plain Schwarschild black hole appear from near the black hole?

I know that when viewed from infinity (or from a very large distance from the black hole event horizon), an object that falls into the black hole will appear to slow down and will become more and more ...
17
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1answer
467 views

Sympletic structure of General Relativity

Inspired by physics.SE: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/15571/does-the-dimensionality-of-phase-space-go-up-as-the-universe-expands/15613 It made me wonder about symplectic structures in ...
24
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2answers
207 views

experimental bounds on spacetime torsion

Did Gravity Probe B provide any bounds on Einstein-Cartan torsion? is a non-zero torsion value at odds with the results regarding frame-dragging and geodetic effects?
6
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3answers
441 views

Charging a black hole?

What would happen if we have a black hole and we start shooting at it a single electron at a time, and go on doing it forever? Would the electrons start to bounce off eventually?
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2answers
176 views

Understanding difficulty with proving strong cosmic censorship theorems

I want to get a grip about the technical problems related to proving Penrose conjecture Intuitively, it seems it should not be too difficult; just start by classifying it in 0-dimensional (i.e: ...
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2answers
354 views

Apple falls for which of these 2 reasons?

Needles to say I am a visitor here. I do not belong to the science world;) But I have read both of these things before: Apple falls to the ground because curved spacetime pushes it there (same ...
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2answers
877 views

Neutrino unaffected by gravity

Are neutrinos affected by gravity? If not, could that be a plausible reason for a neutrino taking a shorter path than light, since light is affected by gravity?
2
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1answer
206 views

Spacetime assumptions at OPERA

I would like to know what are the assumptions about the spacetime metric between the neutrinos emiter and detector, I mean, perhaps (just a stab in the dark) could be a mistake to asume the metric of ...
5
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2answers
297 views

Schwarzschild metric

Why, if the Schwarzschild metric is a vacuum solution ($T_{\mu\nu}=0$) , do textbooks state that $T=\rho c^{2}$ when approximating Poisson's Equation from the Einstein Field Equations? Thank you.
5
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1answer
312 views

Is General Relativity applicable for all coordinate systems?

My understanding was that relativistic physics can be expressed in any inertial coordinate system, but not arbitrary systems. That is, no experiment can determine if we are "still" or "moving" at a ...
4
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1answer
719 views

What do “tachionic” neutrinos mean for QG?

Reading about the spectacular Opera claim, I`m (again ;-P) wondering if a confirmation of superliminous neutrinos could help settle some still open quantum gravity issues ...? In this post, Lumo ...
22
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4answers
3k views

Mathematically-oriented Treatment of General Relativity

Can someone suggest a textbook that treats general relativity from a rigorous mathematical perspective? Ideally, such a book would Prove all theorems used. Use modern "mathematical notation" as ...
4
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2answers
408 views

Introduction to relativity books for an engineer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Getting started general relativity I am an engineer who loves to read science fiction books especially when there's more science than fiction but usually I see that I ...
5
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1answer
181 views

Gravitational lensing from an extended body Vs. a point mass

I am interested in gravitational lensing caused by a cluster of galaxies (say it has a diameter of 1 Mpc and mass of $10^{12}$ solar masses). How close must a light travel as it passes by to be ...
3
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1answer
351 views

Why is Dirac Lagrangian in Curved Spacetime Weyl Invariant?

Are there any references on the Weyl invariance of the Dirac Lagragian in general spacetime?
2
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1answer
601 views

Schwarzschild black hole geometry in Novikov coordinates

As I am a layman in gravitation I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to approach and tackle the following problem: Choose a time-symmetric 3-geometry for the initial geometry of ...
20
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2answers
127 views

Kerr Geometry, Separability and Twistors

One of the remarkable properties of the Kerr black hole geometry is that scalar field equations separate and are exactly solvable (reducible to quadrature), even though naively it does not have enough ...
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0answers
184 views

Trying to understand the weak gravitational field metric (3)

I've worked through Carroll's explanation of the Newtonian limit as far as $h_{00}=-2\phi$ (page 106 - Lecture Notes on General Relativity). As he's previously stated that ...
2
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1answer
164 views

Trying to understand the weak gravitational field metric (2)

I'm still struggling with Carroll's discussion of the Newtonian Limit. I'm hoping no one will mind if I ask several questions here as they all relate to the same section (pages 105-106) of his ...
3
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2answers
414 views

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. ...
5
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1answer
336 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
866 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 ...
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0answers
110 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
170 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 ...
4
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0answers
132 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 ...
2
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1answer
154 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 ...
5
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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 ...
2
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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 $n\times n$ metric tensor?
11
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2answers
799 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 ...
22
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8answers
14k 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
votes
2answers
457 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, ...
25
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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, ...
4
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2answers
987 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
233 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
333 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. ...
5
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2answers
547 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
208 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 ...
2
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3answers
264 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
711 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 ...
4
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1answer
490 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 ...
7
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2answers
420 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
495 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 ...
4
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4answers
1k 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 ...