A theory that describes how matter interacts dynamically with 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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Setting up a local-coordinate system in space-time using only a single clock and light beams

I have a question to ask about the operationalist view of space-time. I am a mathematician who happens to be interested in physics, so if anyone thinks that my question is a silly or vague one, please ...
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0answers
61 views

The definition of $f_{NL}$ and transfer function

To me there seems to be quite a few different definitions of $f_{NL}$ in cosmology and I would like to know if or how they are equivalent. Let me cite at least 3 such, One can see the equation 6.71 ...
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2answers
200 views

Order = Energy = Mass?

Here is a following problem I encountered when chatting about physics with my friend: Let us imagine a classical example of ordered state of matter in thermodynamic sense: let's take a cylinder ...
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1answer
327 views

Propagating degrees of freedom of graviton

What is the best way to see that the number of propagating degrees of freedom or gravitons in 3 dimensions is $0$ ? By graviton I mean the metric and NOT some topologically massive graviton that one ...
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4answers
293 views

Equivalence principle question

I understand the equivalence principle as "The physics in a freely-falling small laboratory is that of special relativity (SR)." But I'm not quite sure why this is equivalent to "One cannot tell ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
147 views

Does spacetime have momentum?

In what sense can it be said that spacetime possesses momentum? Can an experiment be envisaged to test this question?
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197 views

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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2answers
1k views

Graviton and photons interaction

If one believes in the theory of gravitons then by viewing a black hole you see gravitons affect photons. This in turn leads to the conclusion that force carrier's mass equivalences allow them to be ...
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1answer
115 views

Help with the understanding of boundary conditions on $AdS_3$

So I am trying to reproduce results in this article, precisely the 3rd chapter 'Virasoro algebra for AdS$_3$'. I have the metric in this form: ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the capture cross-section of a black hole region for ultra-relativistic particles?

What is the capture cross-section of a black hole region for ultra-relativistic particles? I have read that it is $$\sigma ~=~ \frac{27}{4}\pi R^{2}_{s}$$ for a Schwarzschild BH in the geometric ...
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1answer
529 views

How to thoroughly distinguish a coordinate singularity and a physical singularity

In a course on general relativity I am following at the moment, it was shown that the singularity $r=2M$ in the Schwarzschild solution is a consequence of the choice of coordinates. Introducing ...
21
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3answers
8k views

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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748 views

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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2answers
12k views

Newtonian gravity vs. general relativity: exactly how wrong is Newton?

Is there a simple function I can use to describe the difference between simple Newtonian dynamics and the actual observed motion? Or maybe some ratios for common examples of, say, the motion of stars ...
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1answer
2k views

Physical significance of Killing vector field along geodesic

Let us denote by $X^i=(1,\vec 0)$ the Killing vector field and by $u^i(s)$ a tangent vector field of a geodesic, where $s$ is some affine parameter. What physical significance do the scalar quantity ...
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3answers
6k views

The bigger the mass, the more time slows down. Why is this?

If I were to stand by a pyramid, which weighs about 20 million tons, I would slow down by a trillion million million million of second. Don't know if that's exactly right, but you get the point. Also, ...
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266 views

Is it mathematically possible or topologically allowable for cutouts, or cavities, to exist in a 3-manifold?

A few weeks back, I posted a related question, Could metric expansion create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime?, asking if metric stretching could create cutouts in the spacetime manifold. ...
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80 views

Gravitational effects and metric spaces

Could somebody please explain something regarding the Nordstrom metric? In particular, I am referring to the last part of question 3 on this sheet -- about the freely falling massive bodies. My ...
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3answers
483 views

where the proper time is invariant why $d\tau$ is not zero?

where the proper time is invariant why change (differential) in proper time $d\tau$ is not zero? $\Delta \tau=\tau_f-\tau_i$ as i know. $d(invariant)=0$ note to comment: action $S=-m_oc^2\int_C d\tau$ ...
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1answer
134 views

Can the zeroth-component of a 4-velocity be negative?

Is it allowed to have the zeroth-component of a four-velocity be negative? I presume the answer is yes, but I just want to make sure. Many thanks. This is referring to $V^0$ for a curved space ...
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1answer
371 views

Homogeneous gravitational field and the geodesic deviation

In General Relativity (GR), we have the geodesic deviation equation (GDE) ...
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2answers
2k views

How can mass affect spacetime?

In General Relativity Theory, mass can warp spacetime. However, in my view interaction only occurs between pieces of matter. Spacetime is not matter; how can it be affected by matter?
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1answer
176 views

Massless Dirac equation is Weyl covariant

Does somebody know how to show that the following equation is Weyl invariant? $$\gamma^ae_a^\mu D_\mu \Psi=0$$ where: $D_\mu \Psi=\partial_\mu\Psi+A_\mu^{ab}\Sigma_{ab}\Psi$ is the spin-covariant ...
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1answer
674 views

Difference between $\partial$ and $\nabla$ in general relativity

I read a lot in Road to Reality, so I think I might use some general relativity terms where I should only special ones. In our lectures we just had $\partial_\mu$ which would have the plain partial ...
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1answer
413 views

Diffeomorphisms and boundary conditions

I am trying to find out how did the authors in this paper (arXiv:0809.4266) found out the general form of the diffeomorphism which preserve the boundary conditions in the same paper. I found this ...
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2answers
244 views

Curved space or curved spacetime?

As I understand it, you can have time + flat space = curved spacetime. So, when one is trying to emphasise that there is a curvature to the space, is it more technically correct to say curved space ...
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1answer
648 views

Dirac Equation in General Relativity

Dirac equation for the massless fermions in curved spase time is $γ^ae^μ_aD_μΨ=0$, where $e^μ_a$ are the tetrads. I have to show that Dirac spinors obey the following equation: ...
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115 views

Showing that the Ricci scalar equals a product of commutators

I have to compute the square of the Dirac operator, $D=\gamma^a e^\mu_a D_\mu$ , in curved space time ($D_\mu\Psi=\partial_\mu \Psi + A_\mu ^{ab}\Sigma_{ab}$ is the covariant derivative of the spinor ...
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1answer
186 views

How would it be to look at the sky if the earth were near the edge of the universe?

By looking at this picture: http://earthspacecircle.blogspot.com/2013/01/earths-location-in-universe.html The earth is near the center of the universe. I've read that the universe look the same no ...
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2answers
620 views

What is 'past null infinity'?

For example, in the sentence "there is no incoming radiation at past null infinity".
3
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1answer
489 views

How does one write the Einstein field equations in terms of Ricci tensor?

How can I go from the 'standard' Einstein equations $R_{\mu\nu} - \frac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu}R = \frac{8\pi G}{c^4}T_{\mu\nu}$ to these equations: $R_{\mu\nu} = \frac{8\pi G}{c^4}(T_{\mu\nu} - ...
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2answers
381 views

Stellar winds from neutron stars

It seems that this question has not really been explored in the literature. Do isolated neutron stars (which do not accrete material) emit stellar wind? If yes, what composition would it have? If yes, ...
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2answers
356 views

How does the evaporation of a black hole look for a distant observer?

Let's assume an observer looking at a distant black hole that is created by collapsing star. In observer frame of reference time near black hole horizon asymptotically slows down and he never see ...
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2answers
462 views

What is the “foamy space” hypothesis that has been debunked recently?

In "Space-Time Is Smooth, Not Foamy", a Space.com article, it is stated: In his general theory of relativity, Einstein described space-time as fundamentally smooth, warping only under the strain ...
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2answers
561 views

Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
6
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1answer
351 views

Does conformal gravity explain the Bullet cluster lensing effects?

Conformal gravity is an "alternative" theory of gravity, where instead of using the Einstein-Hilbert action composed of the Ricci scalar, the square of the conformal Weyl tensor is used. It was ...
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3answers
403 views

Question on inflation

I have two particular questions regarding the inflationary scenario. They are: 1.) What is the physical origin of the inflaton field? 2.) Why has the potential of the inflation field its particular ...
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5answers
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Does the amount of gravitational potential energy in the universe increase as it expands?

It seems to me that extra gravitational potential energy is created as the universe expands and the distance between massive objects such as galaxy clusters increases; this implies that energy is not ...
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0answers
165 views

Black hole entropy from collapsed entangled pure light

Consider the following scenario, very similar to the one proposed in this question, but this time, the pure quantum radiation used for the black hole collapse, is now being split with down-converter ...
2
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1answer
238 views

Killing Vectors of BTZ black hole and their calculation in general

I was wondering what are the Killing vectors of BTZ black hole and how to guess them easily? Will it be the same as of AdS? What then will be Killing vectors for AdS-Schwarzschild e.g.?
3
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1answer
301 views

Question on inflation as a phase transition

I have just finished watching the following video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beQ9fZ0jVdE where Laughlin, Gross and some students discuss e.g. about inflation. The following question is risen: Is ...
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2answers
202 views

Can time dilation be explained by limitations on computing power?

Are there any ideas of explaining the time dilatation as limits in "computing power"? What I mean is basically that the greater is a concentrated mass, the harder is to "compute" what happens in such ...
2
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1answer
297 views

Would dense matter around a black hole event horizon eventually form a secondary black hole? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Black hole formation as seen by a distant observer Given that matter can never cross the event horizon of a black hole (from an external observer point of view), if a ...
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0answers
53 views

Can a black hole actually grow, from the point of view of a distant observer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Black hole formation as seen by a distant observer I've read in several places that from the PoV of a distant observer it will take an infinite amount of time for new ...
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1answer
359 views

How to find the intrinsic covariant derivative component?

How to find the intrinsic covariant derivative component? In general relativity the elements of the acceleration four-vector are related to the elements of the four-velocity through a covariant ...
3
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1answer
487 views

How would you detect Hawking radiation?

Hawking theorized that a black hole must radiate and therefore lose mass (Hawking radiation). According to classical relativity though, nothing can escape a black hole, the hawking radiation would ...
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1answer
2k views

In general relativity (GR), does time stop at the event horizon or in the central singularity of a black hole?

I was reading through this question on time and big bang, and @John Rennie's answer surprised me. In the immediate environment of a black hole, where does time stop ticking if one were to follow a ...
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1answer
187 views

Einstein's equations as a Dirichlet boundary problem

Can Einstein's equations in vacuum $R_{ab} - \frac{1}{2}Rg_{ab} + \Lambda g_{ab}= 0$ be treated as a Dirichlet problem? I am thinking of something along those lines: Consider a compact manifold $M$ ...
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1answer
446 views

Curiosity episode with Stephen Hawking. The Big-Bang

In an episode of Discovery's Curiosity with host Stephen Hawking, he claims the Big Bang event can be explained from physics alone, and does not require the intervention of a creator. 1) His ...