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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Different forms of the Einstein field equation

I am working my way through the wonderfully written introduction "General relativity for mathematicians" by Sachs & Wu. I am indeed a mathematics student and find this book to be well suited to ...
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578 views

Metric tensor in special and general relativity

I'm having trouble understanding the metric tensor in general relativity. What I've understood so far has come from my course lecture notes used in conjunction with "The Road to Reality" by Roger ...
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0answers
74 views

Do past and future exist? [closed]

Ok, first thing I want to say is that I'm a layman. No high school math background whatsoever, so I'd be greatful if you could provide an explanation without equations. Now I'm quite interested in ...
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1answer
77 views

Inverse Metric Tensor

First the setup: Let $\mathcal M$ be a $2$-dimensional manifold. Let $U_P$ be some open neighbourhood of a point $P \in \mathcal M$. Let $\mathcal F : U_P \rightarrow \mathbb R \times \mathbb R$ be ...
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1answer
66 views

Fastest way to find the curvature terms from a given metric [closed]

I want to find the spherically symmetric, static solutions to Einstein's equations $$ R_{\mu \nu} - \frac{1}{2}Rg_{\mu \nu} = 0 $$ in four dimensions using the metric $$ g_{\mu \nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu} ...
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36 views

For gravitational wave from twin stars, how was the tidal effect counted?

As the primary indirect evidence, the work on calculating the rotational slow down earned the 1993 Nobel prize. However, I cannot find any where mention how the work deal with the tidal effect. Are ...
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2answers
92 views

If a theory gets two predictions right, how likely it is that the rest of the predictions are true too? [closed]

The question lucidly defines what I am trying to inquire, so there is no need to elucidate it any further. Another question would be, General/Special Relativity has gotten some predictions right as ...
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1answer
30 views

Calculation, radius of Saggriatus A* (SMBH) , Error in Wikipedia?

The parameter Schwarzschild Radius of Saggriatus A* is given in Wiki by 2.08×1015 (~0.2 ly) see in Parameters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarzschild_radius However, when I do the calculation ...
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2answers
427 views

Spacetime geometry around two black holes

For space-time geometry we all know images like he one below. But if I were to take a neutron star and put it right next to but not touching a black hole what effect would that have on the geometry of ...
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1answer
59 views

Simple question about the electromagnetic tensor written as a 2-form

I noticed that the 2 form (Electromagnetic tensor) is written as: $$F= F^{ab}e^a \wedge e^b$$ while we know that $$F= F_{\mu\nu}dx^\mu \wedge dx^\nu$$ Is there something wrong with the indices ...
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62 views

Topology of a black hole

How many dimensions are theorized for a black hole, in view of the fact that black holes are not observed directly.
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4answers
1k views

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 non-inertial frame accelerating in the sense opposite to the gravitational field - is ...
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2answers
67 views

Is an achronal set contained in its own causal future?

I use Wald's notation: $I^+$ is the chronological future and $J^+$ is the causal future. My confusion arises from the following passage in Wald (1984): Now, let $S$ be a closed, achronal set ...
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4answers
2k views

What does this depiction of a black hole in the movie Interstellar mean?

I was expecting a whirlpool in 3D and the matter glowing from friction as it nears the center, as I expected a event horizon to be negligible visually. How does this depiction work? How big is the ...
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6answers
1k views

What is “special” and what is “general” in Relativity?

Initially I thought in special relativity the velocity was constant, whereas general relativity allowed treatment of accelerated frames as well. But now I have heard that SR is only valid locally?
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1answer
43 views

What are the differences between special and general relativity? [duplicate]

What are the differences between special relativity and general relativity? I am looking for a naive, non-mathematical explanation.
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2answers
329 views

Evidence for electrodynamics in curved spacetime

Field theories in curved spacetime is usually formulated by integrating their Lagrangian over the curved spacetime. For example, for electrodynamics, we have the action $$ S = \int d^4x \left( ...
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1answer
295 views

Why does the Ricci tensor vanishes in Schwarzschild metric? [duplicate]

If the Schwarzschild metric is suppose to describe the behaviour of a spherical object in flat space, so the Schwarzschild is different from the flat metric because it describes curved space so why ...
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1answer
87 views

Is it, and if so, why, impossible to build perpetual motion machines (PMMs) in GR?

I am wondering about this. I have heard that in General Relativity (GR), the energy in a space-time may not be well-defined. If that is the case, then it would seem "conservation of energy" would not ...
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16 views

Replacing the flat part of ads metric with another flat metric.

In the poincare co-ordinate representation metric of the ads space has a flat part that corresponds to the minkowski metric. Can one show that this flat part can be replaced by other metric that ...
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0answers
40 views

If gravitational field has negative energy density, how does gravitational radiation carry positive energy?

The following question uses the analogy between EM (electromagnetism) and GM (gravitomagnetism). In order to force two like electric charges nearby, some work has to be done. This implies that the ...
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1answer
47 views

General Relativistic Boltzmann Equation Verification

Let $(M,g)$ be a (pseudo)Riemannian manifold. Define on $TM$ the symplectic 2-form $\omega=dx^\mu\wedge dp_\mu$ and use $g$ to define the pull back $\omega_g=dx^\mu\wedge d(g_{\mu\nu}p^\nu)$. Define ...
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1answer
52 views

Wondering about Energy [duplicate]

Me and Energy I'm trying to move along with my study of non-advanced physics but not grasping what energy really is, is driving me nuts. Whenever i see anything about energy ( Kinetic, ...
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1answer
81 views

Are the Jacobi equation and the geodesic deviation equation related?

On page 111 in his book Riemannian Geometry, Manfredo Do Carmo states what he calls the Jacobi equation \begin{equation} \frac{D^2J}{dt^2} + R(\gamma'(t),J(t))\gamma'(t) = 0 \end{equation} ...
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65 views

Quadratic order perturbation terms in the expansion of Ricci tensor [closed]

I want to expand Einstein-Hilbert action for the metric $$ g_{\mu \nu} = \eta_{\mu \nu} + h_{\mu \nu} $$ up to quadratic order in $h_{\mu \nu}$. For this purpose I need to calculate the Ricci tensor ...
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26 views

Available material on Giant Gravitons

I am looking for a pedagogical introduction to giant gravitons (if one exists!). I have basic string theory/SUSY knowledge but no introduction to AdS/CFT. (Do I need to do some reading on AdS/CFT ...
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135 views

Is there an accepted axiomatic approach to general relativity?

I am reading Steven Weinberg's book Gravitation and Cosmology. He makes a big deal out of the equivalence principle and showed a bunch of deductions you can make based on it. This surprised me since ...
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3answers
238 views

Why do the Einstein field equations (EFE) involve the Ricci curvature tensor instead of Riemann curvature tensor?

I am just starting to learn general relativity. I don't understand why we use the Ricci curvature tensor. I thought the Riemann curvature tensor contains "more information" about the curvature. Why is ...
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27 views

Klein Gordon equation in de-sitter spacetime with time dependent Hubble parameter

If i try to solve Klein-Gordon equation for a scalar field in de-sitter background, the usual method is to transform to conformal spacetime : $$ds^2 = -dt^2 + e^{Ht}\bf{dx}^2$$ $$=>ds^2 = ...
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56 views

Would an Alcubierre drive actually allow FTL travel? [duplicate]

If I do not phrase this question right, please forgive me in advance because I am a layman on the subject of physics, but a software engineer, nonetheless. I do understand many technical subjects. ...
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0answers
63 views

Propagator for massless spin 2 particle

In my quantum field theory class, we saw ad derived the propagator for both spin-0 and spin-1 particles, massless and massive. I am curious to know what the propagator looks like for a spin-2 ...
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1answer
60 views

Inertial and Non-inertial frames of reference

I'm really beginner in physics and I recently started to study the concept of frames of reference, inertial and non-inertial ones. In the end, I thought I had understood it: frames of reference ...
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58 views

Confusion about Weinberg's discussion of equivalence principle. Help understanding formula

I am reading Steven Weinberg's book Gravitation and Cosmology. On pages 67-68, he begins his discussion of the Principle of Equivalence of Gravitation and Indertia by saying the following: The ...
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50 views

Hermitian Metric and Geodesics

Why isn't general relativity developed with a Hermitian metric and a theory of complex valued paths and geodesics? The concept of arc length and geodesic suffers under a pseudo-Riemannian metric. My ...
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2answers
93 views

Recommendation on books with problems for general relativity?

I am reading Sean Carroll's book on GR and have read the first two chapters, which are on manifolds and differential geometry. However, there are only 12 problems for both chapters. In fact, there ...
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1answer
44 views

Invariance of the low energy effective string action

It is well known that the action of General Relativity $$S = \frac{1}{16\pi G}\int R\;\sqrt{-g} d^D X$$ is invariant under "diffeomorphisms". The low energy effective action for bosonic strings is ...
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21 views

Measuring speed of an object relative to what? [duplicate]

I understand that everything in the universe is moving through spacetime and the spacetime vector is equal for all the objects. So if If something is moving at speed of light, the mass of it is zero ...
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24 views

Will the center of mass of the whole system change when object swims on curved surface?

In the example given here, the object can move on the frictionless surface of the sphere by changing its shape periodically. So will the center of mass of the whole system change after the object ...
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3answers
229 views

It's established that universal energy is not constant. But is the net change positive or negative?

Dark energy is density is constant and that's something like 75% of the universe, so I am pretty sure that the net change must be positive. But photons redshift and so loose energy. I assume other ...
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1answer
92 views

Doubt regarding stress-energy tensor definition

I'm having some trouble understanding the following definition of the stress energy tensor: $T^{\mu\nu}$ is the flux of four-momentum $p^{\mu}$ across a surface of constant $x^{\nu}$. Here's an ...
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0answers
87 views

Is Energy attracted to Energy?

Newton taught us that bodies with mass attract each other according to the universal law of gravitation (mass-mass attraction) and Einstein taught us that mass and energy are equivalent though his ...
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46 views

What is static mass increase effect predicted by General relativity?

According to wikipedia, static mass increase is predicted by Einstein's General Relativity. In the book 'The Meaning of Relativity' by Einstein, inertia will increase when the object is near a ...
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3answers
188 views

Geometric meaning of parallel transport

The definition of parallel transport of a vector $v^b$ along a curve $C$ with tangent field $\it{t}^a$ is given by Wald's GR as $$t^a \nabla_a v^b = 0$$ Is it correct to think of $\nabla_a v^b$ as ...
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28 views

Is energy-momentum of curvature a boundary/holographic density?

Since the beginnings of General Relativity, we have had this awkward, unholy separation of the universe in marble versus wood. divergence of the stress-energy momentum holds at all points of ...
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3answers
328 views

What is gravity and what causes objects to act against it?

So I understand the concept of gravity, in that it's not actually a force, but more of a displacement in the spacetime grid. An object with a big enough mass will bend the spacetime, causing smaller ...
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3answers
502 views

Is it correct to say that falling object are standing still?

As I was browsing youtube I came across the BBC video "Brian Cox visits the world's biggest vacuum chamber - Human Universe: Episode 4 Preview - BBC Two" He drops a bowling ball and a feather in a ...
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96 views

Gravity: Is there curved space besides curved spacetime?

Wikipedia: Curved spaces play an essential role in General Relativity where gravity is often visualized as curved space. Is the Wikipedia article "curved space" talking about curved space or ...
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44 views

Does the curvature of spacetime by gravity affect homogeneity and isotropy of the space of the universe?

The FLRW metric starts with the assumption of homogeneity and isotropy of space.(Wikipedia) FLRW metrics of the universe have no or only very weak curvature - It is curved space. In contrast, ...
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114 views

Boundary term in Einstein-Hilbert action

Why is the boundary term in the Einstein-Hilbert action, the Gibbons-Hawking-York term, generally "missing" in General Relativity courses, IMPORTANT from the variational viewpoint, geometrical setting ...
16
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463 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 ...