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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
429 views

Negative potential energy of gravity

Does the negative potential energy in the gravitational field have to be considered in calculating the total mass of the system in question (because of $E=mc^2$)? If so it seems to me that the ...
3
votes
1answer
244 views

Why does the Kruskal diagram extend to all 4 quadrants?

Why is it that the Kruskal diagram is always seen extended to all 4 quadrants when the definitions of the $U,V$ coordinates don't seem to suggest that the coordinates are not defined in, say, the 3rd ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Christoffel symbol for Schwarzschild metric

I know that the christoffel (second kind) can be defined like this: $$\Gamma^m_{ij} = \frac{1}{2} g^{mk}(\frac{\partial g_{ki}}{\partial U^j}+\frac{\partial g_{jk}}{\partial U^i}-\frac{\partial ...
5
votes
1answer
539 views

When a variation of a tensor is not a tensor?

In a comment about variation of metric tensor it was shown that $$\delta g_{\mu\nu}=-g_{\mu\rho}g_{\nu\,\sigma}\delta g^{\rho\,\sigma}$$ which is contrary to the usual rule of lowering indeces of a ...
2
votes
0answers
138 views

Ising Hamiltonian for relativistic particles

An Ising system is described by the simple Hamiltonian: $$H = \sum\limits_{i} c_{1i} x_{i} + \sum\limits_{i,j} c_{2ij} x_i x_j \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,(1)$$ Here the $x_i$ are spins (+1 or -1 in units ...
1
vote
0answers
97 views

Null vector fields given Bondi metric

I'm trying to understand how to compute the null future-directed vector fields if I have a given (Bondi) metric $g=-e^{2\nu}du^{2}-2e^{\nu+\lambda}dudr+r^{2}d\Omega$ with $d\Omega$-standard metric ...
7
votes
3answers
309 views

Do velocity and acceleration time dilation factors add?

For a spinning space station such as in 2001, A Space Odyssey, what would be the time slowing in the perimeter of the spinning space station with respect to the center axis of the station? The ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is time going backwards beyond the event horizon of a black hole?

For an outside observer the time seems to stop at the event horizon. My intuition suggests, that if it stops there, then it must go backwards inside. Is this the case? This question is a followup ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Stress energy tensor of a perfect fluid and four-velocity

In the following demonstration, there is an error, but I cannot find where. (I explicitely put the $c^2$ to keep track of units). We consider a metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ with a signature $(-, +, +, +)$ : ...
11
votes
2answers
288 views

What is a sudden singularity?

I've seen references to some sort of black hole (or something) referred to as a sudden singularity, but I haven't seen a short clear definition of what this is for the layman.
3
votes
1answer
548 views

The most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time

What is the most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time? For the first 2 criteria, the Robertson-Walker metric springs to mind. (I shall adopt the (-+++) ...
3
votes
1answer
330 views

Sign crazyness on the stress energy tensor?

I would like to know on what depends the sign of the stress energy tensor in the following formula : $T_{\mu\nu}=\pm(\rho c^2+P)u_{\mu}u_{\nu} \pm P g_{\mu\nu}$ In my case the metric is equal to ...
6
votes
3answers
780 views

Are gravitational time dilation and the time dilation in special relativity independent?

There are two kinds of time dilation: One because the other clock moves fast relative to me (special relativity). Another one because the other clock is in a stronger gravitational field (general ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

“WLOG” re Schwarzschild geodesics

Why, when studying geodesics in the Schwarzschild metric, one can WLOG set $$\theta=\frac{\pi}{2}$$ to be equatorial? I assume it is so because when digging around the internet, most references seem ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Gravitational time delay and contraction of matter [duplicate]

How can any matter contract to its Schwarzschild radius if gravitational time dilation clearly states that all clocks stop at that point. So any contraction any movement would stop. If that is so why ...
2
votes
0answers
246 views

Do we expect that the universe is simply-connected? [duplicate]

I heard recently that the universe is expected to be essentially flat. If this is true, I believe this means (by the 3d Poincare conjecture) that the universe cannot be simply-connected, since the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

General relativity and the conservation of momentum

I'm trying to understand the conservation of momentum in general relativity. Due to the curvature of space-time by matters and energy, the path of a linear motion appears to be distorted. Therefore ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Singularities in Schwarzchild space-time

Can anyone explain when a co-ordinate and geometric singularity arise in Schwarzschild space-time with the element $$ ...
7
votes
2answers
699 views

First and second fundamental forms

I'm writing notes about the 3+1 formalism in general relativity, for myself. Inevitably I came across the notions of first and second fundamental forms. Mathematically, it is clear how these objects ...
2
votes
0answers
149 views

Lecture Notes confusion: Constructing the Einstein Equation

This question is on the construction of the Einstein Field Equation. In my notes, it is said that The most general form of the Ricci tensor $R_{ab}$ is $$R_{ab}=AT_{ab}+Bg_{ab}+CRg_{ab}$$ ...
2
votes
0answers
742 views

How to calculate Riemann and Ricci tensors for a sphere? [closed]

Let's have the metric for a sphere: $$ dl^{2} = R^{2}\left(d\psi ^{2} + sin^{2}(\psi )(d \theta ^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta ) d \varphi^{2})\right). $$ I tried to calculate Riemann or Ricci tensor's ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Contraction of the metric tensor

This is perhaps a simple tensor calculus problem -- but I just can't see why... I have notes (in GR) that contains a proof of the statement In space of constant sectional curvature, $K$ is ...
2
votes
0answers
262 views

Stress-energy tensor of point particle when the trajectory is a transcendental equation?

I'm working through Carroll's GR book, and Problem 7.8 is not coming together. I'm missing something idiotically simple, but I'm not sure if I can cleanly write a stress-energy tensor for a point ...
4
votes
2answers
837 views

Is Earth's orbit around the sun affected by the ~8 minutes light delay?

Gravitational change occurs at the speed of light. As a consequence, we experience on Earth the gravitational attraction of the sun based on its position relative to us ~8 minutes ago. How does this ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

A physical sense of an Inertial frame

Definition clarification needed, please: I am hoping to get physical sense of an "inertial frame". Do inertial reference frames all have zero curvature for their spacetime? So is an inertial frame ...
4
votes
2answers
531 views

Local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates

It is said that we can introduce local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates for any timelike geodesic. But why only for timelike geodesics? What about null geodesics? Perhaps it has to do ...
1
vote
5answers
921 views

How universal gravitation falls short

As a non physicist I can understand how Newtonian mechanics falls short in cases of high velocity etc. and is properly generalized by the special theory of relativity. What is not clear to me is how ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Zero-zero (lower indicies) term for affine connection ($\Gamma_{00}^\lambda$), why do some terms dissapear?

More simply a tensor algebra question, but in General relativity I have the following when I calculate $\Gamma_{00}^\lambda$:- $$ \Gamma_{00}^\lambda = \frac{1}{2}g^{\nu\lambda}\left( \frac{\partial ...
7
votes
2answers
805 views

Does non-mass-energy generate a gravitational field?

At a very basic level I know that gravity isn't generated by mass but rather the stress-energy tensor and when I wave my hands a lot it seems like that implies that energy in $E^2 = (pc)^2 + (mc^2)^2$ ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Wald problem 11.4

Consider a stationary solution with stress-energy $T_{ab}$ in the context of linearized gravity. Choose a global inertial coordinate system for the flat metric $\eta_{ab}$ so that the "time direction" ...
8
votes
1answer
408 views

Cancelling special & general relativistic effects

We know that for a GPS we need to make a correction for both general and special relativity: general relativity predicts that clocks go slower in a higher gravitational field (the clock aboard a GPS ...
13
votes
1answer
451 views

General definition of an event horizon?

Horizons are in general observer-dependent. For example, in Minkowski space, an observer who experiences constant proper acceleration has a horizon. Black hole horizons are usually defined as ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Change of variables in an interval expression

This question is a continuation of How to calculate a scalar curvature fast? . Let's have Lorentz-Fock spacetime with an interval $$ d \hat {s}^{2} = \frac{t_{0}^{2}R^{2}}{\hat {t}^{4}}\left( d \hat ...
0
votes
3answers
230 views

Combining metric tensors/curvature tensors

I was thinking about the following scenario: Consider a particle which causes a metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ on an otherwise Minkowski spacetime (or any manifold). Now, consider another particle, somewhere in ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Can the effects of a person's mass upon the local gravitational field be detected and measured remotely?

As the title suggests, Can the effects of a person's mass upon the local gravitational field be detected and measured remotely? I am aware any mass produces and effects gravity but couldn't find ...
2
votes
1answer
445 views

Why four velocity under covariant differential is considered to be zero?

In Einstein's general theory of relativity the elements of four velocity $U^{\mu} (\gamma c, \gamma v)$ under covariant differential is considered to be zero, why? $$\mathcal{D} U^{\mu}=0$$ in other ...
1
vote
1answer
626 views

What is the curvature of an empty universe?

My calculations tell me an empty universe has hyperbolic curvature. Is this correct? If it is, can anyone help me understand why this is intuitively?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

If there's a light ray and it's turned to a new location by a certain angle

Imagine that there's a light ray, with source at point A, and it's directed towards point B (which is very far from point A) and it continues for a huge distance. How will an observer at point B ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

Why doesn't this metric cover all of de Sitter space?

I'm working on a problem from Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry. Supposedly I should be able to use the geodesic equatio ...
3
votes
1answer
302 views

Space time a function of itself, objects in it, or both?

Is spacetime a function of itself, objects within it, or both? I am struggling to understand just what is spacetime without objects in it (or theoretical reference points) and thus no frame of ...
42
votes
6answers
5k views

Why do we still need to think of gravity as a force?

Firstly I think shades of this question have appeared elsewhere (like here, or here). Hopefully mine is a slightly different take on it. If I'm just being thick please correct me. We always hear ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Energy Functional

I am a graduate student in pure mathematics, during my study on Ricci Flow I faced some functional known as energy functional. For example Einstein-Hilbert functional is called an energy functional, ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Theoretical need for Newtonian Gravity

I've been wondering: Are there, still, some advantages, for current research, to study Newtonian gravity? I mean, not experimentally, where Newton gravity is a very good approximation to everyday ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

What is path of light in the accelerating elevator?

Mathematically, (by mathematically I means by equations) what is path of light in the accelerating elevator? What is the difference between an ordinary derivative and covariant derivative (which is ...
11
votes
2answers
779 views

How (or why) equivalence principle led to Einstein field equations?

If equivalence principle was origin of general relativity what was the process that this principle led Einstein to developed his theory of general relativity?
-1
votes
1answer
366 views

What is mathematical definition of a strong gravity?

Mathematical definition of a weak gravity is simple $g=\frac{GM}{r^2}$ but what is mathematical definition of a strong gravity? (blackhole-like or close to a blackhole-like object)
2
votes
3answers
160 views

Transforming an equation to the co-vector version

Ok, this question is more a result of my lack of knowledge of how to manipulate equations involving index notation rather than about physics... I have the geodesic equation with ...
2
votes
1answer
590 views

The role of the affine connection the geodesic equation

I apologise in advance that my knowledge of differential geometry and GR is very limited. In general relativity the equation of motion for a particle moving only under the influence of gravity is ...
2
votes
3answers
353 views

Why are black holes special?

A black hole is where it's mass is great enough that light can't escape at a radius above the surface of the mass? I've been told that strange things happen inside the event horizon such as ...
1
vote
0answers
87 views

When is spacetime homogenous and isotropic? [duplicate]

When is spacetime homogenous and isotropic? For example, some metric $g_{\mu \nu}$ is homogeneous and isotropic. We now construct effective metric $$n_{\mu \nu} ~\rightarrow~ g_{\mu \nu} + ...