# Tagged Questions

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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### An infalling object in a black hole looks “paused” for a far away observer, for how long?

As I understand, to an observer well outside a black hole, anything going towards it will appear to slow down, and eventually come to a halt, never even touching the event horizon. What happens if ...
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### In what limit does string theory reproduce general relativity? [duplicate]

In quantum mechanical systems which have classical counterparts, we can typically recover classical mechanics by letting $\hbar \rightarrow 0$. Is recovering Einstein's field equations (conceptually) ...
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### Equation of state of cosmic strings and branes

I'm sure these are basic ideas covered in string cosmology or advanced GR, but I've done very little string theory, so I hope you will forgive some elementary questions. I'm just trying to fit some ...
499 views

### Why is $\langle \partial_{\mu} f(x) \rangle=0$?

I'm reading page 488 of Hobson, Efstathiou & Lasenby, and I don't understand something they write... so I came here. The concept they describe is in linearised general relativity. In particular, ...
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### What does it mean that Einstein's equations are hyperbolic-elliptical?

I says on Wolfram MathWorld that Einstein's field equations are a set of "16 coupled hyperbolic-elliptic nonlinear partial differential equations". What does it mean that the equations are ...
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### Divergence theorem over entire space on non euclidean spaces

I'm a physics major so bear with me here on the math. This is related to a problem from the textbook General Relativity - Wald. In classical electromagnetism if we have a vector field say $V$ defined ...
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### Do residents of the Hudson Bay area have more time?

Apparently there is a gravity anomaly in the Hudson Bay Area in Canada: gravity is "missing" or it is slightly less than it is in the rest of the world. Does that mean that things in the Hudson Bay ...
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### How is the direction of time determined in general relativity?

In special relativity every frame has its own unique time axis, represented in Minkowski diagrams by a fan-out of time vectors that grows infinitely dense as you approach the surface of the light cone ...
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### Why must the gravitational wave components be much less than unity?

We start with the metric tensor $$g_{\mu\nu}(x) = \eta_{\mu\nu} + h_{\mu\nu}(x)$$ in the linearised theory, or g_{\mu\nu}(x) = \bar{g}_{\mu\nu}(x) + ...
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### What is the significance of Planck force?

I have been curious to find what could be the significance of Planck force? It is calculated by the formula $c^4/G = 1.21031359\times 10^{44} \, \mathrm{N}$, where $c$ is the speed of light and $G$ is ...
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### Is there a book that discusses General Relativity in terms of Modern Differential Geometry? [duplicate]

All of the physics books that I've seen which discuss General Relativity do so in terms of coordinates - the tensor calculus - even though the naturally relevant entities are invariant under general ...
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### Hamiltonian constraint in spherical Friedmann cosmology

I'm taking a GR course, in which the instructor discussed the 'Hamiltonian constraint' of spherical Friedmann cosmology action. I'm not quite clear about the definition of 'Hamiltonian constraint' ...
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### Kaluza-Klein Christoffel Symbols

I have a question regarding the connection coefficients as they pertain to the following paper: http://www.weylmann.com/kaluza.pdf . When I try to calculate the 4D Christoffel symbols from the 4D part ...
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### Are group representations possible when the solution space is not a vector space?

As far as I understand, the motivation for using representation theory in high energy physics is as follows. Assume that a theory has some (internal or external) symmetry group which acts on a vector ...
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### Why do clocks measure arc-length?

Apologies in advance for the long question. My understanding is that in GR, massive observers move along timelike curves $x^\mu(\lambda)$, and if an observer moves from point $x^\mu(\lambda_a)$ to ...
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### Why does the local inertial compass coincide with the stellar compass?

I found this physics paper via a non-duality site and I wished that I could understand it. Could someone please either read it and explain it to me or else point me to pages that would help me ...
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### Expression for distance of closest approach in Schwarzschild Geodesics

The Wikipedia article Two-body problem in General Relativity uses two length-scale variables, $a$ and $b$, to simplify the math. For some information about these, consider these statements from the ...
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### What is the Riemann curvature tensor contracted with the metric tensor?

Can the Ricci curvature tensor be obtained by a 'double contraction' of the Riemann curvature tensor? For example $R_{\mu\nu}=g^{\sigma\rho}R_{\sigma\mu\rho\nu}$.
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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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### 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 ...
207 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
16k 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Homogeneous gravitational field and the geodesic deviation

In General Relativity (GR), we have the geodesic deviation equation (GDE) ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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: ...
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 ...