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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17
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4answers
3k views

Nature of gravity: gravitons, curvature of space-time or both?

General relativity tells us that what we perceive as gravity is curvature of space-time. On the other hand (as I understand it) gravity can be understood as a force between objects which are ...
36
votes
5answers
7k views

Shine a beam of light horizontally, drop a stone from same height - would both hit the ground at the same time?

If a beam of light was shone horizontally, and simultaneously a stone was dropped from the same height, would they both hit the ground a the same time? Of course on Earth they would not, but let's ...
13
votes
1answer
351 views

Why are anti-de Sitter spaces so interesting when we believe the universe is expansionary?

Perhaps this is a naive question, but in my recent (admittedly limited) readings about AdS spaces, I keep wondering why they seem to be such a hotbed for theoretical research (AdS/CFT correspondence, ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Do two bodies spinning about the same axis in the opposite direction repel each other?

I recently read about the GEM equations, which look very much like the Maxwell's equations. Does this mean the behavior of mass is like the the behavior of the electric charge? So for example if you ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

value of $n$ in modified gravity model

In the modified gravitational model $ f(R)=R+\lambda{R_{0}}\left(\left(1+\frac{R^{2}}{R_{0}^{2}}\right)^{-n}-1\right) $ Are there any restrictions on the value on $n$. Also is this model valid for ...
0
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2answers
117 views

Does the universe have a different age to different observers?

Although I understand that the universe is approximately 12 billion light years wide, and that may mean that it took the light photons 12 billion years at 186,000 miles per second to reach the ...
4
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0answers
174 views
+50

What kind of object is the Landau--Lifshitz pseudotensor?

I understand that it's called a pseudotensor because it's not a tensor. Wikipedia says most pseudotensors are sections of jet bundles, which are perfectly valid objects in GR. ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Spinor notation in general relativity

I have a somewhat broad/big question, and I know that there are many references for it available out there. However, so far I couldn't find anything that I can really understand, that's why here is my ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Noether's theorem in general relativity

Noether's theorem yields a conservation law for every symmetry. Is that independent of the Lagrangian i.e. when $\mathcal{L}\neq T-V$? In general relativity the integral that is minimised will be the ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Gravity stronger than electromagnetic force in a black hole?

Well, the question has somewhat been answered before, but there's one part missing, which - I'd think - is in conflict with the physical laws. The earlier reply says that the gravitational pull even ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

What are the zero point energy densities of the individual quantum fields?

I'm reading through "General Relativity - An Introduction for Physicists", by Hobson, Efstathiou, and Lasenby, and I have a question regarding one of the statements related to the cosmological ...
3
votes
0answers
50 views

Escape velocity for Schwarzschild metric

I can't fill in the gaps in my solution to this and assistance or a reference would be appreciated. The question begins with the straightforward derivation of the EoM for a massive particle orbiting ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

What are the different ways to measure the spatial curvature of the universe?

Just what the question asks. Assuming the Friedmann-Rovertson-Walker (FRW) metric, what measurements can be performed to determine the spatial curvature of the universe.
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Geodetic effect and Frame dragging

Two gyroscopes pointing perpendicular to each other were housed inside Gravity Probe B which performed polar orbit around Earth to test Einstein's theory of relativity. As the probe is orbiting ...
1
vote
2answers
676 views

What is space made of?

General Relativity posits that matter curves spacetime, such that geodesics point towards the object in question, hence, gravity. Now, how does matter do this? What is spacetime "made of", anyway, ...
3
votes
3answers
972 views

D'Alembertian for a scalar field

I have read that the D'Alembertian for a scalar field is $$ \Box = g^{\nu\mu}\nabla_\nu\nabla_\mu = \frac{1}{\sqrt{-g}}\partial_\mu (\sqrt{-g}\partial^\mu). $$ Exactly when is this correct? Only for ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

Is a black hole a 3D hole? And doesn't it pull into the 4th dimension?

Hear me out here please: A body on a line (a 1-D world) causes a warp in the line, i.e. a curve (2-D) A body on a plane (a 2-D world) "sinks", causing a warp in the plane, i.e. a pit (3-D) Then does ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

metric determinant and its partial and covariant derivative

question : $\nabla_a \nabla_b \sqrt{g} \phi =\partial_a \sqrt{g} \partial_b \phi$ is true ? because $\nabla_a \sqrt{g}=0$ so we can write $\sqrt{g} \nabla_a \nabla_b \phi$ , but because metric ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

Can we add two singularities and make a single singularity?

My question is if we have two black hole and they will merge into each other, then where will be the singularity?
6
votes
0answers
223 views

What are Galileons good for?

Lately I've seen many papers (for example "The galileon as a local modification of gravity"; 292 total hits on the arXiv) on types of field theories known as Galileons, and I'm wondering what the ...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

Does Energy have a similar effect on time as Mass would when considering the gravitational field both exert?

I was thinking about light and the different frequencies. The higher the frequency the more energetic the photon. The higher frequency photon being more energetic seems counterintuitive when ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Is time an illusion? [closed]

IS time an illusion? I have tried thought experiment after TE and quite frankly I can't find any instance where time is defined wholly on its own. It is always a measurement of the interim between to ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Clarification with Einstein's explanation of inertial mass and gravitational mass from his book

In the book "Evolution of Physics" - Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld, the following explanation is given for two types of masses: A body at rest gives way before the action of an external ...
0
votes
4answers
119 views

Exceeding the speed of light using gravity? [duplicate]

From what I have learned, objects must accelerate as they approach a heavy mass. But I also know that they cannot travel faster than the speed of light. What if you had a proton travelling at ...
5
votes
4answers
243 views

Causality principle and Entropy (Second Law)

I was reading about the light cone in relativity and I got to the point where in order to avoid paradoxes one can introduce the causality principle: Causality Principle: For every inertial ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Neutron star: escape velocity

The textbook from which I teach physics at the end of secondary school calculates the escape velocity at the surface of a non-rotating neutron star Newton-style using $\frac{1}{2}\cdot m\cdot ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Schwarzschild radius in black hole density

The textbook from which I teach physics at the end of secondary school has a question about the density of a non-rotating black hole. Because the density at the singularity is perhaps infinite or ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Can a hypothetical universe have more than 2 types of dimensions: spatial and temporal?

Our universe is often described as having 3 space-like dimensions and 1 time-like dimension. Can hypothetical universe exist with more than space- and time-like dimensions? If so how would these ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Neutron star: free fall acceleration

The textbook from which I teach physics at the end of secondary school, has a question about a neutron star: $M_{star}=1.4\cdot M_{sun}$, radius 15km. "Calculate the free fall acceleration at the ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

How confident are we that mass is not being lost in the universe?

After reading about the latest super-massive black hole in Nature 518, 512–515 (26 February 2015), I couldn't help but wonder if the accelerating expansion is a result of mass being lost. Would a ...
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Do massless particles follow the curved spacetime or not?

I am assuming that zero (rest) mass particles don't interact gravitationally with each other and other particles. Does that mean they experience a "flat" spacetime instead of a curved one? I find it a ...
0
votes
0answers
72 views

Phenomena in the intersection of general relativity and quantum mechanics

I am looking for physical phenomena that have aspects involving both general relativity and quantum mechanics. The only example I know is Hawking radiation. While black holes are objects that cannot ...
0
votes
4answers
78 views

How is gravity proportional to space-time curvature in the rubber-sheet analogy?

In General Relativity, Einstein established that gravity is due to the curvature produced by objects in space. We all know that gravity is proportional to mass. The picture Einstein painted looks ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Black hole with two singularities?

I hope this question isn't too naive, but would it theoretically be possible to have a black hole with 2 singularities (or 2 black holes at the same location). If this is possible, would there be any ...
2
votes
3answers
184 views

Einsteins gravity Space time

I'm having a difficulty in understanding Einstein's version of gravity as "space time curvature" (I could be a total physics idiot, please point out !). How does an object on the surface of earth ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Another universe in the other side of a black hole? [duplicate]

A common notion is that there is another universe in the other side of a black hole, past the singularity point....is this true? does it have any scientific support?
8
votes
2answers
929 views

Deriving Birkhoff's Theorem

I am trying to derive Birkhoff's theorem in GR as an exercise: a spherically symmetric gravitational field is static in the vacuum area. I managed to prove that $g_{00}$ is independent of t in the ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Birkhoff Theorem proof reference [closed]

I am looking for a reference with a clear (and easy to understand) proof of Birkhoff's theorem in general relativity.
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Wave Packet in Curved Spacetime

It is known that the classical equation of motion for a scalar field wave packet on a curved spacetime background gives the geodesic trajectory (the e.o.m. is $(\nabla_\mu \nabla^\mu + m^2) \Phi=0$). ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Light clocks measure conformal time - detailed argument

Let us assume that an observer is stationary at the origin in expanding space. We assume the FRW metric near the origin is given by: $$ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2dr^2$$ Let us assume that the observer ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Sign of matter Lagrangian term in curved space

In field theory the (matter) Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_m$ is uncertain upto an overall constant multiplying factor (i.e. $\mathcal{L}_m$ and $a\mathcal{L}_m$ yield the same field equation(s) on ...
-1
votes
1answer
67 views
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Schwarzschild metric circular orbits and kepler's 3rd law

I have been looking at the Schwarzschild metric presented to me as the following within lectures: ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

How GR, QFT, or string theory address the one-directional feature of time?

It seems to me today's theoretical relativistic physics treat time and space on equal footing, with manifold diffeomorphism structure decoded in metric. However an obvious difference is that time is ...
30
votes
10answers
16k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Can two distinct events occur at precisely the same moment in time?

I am writing a simulation and am having difficulty resolving the order in which two distinct forces occur. The simulation will give different results if the forces are applied to the state in ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Why doesn't the light get out?

You're standing on a gedanken planet holding a laser pointer straight up. The light doesn't curve round, or slow down as it ascends, or fall down. It goes straight up. Now I wave my magic gedanken ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Accretion disks on neutron star binaries

Why does hydrogen gas from accretion disks not constantly get sucked onto/into a neutron star or into a black hole? I understand that some gets sucked into the black hole and some may come down and ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Who orbits who? Earth or Sun [duplicate]

We always say that the earth orbits the sun, but how can we prove this? Could we not say that the sun orbits the earth or that the earth orbits Mars?
1
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0answers
21 views

FRW Metric maximally symmetric, derivation, $R=3K$ or $R=6K$ confusion, two different texts

I'm looking at Tod and Hughston Introduction to GR and writing the metric in the two forms; [1]$$ ds^{2}=dt^{2}-R^{2}(t)(\frac{dr^{2}}{1-kr^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+sin^{2}\theta d\phi^{2})) $$ [2] $$ ...