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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
2answers
723 views

Black Hole Singularity and String Theory

This question arises in a somewhat naive form because I am largely unfamiliar with String Theory. I do know that it incorporates higher space dimensions where I shall take the overall dimensionality ...
-4
votes
1answer
212 views

Why String theory introduced in cosmological models to study nature of universe? [closed]

Why String theory ? simple cosmological model is not sufficient for study of nature of universe
11
votes
4answers
835 views

Why is there a search for an exchange particle for gravity?

If I understand correctly, according to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, mass results in a distortion in space-time. In turn, the motion of the mass is affected by the distortion. A result of ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Can black holes form in a finite amount of time?

One thing I know about black holes is that an object gets closer to the event horizon, gravitation time dilation make it move more slower from an outside perspective, so that it looks like it take an ...
5
votes
3answers
476 views

The Big Bang in an infinite universe

If the universe is spatially infinite (and assuming, if it makes a difference, that we don't have eternal inflation), what actually happened 13.7 billion years ago? Was the energy density infinite (or ...
2
votes
0answers
221 views

Singularities in Bianchi models in general relativity ( physical science)

what are the conditions to check point type singularity in a bianchi type model ? bianchi type model are of Type I,II,III,IX,IV or u can say we use different Bianchi type models having some specific ...
6
votes
1answer
461 views

Low frequency electromagnetic waves in General Relativity

I am becoming familiar with the Geometric Optics approximation in General Relativity which (to summarise) says that EM waves follow null geodesics under the geometric optics approximation. In the ...
8
votes
5answers
526 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
535 views

Does perturbation theory break down for quantum gravity?

Perturbation theory presumes we have a valid family of models over some continuous (infinitely differentiable, in fact) range for some parameters, i.e. coupling constants. We have some special values ...
8
votes
2answers
870 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
590 views

Einstein's Field equations and impulse-energy tensor

I premise that I haven't yet studied General Relativity, but in Relativistic Electrodymaics I have knowed impulse-energy tensor of Electromagnetic Field. I know in Einstein's equations there is ...
5
votes
4answers
616 views

How did “no prior geometry” father 50 years of confusion?

I've come across this quote attributed to Misner and Thorne from their book, Gravitation: 'Mathematics was not sufficiently refined in 1917 to cleave apart the demands for "no prior geometry" and for ...
4
votes
2answers
777 views

How could spacetime become discretised at the Planck scale?

I didn't have much luck getting a response to this question before so I have tried to reword and expand it a little: In early 2010 I attended this inaugural lecture by string theorist- Prof. ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Significances of energy conditions

I know about these different energy conditions in GR, namely strong, weak and null, but never really understood the full physical significance of them or for example how to 'derive' them or how ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

asymptotic curvature of the universe and correlation with local curvature

There is not-so-rough evidence that at very large scale the universe is flat. However we see everywhere that there are local lumps of matter with positive curvature. So i have several questions ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Does the positive mass conjecture indicate a necessity of interactions in our universe?

The positive mass conjecture was proved by Schoen and Yau and later reproved by Witten. Total mass in a gravitating system must be positive except in the case of flat Minkowski space, where energy is ...
1
vote
1answer
458 views

Can the Universe create itself?--Is Gott's Use of CTC in Planck time or less valid?

My question is the title of a 1991 paper by Richard Gott and Li-Xin Li: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9712344 and is also a subject of his popular book, "Time Travel in Einstein's Universe" Ultimately ...
1
vote
5answers
263 views

High-spin neutron star

Suppose a large neutron star were to be spun-up by a particular pattern of mass-accretion. The increased centrifugal force could presumably mitigate the increased gravity thus delaying gravitational ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the Planck length Lorentz invariant?

The planck length is defined as $l_P = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar G}{c^3}}$. So it is a combination of the constants $c, h, G$ which I believe are all Lorentz invariants. So I think the Planck length should ...
4
votes
2answers
514 views

Existence and uniqueness of solutions for Einstein equations

Now that an equivalence of Navier Stokes and Einstein equations has been established, and it is known solutions to Einstein-Maxwell-Boltzmann exist and are unique, and it is known that Einstein ...
2
votes
5answers
321 views

Empty universe in the past, non-empty in the future

My question is the following. Are there solutions to the Einstein field equations, which have the property that there is a hypersurface of constant time and to the past of that surface space is empty ...
3
votes
1answer
546 views

What is a maximal analytic extension?

Can someone explain (as rigorously as possible) what is involved in analytically continuing, say, the Schwarzschild solution to the Kruskal manifold? I understand the two metrics separately but I'm ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Newton's Bucket

Newton's Bucket This thought experiment is originally due to Sir Isaac Newton. We have a sphere of water floating freely in an opaque box in intergalactic space, held together by surface tension and ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good mathematical description of the Non-renormalizability of gravity?

By now everybody knows that gravity is non-renormalizable, what is often lacking is a simplified mathematical description of what that means. Can anybody provide such a description?
4
votes
3answers
627 views

Do singularities have a “real” as opposed to mathematical or idealized existence?

I was thinking of, for example a Schwarzchild metric at r=0, i.e. the gravitational singularity, a point of infinite density. I realise that there are different types of singularities--timelike, ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I calculate the perturbations to the metric determinant?

I am trying to calculate sqrt(-g) in terms of a background metric and metric perturbations, to second order in the perturbations. I know how to expand tensors that depend on the metric, but I don't ...
9
votes
1answer
307 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
440 views

The Matter-Vacuum Boundary in General Relativity

A previous Stack question (before I joined) asking about continuity in GR received replies which suggested that Curvature would be discontinuous at say a planetary boundary (assume no atmosphere for ...
4
votes
8answers
686 views

Flat space limit of the Schwarzschild metric and Hawking temperature

The Schwarzschild metric reduces to the Minkowski metric in the limit of vanishing $M$, but the Hawking temperature which is proportional to $1/M$ diverges in the same limit. This would imply that ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does pressure act as a source for the gravitational field?

I'm asking for a qualitative explanation if there is one. My own answer doesn't work. I would have guessed it's because when a gas has pressure the kinetic energy adds to the rest mass of a given ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
539 views

Binary Black Hole Solution of General Relativity?

This is rather a technical question for experts in General Relativity. An accessible link would be an accepable answer, although any additional discussion is welcome. GR has well known solutions ...
12
votes
2answers
819 views

If two ultra-relativistic billiard balls just miss, will they still form a black hole?

This forum seems to agree that a billiard ball accellerated to ultra-relativistic speeds does not turn into a black hole. (See recent question "If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of ...
1
vote
2answers
413 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?
4
votes
3answers
487 views

References for ADM formalism and cosmological perturbation theory [closed]

What would you consider the best online resources for learning the 3+1 ADM formalism and gauge invariant perturbation theory in cosmology? (Assuming intermediate level GR and QFT familiarity)
3
votes
3answers
252 views

A flyby of orbiting supermassive black holes

Consider two supermassive black holes of equal mass orbiting about their common centre of mass. Is it the case that a free-fall trajectory along the axis of rotation would be outside of either event ...
4
votes
8answers
617 views

Is relativity necessary for the existence of life?

If the universe didn't have the relativity principle, would it be able to support life? Life consists of very complicated organisms. The operation of these organisms depends on the laws of physics. ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a maximum possible acceleration?

I'm thinking equivalence principle, possibilities of unbounded space-time curvature, quantum gravity ...
19
votes
5answers
849 views

Should a neutron fall faster than a proton?

If you drop a proton and a neutron in a gravitational field, they both fall, but the proton has a charge and accelerating charges radiate energy, so that leaves less kinetic energy for the proton and ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

What determines which frames are inertial frames?

I understand that you can (in principle) measure whether "free particles" (no forces) experience accelerations in order to tell whether a frame is inertial. But fundamentally, what determines which ...
9
votes
6answers
571 views

How Does Hubble's Expansion Affect Two Rope-Tied Galaxies?

Suppose we have two galaxies that are sufficiently far apart so that the distance between them increases due to Hubble's expansion. If I were to connect these two galaxies with a rope, would there be ...
2
votes
5answers
483 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?
26
votes
8answers
12k views

How exactly does curved space-time describe the force of gravity?

I understand that people explain (in layman's terms at least) that the presence of mass "warps" space-time geometry, and this causes gravity. I have also of course heard the analogy of a blanket or ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the equivalence between inertial and gravitational mass imply anything about the Higgs mechanism?

For example: the role it might play in a theory of quantum gravity (ie causing space-time curvature)? I realize that inertial mass can result from binding energy alone. Has the equivalence principle ...
8
votes
3answers
677 views

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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Wormholes & Time Machines - for *experts* in GR/maths

EDIT: Further clarification in the context of answers/comments received to 20 Jan has been appended EDIT: 21 Jan - Response to the Lubos Expansion appended [in progress, not yet complete] EDIT: 23 ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

Total energy of the Universe

In popular science books and articles, I keep running into the claim that the total energy of the Universe is zero, "because the positive energy of matter is cancelled out by the negative energy of ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it theoretically possible to shield gravitational fields or waves?

Electromagnetic waves can be shielded by a perfect conductor. What about gravitational fields or waves?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “foliation” mean in the context of a “foliation of spacetime?”

I've seen foliation used in the context of "foliation of spacetime" here and elsewhere in papers and such. Generally defined in reference to a "sequence of spatial hypersurfaces." But I don't know ...