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).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
202 views

Calculating Christoffel symbols from Lagrangian

I was given the following metric for a sphere $$g_{\mu\nu} = diag(1, r^2, r^2\sin^2\theta)$$ and tasked to calculate the Christoffel symbols. There are 2 ways that I know of to calculate them. One ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Differentiating the Lagrangian to find geodesic equations?

I'm stuck pretty much at the first hurdle trying to follow the derivation of the geodesic equations from the Lagrangian ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

Free-falling from rest into a Kerr black hole

Is it impossible for a particle (with zero angular momentum) to free-fall from rest at infinity into the ergosphere of a Kerr black hole? It seems like it is very easy to show this is the case, but ...
7
votes
2answers
237 views

How warped spacetime bends trajectories of light and moving objects?

I fail to see why the light follows something like the blue line and not the green line on the attached image. Figure 1 - light bends around warped spacetime Afaik. something similar happens ...
3
votes
3answers
136 views

Principle of Sufficient Reason on light travelling in straight line

I was reading a book Laws and Symmetry by Bas C. Van Fraassen I found that there is an argument for arguing that light travel in straight line: Leibniz's reconstruction of these arguments goes ...
2
votes
1answer
343 views

Null geodesic equation

For a null geodesic curve $X^i$, $$0=g_{ij}V^iV^j.$$ When we derive the geodesic equation from E-L equations, will this affine parametrization cause it to blow up? How is it justified to use the ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Why a timelike geodesic maximizes path length?

I'm studying some GR and my book says that in Pseudo-Riemannian manifolds geodesics may even maximize the path locally. That's what happen to the timelike geodesics, for example. My first question: Is ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Lagrangian, geodesics and relativity [closed]

My background is in maths, but I have been studying some basic physics with occasional input from a friend who is studying for a physics PhD. Due to my background, I am keen to visualize things ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Parallel Transported Orthonormal Basis

The following argument results in a conclusion that I find strange, and makes me suspect there is something wrong with the reasoning. First, consider a timelike geodesic $\gamma$ with normalized ...
1
vote
0answers
141 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
votes
2answers
140 views

Deriving the geodesic equation [closed]

I having been reading a general relativity book, but when in comes to the geodesic equation, it is not derived. How does one go about doing this?
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Null geodesics in FRW metric: why angular coordinates are constant?

Consider a ray passing through $r=0$ in the FRW metric $ds^2 = -dt^2 +a(t)^2(\frac{dr^2}{1-kr^2} + r^2(d\theta^2 + \sin{\theta}^2d\phi^2))$ The geodesic curve is parametrized by the affine parameter ...
2
votes
0answers
137 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: ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Is the Weyl Postulate correct?

The Weyl postulate in cosmology states that worldlines do not intersect but it can be shown in GR that using Raychaudhuri equation that geodesics can intersect if there is curvature so I'm really ...
3
votes
2answers
106 views

Why is $p_\phi$ conserved in a Schwarzschild orbit?

This arises from the question What is the relationship between $a$ and $m$, which I'm afraid I answered just by looking it up in Schutz's book. However Schutz (as he frequently does) glosses over ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Length path integral

Let's consider a 2-dimensional Euclidean plane. The length between two points $a$ and $b$ can be defined in the following way: $$ (ab) := \inf_{\gamma} \,\int_0^1 d\tau \,\sqrt{\delta_{ab} ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Can someone explain how Weinberg's definition of the affine connection for the geodesic equation matches the definition of an affine connection?

Consider the geodesic equation \begin{equation} 0=\frac{d^2 x^\lambda}{d\tau^2}+ \Gamma^\lambda_{\mu\nu} \frac{d x^\nu}{d\tau}\frac{d x^\mu}{d\tau} \end{equation} In Gravitation and Cosmology, on page ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Curvature of Light around a Black Hole [duplicate]

I am in a computer graphics class at my university and for my final project, I have chosen to create a program which renders a simple non-rotating black hole and models the curvature of light around ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Definition of the Lagrangian for a relativistic point particle in curved space

I have read that the Lagrangian in GR is defined as $L=\frac{\mathrm{d}s}{\mathrm{d}u}$, where $\mathrm{d}s = g_{ab}\mathrm{d}x^a\mathrm{d}x^b$ is the line element with the metric tensor $g_ab$ and ...
6
votes
3answers
293 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
votes
1answer
32 views

Orbital variations [closed]

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
votes
1answer
48 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
298 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
137 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
129 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
107 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
282 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
105 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
vote
3answers
278 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
173 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
113 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
137 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
4answers
706 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
178 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
4answers
476 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
142 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
100 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. ...
21
votes
4answers
3k 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
64 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
127 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
80 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

Path of light in Kerr metric? [closed]

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
313 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
59 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
88 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
668 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
64 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
70 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......
7
votes
2answers
679 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} ...