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
76 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} = ...
2
votes
1answer
96 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 $(\nabla_\mu \nabla^\mu + m^2) \Phi=0$). ...
1
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0answers
44 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
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0answers
24 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
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2answers
63 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?
1
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1answer
104 views

Trajectory of a photon around a Schwarzschild black hole?

Consider a photon coming from the infinity in a unbounded orbit to a Schwarzschild black hole (Schwarzschild radius $r_{s}$) (see this for illustration). Its impact parameter is $b$ and its distance ...
1
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0answers
48 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
69 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
362 views

In general relativity, are light-like curves light-like geodesics?

Just as the title. If a curve is light-like, i.e. a null-curve, is it definitely a null geodesic?
1
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3answers
99 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
94 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
76 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 + ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration?

I realize that the curvature of space-time causes acceleration (gravity). Is it possible to have a curvature only of space, or a curvature only of time? If so, would a curvature only of space, or a ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

Killing vectors in flat FLRW metric

I have the flat FLRW metric, $$ ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2) $$ and a geodesic $\gamma(s)=(t(s),x(s),y(s),z(s))$ with parameter $s$. Two of the Killing vectors of the metric are $ \partial_x$ ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

Using the area element in derivation of geodesic

In the derivation of the geodesic, one starts with the integral of the line element (arclength): $$L(C)=\int_{\tau_1}^{\tau_2}d\tau\sqrt{g_{\mu \nu}\dot{x}^{\mu} \dot{x}^{\nu}}$$ The integrand is ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Does geodesics from solving full field equations are same as path from energy-momentum tensor?

As we know, if we had an energy-momentum tensor in all space-time we could obtain the metric tensor by solving field equations. Also i think if we had an energy-momentum tensor then we have ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does light always travel in a straight line?

No matter the frame light is in, it always moves in a straight line in that frame. Why is that? It doesn't seem like something to me that should necessarily be true. If some one runs forward and sends ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

How does one refute a Machian mechanism for inertial emergence?

Introduction: Consider the diagrams representing the duality between the weak and strong principles of equivalence. Now based on how these diagrams were taught to us (at least how they were taught ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

AdS Space Boundary and Geodesics

I'm new to working with AdS space and am primarily concerned with black holes. I'm just playing round with the metric for AdS$_4$ $$ds^2=-f(r)dt^2+f^{-1}(r)dr^2+r^2d\zeta^2$$ for $f(r)=r^2+m $, ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Geodesic Deviation between Test Particles from Gravitational Wave

I'm having trouble understanding how Carroll (Spacetime and Geometry p.296) explains the effect of a passing gravitational wave on test particles. If we have two geodesics with tangents $\vec{U}$, ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

How exactly can we describe the normal force on a static person standing on earth's surface using general theory of relativity?

For planetary motion I can understand that the planets move along the geodesics e.g. the warped space-time geometry. Imagine that the moon gets suddenly stopped by some external force and comes to ...
9
votes
2answers
460 views

How can a point-like particle “feel” gravity, if locally the curvature of spacetime is always flat?

I imagine a point-like particle can only experience the local properties of spacetime. But locally there is no curvature and no gravity, as it is often stated that Locally, as expressed in the ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Stuck following derivation of geodesic equation

In the book "Reflections on Relativity" by Kevin Brown, there is a chapter called "Relatively Straight", in which he derives the geodesic equations using the Euler equation. Online version Just ...
0
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0answers
19 views

Angular and luminosity distance in general?

Consider a non-Friedmannian Universe in which we know the trajectories of photons, ie in which we know null geodesics $\left(\eta, x^{1}, x^{2}, x^{3}, a, z\right)$ where : $\eta$ is the conformal ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Relation between impact parameter and distance of closest approach of a light ray in Schwarzschild Geodesics

The following wikipedia articles are incompatible : Two body problem / bending of light by gravity Schwarzschild geodesics / bending of light by gravity According to both articles, the equation ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Geodesic devation on a two sphere

So the geodesic deviation equation gives the relative acceleration between two geodesics in motion. But given a pair of geodesic (let's say on the two sphere) that start at the equator, separated by ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Is there an analogue of a geodesic for the evolution of the electromagnetic field? [duplicate]

For a charged particle moving in free space, we can say from the homogeneity of space-time, that it moves along a geodesic. Is there an analogous principle for the evolution of the electromagnetic ...
14
votes
4answers
384 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Null Geodesics in flat 2+1 dimensional Minkowski space

For a given line element in flat 2+1 dimensional Minkowski space $$ g = ds^{2} = − dz \otimes dz + dx \otimes dx + dy \otimes dy .$$ The null geodesics are supposedly given by: $$ x = lu + l' $$ ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Can geodesics in a Lorentzian manifold change their character?

From a physics perspective, it's pretty easy to see why a a massive particle will be restricted to timelike paths, etc. but does the math guarantee that on its own or do we have to impose it? More ...
2
votes
1answer
604 views

Equation for null geodesic around schwarzschild metric?

I'm trying to find the path of a photon around the Schwarzschild black hole, given its initial conditions. After much tribulation, I've basically given up on solving the equations by myself. I just ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Sign of $dr$ in Schwarzschild geodesics

There is an equation that relates energy $E$, angular momentum $L$ and other constants and variables to find $\left(\frac{dr}{d\tau}\right)^2$ in a plane. ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Ensuring globally hyperbolic geodesically-complete spacetimes

Let's say we have an incomplete spacetime A that is globally hyperbolic, does there necessary exist a globally hyperbolic completion? My guess is no, in which case what further restrictions can be ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Unable to resolve 2 equivalent geodesic equations

A free particle moves along geodesics, one form being \begin{split} \ddot x^\mu &= -\Gamma^{\mu}_{\sigma \rho} \dot x^\sigma \dot x^\rho \\ &= -\frac{1}{2}g^{\mu \nu}(\partial_\sigma g_{\rho ...
4
votes
2answers
190 views

Geodesics equations via variational principle

I would like to recover the (timelike) geodesics equations via the variational principle of the following action: $$ \mathcal{S}[x] = -m \int d\tau = -m \int \sqrt{-g_{\mu\nu}\,dx^{\mu}\,dx^{\nu}} $$ ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Geodesic for Electromagnetic forces

Considering the fact that electrons tend to take the maximum conductance path to flow from A to B. This is justified by saying that $\vec{E}$ is larger in conductors. But once similarly it was thought ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Geodesics in a point mass universe

This question may reflect my (lack of) knowledge about general relativity, please ask for any clarifications or note any corrections in the comments and I'll try to address them. The Schwarzschild ...
1
vote
3answers
201 views

What makes matter travel along geodesics?

The relativistic explanation of gravity is geometric, the motion of a body in a field of space-time distortion can be described as being at rest and travelling along a geodesic of that field, but why ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Schwarzschild geodesics

I've found on Wikipedia that energy $E$ and angular momentum $L$ of a particle are conserved quantities in Schwarzschild metric. It's written: $$L=mr^2 \frac {d\phi} {d\tau},$$ ...
1
vote
0answers
77 views

Derivation of equations of motion in Nordstrom's theory of scalar gravity?

Nordstrom's theory of a particle moving in the presence of a scalar field $\varphi (x)$ is given by $$ S = -m\int e^{\varphi (x)}\sqrt{\eta_{\alpha \beta}\frac{dx^{\alpha}}{d ...
12
votes
1answer
329 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

How to use The Schwarzchild Metric formula to get distribution representing “free-fall”

Given formula: How I can use to calculate distribution of points in space, so if i choose path which contains most of the points I get path that close to "free-fall path". As far as I know i should ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the physical meaning of the affine parameter for null geodesic?

For time-like geodesic, the affine parameter is the proper time $\tau$ or its linear transform, and the geodesic equation is ...
4
votes
1answer
472 views

How do we know the geodesic is a minimum?

The geodesic equation is derived from the Euler-Lagrange equation, which (as I understand it) is a necessary but not sufficient condition to ensure that the geodesic is a minimum. The introductory GR ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do objects follow geodesics in spacetime?

Trying to teach myself general relativity. I sort of understand the derivation of the geodesic equation ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

About the geodesics in general relativity [duplicate]

I'm learning general relativity from the book " Einstein's General Theory of Relativity - Øyvind Grøn and Sigbjorn Hervik". The field equations are derived by the Hilbert - Einstein action and are ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Exercise about Lagrange-Euler equations

I'm solving an exercise about the Lagrange-Euler equations, that states the following: Let $\gamma (t) = \{ (t,q) : q = q(t), t_0 \leq t \leq t_1\}$ be a curve in $\mathbb{R} \times \mathbb{R}^2$. ...
6
votes
1answer
331 views

Two formulas for a particle's acceleration

While on a class my teacher was taking about particle's motion in space. At some point she said the following: Consider that the particle's path is described by a curve in space defined by the ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

A particular geodesics problem

I am trying to find the geodesics on the surface defined by $M:=\{(x,y,z)\in\mathbb{R}^3|x^2 + y^2 = f(z)\}$, for $f:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow \mathbb{R}_+$. I have parametrized the surface by $$ \vec{r} ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Can two parallel lines meet? [closed]

My physics teacher talked about the meeting of 2 parallel lines, and he said that it may occur in the infinity or something. I know that 2 parallel lines can meet in spherical geometry, (thanks to ...