For questions involving consideration of the shortest (or longest) path between two points in a curved space (e.g. a straight line between two points on the surface of a sphere such as the earth).

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2
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2answers
50 views

Examples in which the light maximizes the optical path length

I posted a similar question about geodesics on Math.SE. Many sources (Wikibooks for instance) claim that the light could maximize the optical path length in some cases. But I don't think it's actually ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Orbital variations [on hold]

My question relates to relativity and the warping of spacetime. If the geodesics approaching the star are coplanar with the ecliptic how can polar planetary orbits form?
0
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1answer
36 views

Given any metric, how to find the straight line path between two points? [closed]

Say we are given a two-dimensional metric $$ds^2=f_1(x)dx^2+f_2(x)dy^2,$$ for any kind of function. How do we calculate the distance along a straight line path (not the shortest possibly) between, ...
2
votes
1answer
72 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} ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Question on Einstein's derivation of the equation of the geodesic line?

While reading one of the original paper on general relativity written by Albert Einstein, titled the foundations of general relativity, I came across the following passage in pages 167-168, or pages ...
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1answer
73 views

Why does $\frac{d\tau}{d\sigma} = L$?

I am given a (3+1)-dimensional spacetime that has the line element \begin{equation} ds^2 = -\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)dt^2 + \left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)^{-1} dr^2 + r^2 d\phi^2 \end{equation} ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What is an “equation of motion” as used in context of geodesic equation?

I am studying general relativity and using the book Gravity by James Hartle. On page 170, he provides the following table: I don't understand what he means by "equation of motion" nor do I ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Curvature gravity and a falling apple? [duplicate]

I know very little of physics after Einstein. I am aware of that Einstein's gravity theory says that the existence of matters creates curvature of a space-time, so that our Earth orbits our Sun. I ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Geodesic equation proof confusing me

I was looking through this proof and have no idea where the $u$ comes from. Any help is appreciated. This is from here; I want to know how they got from eqn 5 to eqn 6.
1
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3answers
129 views

What besides the metric do you need to set up the EFEs and the geodesic equation?

One of my professors wrote on the board (1) Mass tells spacetime how to curve $\to$ Metric/Einstein Field Equations (2) Spacetime tells mass how to move $\to$ Geodesic equation Suppose I am given ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Geodesic equation from the proper time integral

This is something that has been bothering me for a little while. The usual procedure that I've seen is to write the proper time as the line integral $$\tau=\int_\gamma d\tau$$ along some curve ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Are time and gravity affected when at rest compared to free fall?

A falling object moves along a geodesic path ('straight path') in spacetime. When it comes to rest it now follows a 'curved path' through spacetime. Is the passage of time and force of gravity ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Curved paths through spacetime when standing still?

I have heard that falling objects fall at the same rate irrespective of their mass. They are 'following straight line paths through curved spacetime'. Does this mean that objects that accelerate in ...
2
votes
3answers
287 views

If gravitation is due to space-time curvature, how can a body free-fall in a straight line?

According to general relativity, Gravity is due to space-time curvature. Then all paths must be curved. If so, how can there be any straight line motion? The body must follow a curved path. So, there ...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

How close can an observer approach the black hole in an unpowered flyby without falling into it?

In classical mechanics by choosing the right trajectory you can approach a planet arbitrarily closely, if there is no atmosphere or anything to slow you down, you can approach the surface then fly ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Free fall coordinates/Fermi (normal) coordinates

It makes sense intuitively given the equivalent principle, and I've seen many times it stated, that for a free fall (geodesic) path in an arbitrary spacetime, we can choose our coordinate system to ...
4
votes
3answers
122 views

Geodesic Equation from variation: Is the squared lagrangian equivalent?

It is well known that geodesics on some manifold $M$, covered by some coordinates ${x_\mu}$, say with a Riemannian metric can be obtained by an action principle . Let $C$ be curve $\mathbb{R} \to M$, ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

Is it possible to express various nonlinear motions as straight lines in transformed spacetime?

I am trying to understand simple examples of space-time curvature. Assume for the moment that $c$ is infinite (classical curvature due to Newton's laws). Also, I will only consider 1+1-dimensional ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

All geodesics are inextendable?

I think the title is true, because geodesics has a tangent vector with a constant length parametrized by an affine parameter. Probably, it is easier to think about timelike or spacelike geodesics. ...
19
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Is the orbit in Schwarzshild metric a path with maximal proper time?

In curved spacetime particles follow timelike geodesics, which should have maximal proper time (at least locally). I thought this path usually corresponds to a global maximum, and there are only ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Moving From Schwarzchild Geodesic Equations to Equations of Motion

So I am a student and decided (for some bizarre reason) to attempt to tackle general relativity for my final astrophysics and computational physics project this term. I have been doing a lot of ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What happens as the stable orbital velocity approaches the speed of light?

Based on my understanding of the relationship between planetary mass, orbital radius and the velocity for stable orbit, a satellite orbiting a mass equivalent to Earth with an altitude of ~5mm would ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Path of light in Kerr metric?

How can one find the trajectory of light in various direction in the Kerr metric? Just wondering if there are some classes of solutions, I don't need exact formula. Are there different classes than ...
5
votes
1answer
192 views

Ray tracing in General Relativity

I would like to find out what one would see at the Schwarzschild radius of a massive non-rotating black hole, if the black hole is surrounded by a bright ring. For that, I would place the observer at ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Why don't objects following a geodesic maintain their rotational state?

If I throw a ball into the air, it comes back down because that is the shape of spacetime and the ball is just following it. But if I paint a spot on the ball and throw it upwards with no rotational ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Circular orbit in Schwarzschild coordinates [closed]

This was an example in a general relativity textbook which I've been trying to work through myself. A spaceship uses its rocket engine to maintain a circular orbit around a Schwarzschild black hole ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

Geodesic deviation equation - why does the ordinary second derivative give the correct answer?

I've calculated the correct answer to my problem, but don't understand one of the assumptions I made when doing so. I used the geodesic deviation equation ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Does velocity determine a geodesic?

If the gravity effect we witness is due to objects travelling along geodesics, why is the geodesic different for objects with different velocities if there is no gravitational force as such? For ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Problem about Schwarzschild Radius [closed]

I'm a high school student in korea. Could you help me solve this problem? I should express theta as schwarzschild Radius (=Rs) and b when v_0 → c(=3x10^8m/s) help me......
6
votes
2answers
368 views

Finding 3-Sphere Christoffel connection coefficients using variational calculus, Sean Carrol problem

I have A 3-Sphere with coordinates $x^{\mu} = (\psi,\theta,\phi)$ and the following metric: \begin{equation} ds^2 = d\psi^2 + \text{sin}^2\psi(d\theta^2 + \text{sin}^2\theta d\phi^2) \end{equation} ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Variational principle for a point particle (massive or massless) in curved space

We know that for a point particle, the action is $$ S[x,e] ~=~ \frac{1}{2}\int_{\lambda_A}^{\lambda_B} d\lambda\left[e^{-1}(\lambda)~g_{\mu\nu}(x(\lambda))~\dot{x}^\mu(\lambda)~\dot{x}^\nu(\lambda) ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

What's the definition of incompleteness of a coordinate system and a spacetime?

I always see in GR textbooks that some coordinates or some spacetime is incomplete, such as Rindler spacetime and spacetially flat FRW universe with only positive cosmological constant. This ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

What are great circles of 2-sphere?

What exactly are great circles, and how does one derive them? Given that the Lagrangian is: $$ L =\frac {1}{2}(\dot\theta^2 + \sin^2\theta\dot\phi^2)$$ it was written that the great circles were ...
2
votes
1answer
369 views

Geodesic equation from Euler - Lagrange

There are several ways to derive the geodesic equation. One of which is the variational method which I seemed to understand it because it was written in great details. Then it was mentioned that the ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

Weak Equivalence Principle and universality of free fall

I know how we can derive geodesic equation from varying the action of a test particle with respect to coordinates and i know the fact that particles follow geodesics means that free fall is universal. ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Is the zero acceleration path also the shortest path between two points?

In flat, free, Euclidean space, the shortest path and the zero acceleration path are the same path, which is a straight line. However, in general relativity, is the zero acceleration path also the ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

How do objects even move due to gravity?

I am an newbie general relativistic learner and I learnt that gravity is bending of space-time and since objects move in straight-lines but since its curved they follow curved movement through space ...
0
votes
1answer
167 views

Geodesic deviation on a unit sphere

Very little interest in the original version of this question so I've rejigged it hoping for a more positive response. I'm trying to use the geodesic deviation ...
3
votes
2answers
379 views

Which of these two textbook equations of geodesic deviation is correct?

My previous question Geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere - is this the right track? got shot down as “off topic”, so I'm having a second stab at it. Misner et al's Gravitation (p34) gives the geodesic ...
1
vote
0answers
133 views

Textbook disagreement on geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere

Apologies if I have this completely wrong (and for the general long-windedness). I've searched online but can't find anything helpful/relevant. I'm trying to use the geodesic equation ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

Radial Null Geodesics in Static Maximally Symmetric DeSitter Space

Given a DeSitter-space metric from the line element: $$ ds^2=\left(1-\frac{r^2}{R^2}\right)dt^2-\left(1-\frac{r^2}{R^2}\right)^{-1}dr^2-r^2d\Omega^2 $$ Where $R=\sqrt{\frac{3}{\Lambda}}$, and ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Caustic and Singularities in General Relativity

What is the relation between the formation of caustics of a family of null geodesics and the existence of an incomplete null geodesic?
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Static geodesics in GR

Can we find static geodesics of the type $$x^{\nu}=x_0^{\nu}+\delta_0^{\nu}\tau$$ in some space-time other than Minkowski's?
2
votes
2answers
216 views

Does the formula $ \theta = \frac{v}{c} $ to find out deflection of light make sense?

I read in reliable sites that GR and classical physics calculate the angle of deflection in the same manner. The formula is almost identical: $$\theta = \frac{4GM}{c^2*r} \rightarrow \frac{4GM}{c*r} = ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Lagrangian for FRW metric

For the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+a^2(t)(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2),$$ $$L= \sqrt{-g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{dx^\alpha}{dt}\frac{dx^\beta}{dt}}$$ How does this become $$L= \sqrt{1-a^2 (\frac{dx}{dt})^2}~? $$ I guess ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Geodesics in Kerr

I'm interested in plotting the trajectories of null geodesics near an uncharged rotating black hole (described by the Kerr solution) which involves a system of first order differential equations. Kerr ...
1
vote
3answers
123 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Computing the Christoffel symbols with the geodesic equation

I would like to compute the Christoffel symbols of the second kind using the geodesic equation. To practice, I have tried the Schwarzschild Ansatz $$ g_{00} = \mathrm e^\nu,\quad g_{11} = - \mathrm ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Geodesics in AdS3

I'm having some trouble doing an easy computation with the AdS space. I'm considering $\text{AdS}_3$ space with the Poincaré coordinates, so the metric reads $$ds^2 = \frac{R^2}{z^2}(dz^2 - dt^2 + ...