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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1answer
15 views

Interpretation of the operation $v^\alpha \nabla _\alpha v^\mu$

In general relativity, we can write the geodesic equation as a contraction $v^\alpha \nabla _\alpha v^\mu = f(\lambda)v^\mu$ along a path defined by coordinates $x^\mu(\lambda)$, and where $v^\mu = \...
-1
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1answer
61 views

Global Hyperbolicity in spacetime Manifold [closed]

If space time is timelike or null geodesically incomplete but cannot be embedded in a larger spacetime then we say that it has singularity. What does incompleteness means here?
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0answers
30 views

Coordinate time difference between emiting and detecting a photon in bent spacetime

Consider an arbitrary non-trivial metric $g_{ij}$ - like the Schwarzschild metric. Now, consider two observers $A$ and $B$, staying at fixed radii $R_A$ and $R_B$, respectively, with $R_A > R_B$. ...
10
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2answers
902 views

Orbits around the Photon sphere of a black hole (Schwarzschild coordinates)

This is a follow-up question to the answer given at What is the exact gravitational force between two masses including relativistic effects?. Unfortunately the author hasn't been online for a few ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Are the Schwarzschild metric and the Geodesic Equation relevant in the context of the Earth? [closed]

The geodesic equation used in general relativity is the following: $$ {\mathrm d^2 x^\mu \over \mathrm ds^2} =- \Gamma^\mu {}_{\alpha \beta}{\mathrm d x^\alpha \over\mathrm ds}{\mathrm d x^\beta \...
3
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1answer
69 views

How do you actually use the geodesic equation?

The geodesic equation used in general relativity is the following: $$ {d^2 x^\mu \over ds^2} =- \Gamma^\mu {}_{\alpha \beta}{d x^\alpha \over ds}{d x^\beta \over ds}. $$ It states that the ...
4
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0answers
39 views

Schwarzschild metric, speed of ball as measured by observer who catches the ball, just before ball is caught? [closed]

Inspired by this question here. The Schwarzschild metric, describing the exterior gravitational field of a planet of mass $M$ and radius $R$, is given by$$ds^2 = -(1 - 2M/r)\,dt^2 + (1 - 2M/r)^{-1}\,...
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1answer
49 views

Wald's Equation 3.3.6

I have an issue with Eq. 3.3.6 of Wald's General Relativity. There he would like to prove that for Gaussian normal coordinates, the geodesic tangent field remains orthogonal to all coordinate basis ...
1
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1answer
94 views

How does the Einstein summation convention apply to the following equation?

This is the equation is in the "mathematical form" section of the following wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geodesics_in_general_relativity More specifically, the "Full geodesic ...
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2answers
82 views

Straight line null geodesics in Minkowski, De Sitter and Schwarzschild

I'm trying to understand which part of the following metric determines whether photons travel on a "straight" line (thinking of $(t,r,\theta,\phi)$ as a flat background), the metric I'm considering is:...
3
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2answers
113 views

Is this video's notion of general relativity correct? [duplicate]

In this video it explains the path of the apple in the general relativity version of gravity as being a straight line on a curved surface. Is this valid? Edit: this isn't a duplicate of the supposed ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Questions about null geodesic [closed]

Show for the null geodesic in 3D flat spacetime using polar coordinates so the line element is $ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2d\phi^2$. Do light rays move on straight lines? My question is that I only learned ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Energy conservation around a black hole

In the Schwarzschild black hole, the Killing vector "time translation" $k^a$, so that the following quantity is conserved along a geodesic: $$E = -g_{ab}k^au^b = (1 - \frac{2GM}{r})\frac{dt}{d\tau}.$$...
3
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1answer
51 views

Difference between Fermi and Riemann normal coordinates

What is the difference between Fermi normal coordinates and Riemann normal coordinates? Which one of them is related to the vanishing of the Christoffel symbols?
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0answers
31 views

Geodesic tangent vector in a Riemannian 4-space

I am doing a question in Lewis Ryder's introduction to General relativity. I am very close to the answer but not quite there. The question is: A Riemannian 4-space has metric $$ds^2 = e^{2\...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

On the proof of the existence of geodesics coordinates [closed]

From "Introducing Einstein’s Relativity" by Ray D’Inverno page 77-78 In my calculation, the process is $$\frac{\partial{x^{'a}}}{\partial{x^d}}=\frac{\partial{x^{a}}}{\partial{x^d}}+\frac{1}{2} {...
53
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4answers
3k views

GR and my journey to the centre of the Earth

[General Relativity] basically says that the reason you are sticking to the floor right now is that the shortest distance between today and tomorrow is through the center of the Earth. I love ...
6
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1answer
314 views

Null geodesics in uniform gravitational field metric

I'm trying to understand the null geodesics in the metric: $$\mathrm{d}s^2 = -(1+gz)^2 \mathrm{d}t^2 + \mathrm{d}z^2 + \mathrm{d}x^2$$ In particular I'm wondering if the following intuition is valid:...
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2answers
39 views

Why do relativistic wormholes have to be brought together to make a “time machine”?

In "From wormhole to time machine: Comments on Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture" by Matt Visser (http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9202090), he summarizes how "time machines" may be created from ...
0
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1answer
65 views

Straight lines in general relativity

This question stems from a possibly misguided attempt to understand General Relativity. I am about to leave High school for college, I do however have a rudimentary understanding of tensors, and I ...
0
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0answers
36 views

GR - curve (in)completeness & (in)extendibility

Seeking clarification of the distinction between completeness of geodesics/extendibility of curves in GR spacetimes? (Confirm: not the geodesic completeness of a spacetime but the completeness of an ...
1
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1answer
62 views

Spacetime manifold surgery: is this result still a valid etc. spacetime?

Given a valid classical GR spacetime manifold $M$ (i.e. 4D, Lorentzian, Hausdorff, paracompact, ?etc.), and $B\subset M$, a closed spatial subset (e.g. a closed ball at fixed $t$) to be excised, [...
5
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2answers
62 views

Wald's General Relativity, section 6.3 Page 144

I cannot understand how he reaches the conclusion in equation 6.3.36 and 6.3.37; even the terminology is somewhat confusing. This is a problem of bending of light under gravitational field. This is ...
1
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0answers
33 views

Einstein-Infeld-Hoffman-Lagrangian for a Test-Particle as Limit of Schwarzschild-Geodesic

Consider a test particle of mass $m$ which is in orbit around a spherical-symmetric body with mass $M$. It therefore has a position as described by the coordinates $r,\phi$, and its motion can be ...
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2answers
57 views

Bending of Light in General Relativity using Perturbation

It is standard textbook calculation (e.g. Schutz's First Course in General Relativity page 294) that we can find a total angular change in light deflection due to gravity to be \begin{equation}\Delta\...
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0answers
49 views

Using geodesic deviation for freely falling particles when gravitational waves comes through

Suppose we have a gravitational wave which gives us the following metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+(1+h_+\cos(\omega(t-z)))dx^2+(1-h_+\cos(\omega(t-z)))dy^2+dz^2$$ I want to calculate the time it takes for a ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Simplify calculation of geodesics from action principle

I don't understand a step with the calculation of geodesics equations from action principle on this link : demo geodesics equations My issue is the following step : $$\int \bigg(\dfrac{dx^{\mu}}{d\...
0
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2answers
64 views

The shortest path among two points inside Earth [closed]

I have this idea and I don't know how to process, explain or question it. I hope you can understand these images and help me formulating a good question. This is like a gravitational train but it ...
3
votes
2answers
127 views

Finding geodesics: Lagrangian vs Hamiltonian

I have a question referring to how to compute geodesics of a given spacetime (say, Kerr). I know that the direct way is via the geodesic equation $$\frac{d^{2}x^{\mu}}{d\lambda^{2}}+\Gamma^{\mu}_{\...
1
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1answer
47 views

Representing 1+1 Minkowski space as a surface in 3D Euclidean space

In 1+1 Minkowski space the distance between two points is given by$$ (x_1 -x_2)^2 -(t_1 - t_2)^2.$$ This is different from the Euclidean distance. But is it possible to come up with a 2D surface ...
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0answers
54 views

Anti de-Sitter Geodesics

Timelike geodesics in anti de-Sitter space cannot reach infinity. I believe this has something to do with Clairaut's relation. I'm pretty sure it's true though as the analogy with conservation of ...
0
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1answer
65 views

How do I derive geodesic equation using variational principle? [duplicate]

I am trying to derive the geodesic equation using variational principle. My Lagrangian is $$ L = \sqrt{g_{jk}(x(t)) \frac{dx^j}{dt} \frac{dx^k}{dt}}$$ Using the Euler-Lagrange equation, I have got ...
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0answers
50 views

Worldlines in Schwarzschild geometry

I have an observer and a photon on a hypersurface $ \theta=\pi/2$ . My observer has $e, l$ constants of motion (energy and angular momentum divided by mass) and photon has $e',l'$. What conditions ...
0
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0answers
117 views

Equation of motion of a free particle

We know that the equation of motion of particle can be derived from the respective action. But in the book I am reading, the author is saying: ... timelike worldline of a massive particle is ...
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0answers
25 views

Light Ray in AdS

On p77 of these lecture notes (http://arxiv.org/pdf/0712.0689v2.pdf), we are asked to check that a light ray takes infinitely long to reach the centre of AdS. 1, Why doesn't the Penrose diagram for ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Proving that Killing form contractions with geodesics are constants of motion

I want to prove the fundamental theorem of Killing forms, namely that $$\frac{d}{d \lambda} \Big( \frac{d P^{\mu}}{d \lambda} \xi_{\mu}(P(\lambda)) \Big) = 0 $$ If $P(\lambda)$ is a Geodesic curve,...
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0answers
48 views

Proper time and asymptotic flatness

I'm trying to understand the concept of asymptotic flatness in general relativity, and came up with the following question: If the proper time $\tau$ is infinite for a timelike geodesic, does it mean ...
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1answer
34 views

Comparing durations for two simply described motions in Schwarzschild geometry

I have some basic qualitative questions about the setup with: one satellite $A$ orbiting freely, on a stable circular path, a spherical non-rotating object of mass $M$; and another participant $B$ ...
1
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0answers
45 views

Variation of Bazanski Lagrangian

The Bazanski Lagrangian is defined as $$ L=g_{\alpha \beta }U^{\alpha }\frac{D\psi ^{\beta }}{Ds} $$ and $$ U^{\alpha }=\frac{\mathrm{d} x^{\alpha }}{\mathrm{d} s} $$ $x^{\alpha }$ is the ...
5
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1answer
157 views

Is there a Maupertuis principle for General Relativity?

The motion of a point particle in classical mechanics is given by Newton's equation, $\mathbf{F}=m\mathbf{a}$. Suppose all forces considered are conservative and we have a constant total energy $h$. ...
18
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1answer
546 views

Do light waves precisely follow null geodesic paths in General Relativity?

In special relativity one may show that a plane wave solution of Maxwell's equations (in a vacuum), of the form $A^a=C^a\mathrm{e}^{\mathrm{i}\psi}$ has the following properties: The normal $k:=\...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

How to proceed (Tough Problem) [closed]

The problem that I am considering is to find the shortest path (or geodesic) on a surface with the equation $z=f(x,y)$. The path is parameterized by $s$ so that the path goes from $(x(0)$,$y(0)$,$z(0))...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Null geodesic equations

If one is constrained to the $xt$ plane, one can define the intersection with that plane of the null hypersurfaces originating at some point $P$ as $$ g_{tt} \frac{d P^t}{d \lambda}\frac{d P^t}{d \...
1
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1answer
99 views

Geodesic equation (free particle)

How to find a coordinate system whose geodesic equation does not have the "Christoffel symbol" term? (i.e. free particle - generalized Newton's second law.)
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0answers
43 views

Sources for black hole geodesic orbits

I am looking for good sources that discuss both Kerr and Schwarzschild particle orbits (geodesics). Most sources write down the geodesic equations, constants of motion and the Hamiltonian, but do not ...
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0answers
49 views

Existence of a solution for geodesic differential equations for a singular metric

In order to determine the geodesics, one must solve the following set of differential equations \begin{align} \frac{d^2 x^j}{ds^2} + {j\brace h\,\,k}\frac{dx^h}{ds}\frac{dx^k}{ds} = 0, \end{align} ...
1
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2answers
81 views

If curved paths imply that the vehicle is accelerated, how come do we assume that light gets curved whilst its speed is constant?

I don't understand how we can accept these two sentences at the same time: Light speed is constant, therefore experiences no acceleration. On the presence of a gravitation field, light path is ...
1
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0answers
57 views

How does the expanding of null hypersurface orthogonal geodesic congruence imply a particular result?

Sorry that I do not know how to summarize my problem in the title. First, please go to the website here (free access, even though it looks otherwise) to download the paper done by R. Sashs on ...
4
votes
0answers
70 views

Trajectories in AdS

On page 2 of this paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.6073), Maldacena explains (and has a very nice picture) showing the trajectories that a timelike and null particle would take in AdS space. Of ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Infalling light signals seen by a free falling observer

In this question/answer Does someone falling into a black hole see the end of the universe?, it is stated that an observer free falling toward/into a black hole will not see the end of the Universe ...