# Tagged Questions

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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### Space-Time Curvature Depends on Relative Speed

When the mass of a planet causes the curvature of space-time we see that an approaching free-falling object deviates its path towards the planet. We also see the amount of that deviation depends on it'...
3k views

### Why is light described by a null geodesic?

I'm trying to wrap my head around how geodesics describe trajectories at the moment. I get that for events to be causally connected, they must be connected by a timelike curve, so free objects must ...
1k views

### Chasing someone who has fallen into a black hole

Assume that my friend and I decided to explore a black hole. I parked the spaceship in a circular orbit safely away from the horizon. He puts on his spacesuit with a jet pack and carefully travels ...
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### Theory of relativity [duplicate]

I’ve been reading about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, specifically the segment on gravity being explained as consequence of spacetime being curved by mass. I can understand the concept of object ...
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### 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 $(\nabla_\mu \nabla^\mu + m^2) \Phi=0$). ...
4k 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 ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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 $R_A > R_B$. ...
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### 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 ...
345 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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### How does one measure space-like geodesics? Or: What is the physical interpretation of space-like geodesics?

In general relativity, time-like geodesics are the trajectories of free-falling test particles, parametrized by proper time. Thus, they are easy to interpret in physical terms and are easy to measure (...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
1k views

### The Lagrangian as a metric

My question is, can the (classical) Lagrangian be thought of as a metric? That is, is there a meaningful sense in which we can think of the least-action path from the initial to the final ...
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### 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:...
114 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 ...
1k views

### Lagrangian for relativistic massless point particle

For relativistic massive particle, the action is $$S ~=~ -m_0 \int ds ~=~ -m_0 \int d\lambda ~\sqrt{ g_{\mu\nu} \dot{x}^{\mu}\dot{x}^{\nu}} ~=~ \int d\lambda \ L,$$ where $ds$ is the proper time of ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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: $$E = -g_{ab}k^au^b = (1 - \frac{2GM}{r})\frac{dt}{d\tau}.$$...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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, [...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 \Delta\...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
369 views

### Null geodesics vs timelike geodesics

I'm interested in the paragraph under equation (38) of this reference: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NOJ9AgAAQBAJ&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=general+relativity+velocity+of+null+geodesic&...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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 ...
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:=\...