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ory of relativ

r

vity

From Wikipedia, the free

e encyclopedia

a

he scientific concept.

c

For philosophica

al or ontologiical theories about

a

relativiity,

see Relattivism. For th

he silent film, see The Ein

nstein Theoryy of Relativityy.

Two-dimen

nsional projec

ction of a three

e-dimensionala

analogy of spa

acetime curvatture described

d in general

relativity

The theo

ory of relativ

vity, or simplyy relativity in

n physics, ussually encompasses two theories

t

by Albert

A

Einstein: special relativity and gen

neral relativityy.[1]

Conceptss introduced by the theories of relativitty include:

antities are re

elative to the velocities of observers. In

n

particcular, space contracts and

d timedilatess.

Spaccetime: space

e and time sh

hould be considered toge

ether and in relation to each other.

The speed

s

of light is nonetheless invariantt, the same fo

or all observe

ers.

elativity" was based on the expression

n "relative the

eory" (Germa

an: Relativthe

eorie)

d how the the

eory uses the

e principle of relativity. In the

used in 1906 by Max Planck, who emphasized

on section of the same pa

aper, Alfred Bucherer

B

used for the firstt time the exp

pression "the

eory

discussio

of relativitty" (German:: Relativittsttheorie).[2][3]

C

Contents

[hide]

1 Scope

o 1.1 Two-theory

T

viiew

2 On the theory

t

of relativity

3 Special relativity

4 General relativity

5 Experim

mental evidenc

ce

o 5.1 Tests

T

of spec

cial relativity

o 5.2 Tests

T

of gene

eral relativity

6 History

7 Everyda

ay application

ns

8 Minorityy views

9 See also

o

10 Refere

ences

11 Furthe

er reading

12 External links

Scope[edit]

The theory of relativity transformed theoretical physics and astronomy during the 20th century. When

first published, relativity superseded a 200-year-old theory of mechanicscreated primarily by Isaac

Newton.[4][5][6]

In the field of physics, relativity improved the science of elementary particles and their fundamental

interactions, along with ushering in the nuclear age. With

relativity, cosmologyand astrophysics predicted extraordinary astronomical phenomena such

as neutron stars, black holes and gravitational waves.[4][5][6]

Two-theory view[edit]

The theory of relativity was representative of more than a single new physical theory. There are

some explanations for this. First, special relativity was published in 1905, and the final form

of general relativity was published in 1916.[4]

Second, special relativity applies to elementary particles and their interactions, whereas general

relativity applies to the cosmological and astrophysical realm, including astronomy.[4]

Third, special relativity was accepted in the physics community by 1920. This theory rapidly became

a significant and necessary tool for theorists and experimentalists in the new fields of atomic

physics, nuclear physics, and quantum mechanics. Conversely, general relativity did not appear to

be as useful. There appeared to be little applicability for experimentalists as most applications were

for astronomical scales. It seemed limited to only making minor corrections to predictions of

Newtonian gravitation theory.[4]

Finally, the mathematics of general relativity appeared to be very difficult. Consequently, it was

thought that a small number of people in the world, at that time, could fully understand the theory in

detail, but this has been discredited by Richard Feynman. Then, at around 1960 a critical resurgence

in interest occurred which has resulted in making general relativity central to physics and astronomy.

New mathematical techniques applicable to the study of general relativity substantially streamlined

calculations. From this, physically discernible concepts were isolated from the mathematical

complexity. Also, the discovery of exotic astronomical phenomena, in which general relativity was

relevant, helped to catalyze this resurgence. The astronomical phenomena included quasars (1963),

the 3-kelvin microwave background radiation (1965), pulsars (1967), and the discovery of the

first black hole candidates (1981).[4]

Einstein stated that the theory of relativity belongs to a class of "principle-theories". As such it

employs an analytic method. This means that the elements which comprise this theory are not based

on hypothesis but on empirical discovery. The empirical discovery leads to understanding the

general characteristics of natural processes. Mathematical models are then developed to describe

accurately the observed natural processes. Therefore, by analytical means the necessary conditions

that have to be satisfied are deduced. Separate events must satisfy these conditions. Experience

should then match the conclusions.[7]

The special theory of relativity and the general theory of relativity are connected. As stated below,

special theory of relativity applies to all physical phenomena except gravity. The general theory

provides the law of gravitation, and its relation to other forces of nature.[7]

Special relativity[edit]

Main articles: Special relativity and Introduction to special relativity

Special relativity is a theory of the structure of spacetime. It was introduced in Einstein's 1905 paper

"On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" (for the contributions of many other physicists

see History of special relativity). Special relativity is based on two postulates which are contradictory

in classical mechanics:

1. The laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion relative to one another

(principle of relativity).

2. The speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of their relative

motion or of the motion of the light source.

The resultant theory copes with experiment better than classical mechanics. For instance, postulate

2 explains the results of theMichelsonMorley experiment. Moreover, the theory has many surprising

and counterintuitive consequences. Some of these are:

Relativity of simultaneity: Two events, simultaneous for one observer, may not be simultaneous

for another observer if the observers are in relative motion.

Time dilation: Moving clocks are measured to tick more slowly than an observer's "stationary"

clock.

Relativistic mass

Length contraction: Objects are measured to be shortened in the direction that they are moving

with respect to the observer.

Massenergy equivalence: E = mc2, energy and mass are equivalent and transmutable.

Maximum speed is finite: No physical object, message or field line can travel faster than the

speed of light in a vacuum.

The defining feature of special relativity is the replacement of the Galilean transformations of

classical mechanics by the Lorentz transformations. (See Maxwell's equations ofelectromagnetism).

General relativity[edit]

Main articles: General relativity and Introduction to general relativity

General relativity is a theory of gravitation developed by Einstein in the years 19071915. The

development of general relativity began with the equivalence principle, under which the states

of accelerated motion and being at rest in a gravitational field (for example when standing on the

surface of the Earth) are physically identical. The upshot of this is thatfree fall is inertial motion: an

object in free fall is falling because that is how objects move when there is no force being exerted on

them, instead of this being due to the force ofgravity as is the case in classical mechanics. This is

incompatible with classical mechanics and special relativity because in those theories inertially

moving objects cannot accelerate with respect to each other, but objects in free fall do so. To resolve

this difficulty Einstein first proposed that spacetime is curved. In 1915, he devised the Einstein field

equations which relate the curvature of spacetime with the mass, energy, and momentum within it.

Some of the

t consequences of gen

neral relativityy are:

[8]

Clockks run slowerr in deeper gravitational

g

w

wells.

This is called gravvitational time

e dilation.

Orbitss precess in a way unexp

pected in New

wton's theoryy of gravity. (This

(

has bee

en observed in

the orbit of Mercu

ury and in bin

nary pulsars)..

Rayss of light bend

d in the prese

ence of a gra

avitational fie

eld.

Rotatting masses "drag along"" the spacetim

me around th

hem; a pheno

omenon term

med "framedragg

ging".

The universe

u

is ex

xpanding, an

nd the far parrts of it are moving

m

away from us faste

er than the speed

of ligh

ht.

r

is a theory of gra

avitation whose defining feature

f

is its use

u of

ein field equa

ations. The solutions

s

of th

he field equations are me

etric tensors which

w

define

the Einste

the topolo

ogy of the sp

pacetime and

d how objectss move inertia

ally.

Experimental evidencee[edit]

Tests of

o special relativity

r

[e

edit]

Main articcle: Tests of special relatiivity

A diagram

m of the MichelsonMorley experiment

Like all fa

alsifiable scie

entific theorie

es, relativity makes

m

predicctions that ca

an be tested by

b experimen

nt. In

the case of special relativity, these

e include the principle of relativity,

r

the

e constancy of

o the speed of

n.[9] The prediictions of spe

ecial relativityy have been confirmed in numerous te

ests

light, and time dilation

hed his paperr in 1905, butt three experriments cond

ducted between 1881 and

d

since Einstein publish

he Michelson

nMorley exp

periment, the

e Kennedy

1938 werre critical to itts validation. These are th

Thorndike

e experimentt, and the Ive

esStilwell exxperiment. Einstein derive

ed the Lorentz

transform

mations from first

f

principle

es in 1905, bu

ut these three experiments allow the transformatio

t

ons

to be indu

uced from ex

xperimental evidence.

e

Maxwell'ss equations the foundattion of classiccal electroma

agnetism describe

d

light as a wave which

w

moves wiith a characte

eristic velocitty. The mode

ern view is th

hat light need

ds no medium

m of transmisssion,

but Maxw

well and his contemporari

c

es were convvinced that light waves were

w

propagated in a med

dium,

analogou

us to sound propagating

p

in

n air, and ripples propaga

ating on the surface

s

of a pond.

p

This

hypothetical medium was

w called th

he luminiferous aether, att rest relative

e to the "fixed

d stars" and

w

the Earrth moves. Fresnel's partial ether drag

gging hypoth

hesis ruled ou

ut the

through which

measurem

ment of first-order (v/c) efffects, and allthough obse

ervations of second-order

s

r effects (v2/cc2)

were possible in princ

ciple, Maxwell thought the

ey were too small

s

to be de

etected with then-currentt

gy.[10][11]

technolog

The Mich

helsonMorle

ey experimen

nt was design

ned to detect second orde

er effects of the

t "aether wind"

w

the mottion of the ae

ether relative to the earth.. Michelson designed

d

an instrument called

c

the Miche

elson interferrometer to acccomplish this. The apparratus was mo

ore than accu

urate enough

h to

detect the

e expected effects,

e

but he

e obtained a null result when the first experiment was

w conducte

ed in

1881,[12] and

a again in 1887.[13] Altho

ough the failu

ure to detect an aether wind was a dissappointmen

nt, the

results we

ere accepted

d by the scien

ntific community.[11] In an attempt to sa

alvage the ae

ether paradig

gm,

Fitzgerald

d and Lorentz

z independently created an ad hoc hyypothesis in which

w

the len

ngth of materrial

bodies ch

hanges accorrding to theirr motion throu

ugh the aether.[14] This wa

as the origin of FitzGerald

d

Lorentz contraction,

c

and

a their hypo

othesis had no

n theoretica

al basis. The interpretation of the null

result of the

t MichelsonMorley experiment is that the round

d-trip travel time for light

is isotropic (independent of direction), but the result

r

alone is

i not enough

h to discountt the theory of

o the

aether or validate the predictions of

o special relativity.[15][16]

The Kenne

edyThorndike

e experiment shown

s

with intterference frin

nges.

While the

e Michelson

Morley experiment showed that the velocity

v

of ligh

ht is isotropicc, it said noth

hing

about how

w the magnittude of the ve

elocity chang

ged (if at all) in different in

nertial framess. The Kenne

edy

Thorndike

e experimentt was designed to do thatt, and was firrst performed

d in 1932 by Roy Kennedy

and Edwa

ard Thorndik

ke.[17] They ob

btained a nulll result, and concluded

c

th

hat "there is no

n effect ... unless

the velocity of the sola

ar system in space is no more than ab

bout half thatt of the earth

h in its

bility was thought to be to

oo coincidenttal to provide an acceptab

ble explanatio

on,

orbit".[16][188] That possib

so from th

he null resultt of their expe

eriment it wa

as concluded that the roun

nd-trip time for

f light is the

e

same in all

a inertial reference frame

es.[15][16]

The Ives

Stilwell expe

eriment was carried out by

b Herbert Ives and G.R. Stilwell first in 1938[19] an

nd

[20]

with bette

er accuracy in

n 1941. It was

w designed

d to test the transverse

t

D

Doppler

effectt the redsh

hift of

light from

m a moving so

ource in a dirrection perpe

endicular to itts velocity which

w

had be

een predicted

d by

Einstein in 1905. The strategy wass to compare

e observed Doppler

D

shiftss with what was

w predicted

d by

l

for a Lorrentz factor correction.

c

Su

uch a correcttion was obsserved, from

classical theory, and look

as concluded that the freq

quency of a moving

m

atomiic clock is alttered accordiing to special

which wa

[

relativity.[15][16]

Those cla

assic experim

ments have been

b

repeated many times with increa

ased precisio

on. Other

experime

ents include, for

f instance, relativistic energy and momentum

m

inccrease at hig

gh velocities, time

dilation off moving parrticles, and modern

m

searcches for Loren

ntz violationss.

Tests of

o general relativity[e

edit]

Main articcle: Tests of general relattivity

General relativity

r

has also been co

onfirmed many times, the

e classic expe

eriments bein

ng the perihe

elion

precessio

on of Mercury

y's orbit, the deflection off light by the Sun,

S

and the

egravitationall redshift of light.

Other tessts confirmed

d the equivale

ence principle

e and frame dragging.

Historry[edit]

Main articcles: History of special relativity and History

H

of gen

neral relativity

ty

The history of special relativity consists of many theoretical results and empirical findings obtained

by Albert A. Michelson, Hendrik Lorentz, Henri Poincar and others. It culminated in the theory

of special relativity proposed by Albert Einstein, and subsequent work of Max Planck, Hermann

Minkowski and others.

General relativity (GR) is a theory of gravitation that was developed by Albert Einstein between 1907

and 1915, with contributions by many others after 1915.

Currently, it can be said that far from being simply of theoretical scientific interest or requiring

experimental verification, the analysis of relativistic effects on time measurement is an important

practical engineering concern in the operation of the global positioning systems such

as GPS, GLONASS, and the forthcoming Galileo, as well as in the high precision dissemination of

time.[21] Instruments ranging from electron microscopes to particle accelerators simply will not work if

relativistic considerations are omitted.

Everyday applications[edit]

The theory of relativity is used in many of our modern electronics such as the Global Positioning

System (GPS). GPS systems are made up of three components, the control component, the space

component, and the user component. The space component consists of satellites that are placed in

specific orbits. The control component consists of a station to which all of the data from the space

component is sent. Many relativistic effects occur in GPS systems. Since each of the components is

in different reference frames, all of the relativistic effects need to be accounted for so that the GPS

works with precision. The clocks used in the GPS systems need to be synchronized. In GPS

systems, the gravitational field of the Earth has to be accounted for. There are relativistic effects

within the satellite that is in space that need to be accounted for too. GPS systems work with such

precision because of the Theory of Relativity.[22]

Minority views[edit]

Einstein's contemporaries did not all accept his new theories at once. However, the theory of

relativity is now considered as a cornerstone of modern physics.

Although it is widely acknowledged that Einstein was the creator of relativity in its modern

understanding, some believe that others deserve credit for it.

General relativity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from General theory of relativity)

For a more accessible and less technical introduction to this topic, see Introduction to general

relativity.

For the book by Robert Wald, see General Relativity (book).

A simulate

ed black hole of

o 10 solar ma

asseswithin the

e Milky Way, sseen from a diistance of 600

0 kilometers.

Geeneral relaativity

Introduction

History

Mathematical

M

form

mulation

Resourcess

Tests

Fundamental conceepts[show]

Phenomena[shhow]

Equationss

Formalism

ms

[show]

Solutions[shoow]

Scientists[shoow]

the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915[1] and the current description

of gravitation in modern physics. General relativity generalizes special relativity andNewton's law of

universal gravitation, providing a unified description of gravity as a geometric property

of space and time, orspacetime. In particular, the curvature of spacetime is directly related to

the energy and momentum of whatever matter andradiation are present. The relation is specified by

the Einstein field equations, a system of partial differential equations.

Some predictions of general relativity differ significantly from those of classical physics, especially

concerning the passage of time, the geometry of space, the motion of bodies in free fall, and the

propagation of light. Examples of such differences includegravitational time dilation, gravitational

lensing, the gravitational redshift of light, and the gravitational time delay. The predictions of general

relativity have been confirmed in all observations and experiments to date. Although general

relativity is not the only relativistic theory of gravity, it is the simplest theory that is consistent with

experimental data. However, unanswered questions remain, the most fundamental being how

general relativity can be reconciled with the laws of quantum physics to produce a complete and

self-consistent theory of quantum gravity.

Einstein's theory has important astrophysical implications. For example, it implies the existence

of black holesregions of space in which space and time are distorted in such a way that nothing,

not even light, can escapeas an end-state for massive stars. There is ample evidence that the

intense radiation emitted by certain kinds of astronomical objects is due to black holes; for

example,microquasars and active galactic nuclei result from the presence of stellar black holes and

black holes of a much more massive type, respectively. The bending of light by gravity can lead to

the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, in which multiple images of the same distant astronomical

object are visible in the sky. General relativity also predicts the existence of gravitational waves,

which have since been observed indirectly; a direct measurement is the aim of projects such

as LIGO and NASA/ESA Laser Interferometer Space Antenna and various pulsar timing arrays. In

addition, general relativity is the basis of current cosmological models of a consistently expanding

universe.

Contents

[hide]

1 History

2 From classical mechanics to general relativity

o 2.1 Geometry of Newtonian gravity

o 2.2 Relativistic generalization

o 2.3 Einstein's equations

3 Definition and basic applications

o 3.1 Definition and basic properties

o 3.2 Model-building

4 Consequences of Einstein's theory

o 4.1 Gravitational time dilation and frequency shift

o 4.2 Light deflection and gravitational time delay

o 4.3 Gravitational waves

o 4.4 Orbital effects and the relativity of direction

5 Astrophysical applications

o 5.1 Gravitational lensing

o 5.2 Gravitational wave astronomy

o 5.3 Black holes and other compact objects

o 5.4 Cosmology

o 5.5 Time travel

6 Advanced concepts

o 6.1 Causal structure and global geometry

o 6.2 Horizons

o 6.3 Singularities

o 6.4 Evolution equations

o 6.5 Global and quasi-local quantities

7 Relationship with quantum theory

o 7.1 Quantum field theory in curved spacetime

o 7.2 Quantum gravity

8 Current status

9 See also

10 Notes

11 References

12 Further reading

13 External links

History[edit]

Main articles: History of general relativity and Classical theories of gravitation

Albert Einstein developed the theories of special and general relativity. Picture from 1921.

Soon after publishing the special theory of relativity in 1905, Einstein started thinking about how to

incorporate gravity into his new relativistic framework. In 1907, beginning with a simple thought

experiment involving an observer in free fall, he embarked on what would be an eight-year search

y of gravity. After

A

numerous detours and

a false starrts, his work culminated

c

in

n the

presentattion to the Prrussian Acad

demy of Scien

nce in Novem

mber 1915 off what are no

ow known as

the Einste

ein field equa

ations. These

e equations specify

s

how the

t geometryy of space an

nd time is

influenced by whateve

er matter and

d radiation arre present, and form the core

c

of Einsttein's general

theory of relativity.[2]

uations are no

onlinear and very difficultt to solve. Ein

nstein used approximatio

a

n

The Einsttein field equ

methods in working out initial pred

dictions of the

e theory. Butt as early as 1916, the astrophysicist Karl

K

t first non--trivial exact solution

s

to th

he Einstein fie

eld equationss, the soSchwarzsschild found the

called Scchwarzschild metric. This solution laid the groundw

work for the description

d

off the final stages

of gravita

ational collaps

se, and the objects

o

know

wn today as black holes. In

n the same year,

y

the first

steps tow

wards genera

alizing Schwa

arzschild's so

olution to elecctrically charg

ged objects were

w

taken,

which eve

entually resu

ulted in the ReissnerNord

dstrm solutiion, now associated with electrically

charged black

b

holes.[33] In 1917, Ein

nstein applie

ed his theory to the univerrse as a whole, initiating the

t

field of re

elativistic cosmology. In lin

ne with conte

emporary thin

nking, he asssumed a stattic universe,

adding a new parame

eter to his orig

ginal field eq

quationsthe

e cosmologiccal constant

to match that

mption.[4] By 19

929, howeve

er, the work of

o Hubble and

d others had shown that

observational presum

erse is expanding. This is readily desccribed by the expanding cosmological

c

und

our unive

solutions fou

byFriedm

mann in 1922,, which do no

ot require a cosmological

c

constant. Le

ematre used

d these solutions

to formula

ate the earlie

est version off the Big Ban

ng models, in

n which our universe has evolved from

m an

extremelyy hot and den

nse earlier sttate.[5] Einstein later decla

ared the cosm

mological con

nstant the big

ggest

blunder of

o his life.[6]

During that period, ge

eneral relativiity remained something of

o a curiosity among physical theories. It

o Newtonian gravity, bein

ng consistentt with speciall relativity and accounting

g for

was clearrly superior to

several effects unexplained by the

e Newtonian theory. Einsttein himself had

h shown in

n 1915 how his

h

a

p

perihelion

advvance of the planet Mercu

ury without any

a arbitrary

theory exxplained the anomalous

paramete

ers ("fudge fa

actors").[7] Sim

milarly, a 1919 expedition led by Eddin

ngton confirm

med general

relativity'ss prediction for

f the deflecction of starlig

ght by the Su

un during the

e total solar eclipse

e

of Mayy 29,

[9]

1919,[8] making

m

Einste

ein instantly famous.

f

Yett the theory entered

e

the mainstream

m

o theoretical

of

physics and

a astrophys

sics only with

h the develop

pments betw

ween approxim

mately 1960 and 1975, no

ow

known ass the golden age of generral relativity.[110]Physicists began

b

to und

derstand the concept of a

black hole

e, and to identify quasarss as one of th

hese objects'' astrophysica

al manifestattions.[11] Everr

more precise solar sy

ystem tests co

onfirmed the theory's predictive powe

er,[12] and relativistic

[13]

gy, too, became amenable to direct ob

bservational tests.

cosmolog

nics to geeneral reelativity[edit

e ]

General relativity

r

can be understood by examining its similarities with and

a departure

es from classsical

physics. The

T first step

p is the realizzation that cla

assical mech

hanics and Ne

ewton's law of

o gravity adm

mit a

geometricc description. The combin

nation of this description with

w the lawss of special re

elativity results in

a heuristic derivation of

o general re

elativity.[14]

Geometry of New

wtonian gra

avity[edit]

According to general relativity, objects in a gravitational field behave similarly to objects within an accelerating

enclosure. For example, an observer will see a ball fall the same way in a rocket (left) as it does on Earth

(right), provided that the acceleration of the rocket is equal to 9.8 m/s2 (the acceleration due to gravity at the

surface of the Earth).

At the base of classical mechanics is the notion that a body's motion can be described as a

combination of free (or inertial) motion, and deviations from this free motion. Such deviations are

caused by external forces acting on a body in accordance with Newton's second law of motion,

which states that the net force acting on a body is equal to that body's (inertial) mass multiplied by

its acceleration.[15] The preferred inertial motions are related to the geometry of space and time: in

the standard reference frames of classical mechanics, objects in free motion move along straight

lines at constant speed. In modern parlance, their paths are geodesics, straight world lines in curved

spacetime.[16]

Conversely, one might expect that inertial motions, once identified by observing the actual motions

of bodies and making allowances for the external forces (such as electromagnetism or friction), can

be used to define the geometry of space, as well as a time coordinate. However, there is an

ambiguity once gravity comes into play. According to Newton's law of gravity, and independently

verified by experiments such as that of Etvs and its successors (see Etvs experiment), there is

a universality of free fall (also known as the weakequivalence principle, or the universal equality of

inertial and passive-gravitational mass): the trajectory of a test body in free fall depends only on its

position and initial speed, but not on any of its material properties.[17] A simplified version of this is

embodied in Einstein's elevator experiment, illustrated in the figure on the right: for an observer in a

small enclosed room, it is impossible to decide, by mapping the trajectory of bodies such as a

dropped ball, whether the room is at rest in a gravitational field, or in free space aboard a rocket that

is accelerating at a rate equal to that of the gravitational field.[18]

Given the universality of free fall, there is no observable distinction between inertial motion and

motion under the influence of the gravitational force. This suggests the definition of a new class of

inertial motion, namely that of objects in free fall under the influence of gravity. This new class of

preferred motions, too, defines a geometry of space and timein mathematical terms, it is

the geodesic motion associated with a specific connection which depends on the gradient of

thegravitational potential. Space, in this construction, still has the ordinary Euclidean geometry.

However, spacetime as a whole is more complicated. As can be shown using simplethought

experiments following the free-fall trajectories of different test particles, the result of transporting

spacetime vectors that can denote a particle's velocity (time-like vectors) will vary with the particle's

trajectory; mathematically speaking, the Newtonian connection is not integrable. From this, one can

deduce that spacetime is curved. The result is a geometric formulation of Newtonian gravity using

only covariant concepts, i.e. a description which is valid in any desired coordinate system.[19] In this

geometric description, tidal effectsthe relative acceleration of bodies in free fallare related to the

derivative of the connection, showing how the modified geometry is caused by the presence of

mass.[20]

Relativistic generalization[edit]

Light cone

e

As intrigu

uing as geom

metric Newton

nian gravity may

m be, its ba

asis, classica

al mechanicss, is merely

a limiting case of (spe

ecial) relativisstic mechaniccs.[21]In the la

anguage of syymmetry: wh

here gravity can

c

be negleccted, physics

s is Lorentz in

nvariant as in

n special rela

ativity rather than

t

Galilei invariant as in

n

classical mechanics. (The

(

defining

g symmetry of

o special rela

ativity is the Poincar gro

oup, which

t

and

a rotationss.) The differe

ences between the two become signifficant when

includes translations

dealing with

w speeds approaching

a

t speed off light, and wiith high-energ

the

gy phenomena.[22]

With Lore

entz symmetrry, additionall structures come

c

into pla

ay. They are defined

d

by th

he set of lightt

cones (se

ee image). Th

he light-cone

es define a ca

ausal structu

ure: for each event A, therre is a set of

events that can, in principle, eitherr influence orr be influence

ed by A via signals

s

or inte

eractions tha

at do

ent B in the image), and a set of even

nts for which such

not need to travel fastter than light (such as eve

nce is imposs

sible (such as event C in the image). These

T

sets are

a observer-an influen

independ

dent.[23] In con

njunction with

h the world-lin

nes of freely falling particcles, the light--cones can be

b

used to re

econstruct th

he spacetim

me's semi-Rie

emannian me

etric, at least up to a posittive scalar factor.

In mathem

matical terms

s, this defines aconforma

al structure.[244]

Special re

elativity is de

efined in the absence

a

of gravity,

g

so forr practical ap

pplications, it is a suitable

model wh

henever grav

vity can be ne

eglected. Brin

nging gravityy into play, an

nd assuming the universa

ality

of free falll, an analogo

ous reasonin

ng as in the previous

p

secttion applies: there

t

are no globalinertia

al

frames. In

nstead there are approxim

mate inertial frames moviing alongside

e freely falling

g particles.

Translate

ed into the lan

nguage of sp

pacetime: the

e straight time

e-like lines th

hat define a gravity-free

g

inertial fra

ame are defo

ormed to lines that are cu

urved relative

e to each othe

er, suggestin

ng that the

inclusion of gravity ne

ecessitates a change in sp

pacetime geo

ometry.[25]

A priori, itt is not clear whether the new local fra

ames in free fall coincide with the refe

erence frame

es in

which the

e laws of special relativityy holdthat theory is base

ed on the pro

opagation of light, and thu

us

on electro

omagnetism, which could

d have a diffe

erent set of preferred fram

mes. But usin

ng different

assumptions about the special-relativistic fram

mes (such as their being earth-fixed,

e

orr in free fall), one

h the frequen

ncy of

can derivve different prredictions forr the gravitatiional redshiftt, that is, the way in which

light shiftss as the lightt propagates through a grravitational field (cf. below

w). The actua

al measurem

ments

show thatt free-falling frames are th

he ones in which

w

light pro

opagates as it does in spe

ecial

[

relativity.[26]

The generralization of this

t

statemen

nt, namely that the laws of

o special rela

ativity hold to

o

good app

proximation in

n freely falling (and non-rotating) referrence framess, is known as

a the Einsteiin

equivalen

nce principle,, a crucial gu

uiding principle for genera

alizing specia

al-relativistic physics

p

to include

gravity.[27]]

The same

e experimenttal data show

ws that time as

a measured

d by clocks in

n a gravitation

nal fieldpro

oper

time, to give

g

the techn

nical termd

does not follo

ow the rules of

o special relativity. In the

e language off

spacetime geometry, it is not measured by the

e Minkowski metric.

m

As in the Newtonian case, thiss is

metry. At sm

mall scales, alll reference frrames that are in free falll are

suggestivve of a more general geom

equivalen

nt, and appro

oximately Min

nkowskian. Consequently

C

y, we are now

w dealing with

h a curved

generalizzation of Mink

kowski space

e. Themetric tensor that defines

d

the ge

eometryin particular, ho

ow

lengths and angles arre measured

is not the Minkowski

M

m

metric

of speccial relativity, it is a

o pseudo-Rie

emannian metric. Furtherrmore, each Riemannian

generalizzation known as a semi- or

metric is naturally ass

sociated with one particular kind of connection, the

e Levi-Civita connection, and

nnection that satisfies the equivalence

e principle an

nd makes spa

ace locally

this is, in fact, the con

ocally inertial coordinates, the metric is Minkowskia

an, and its firrst

Minkowskkian (that is, in suitable lo

partial de

erivatives and

d the connecttion coefficie

ents vanish).[228]

Einstein

n's equatio

ons[edit]

Main articcles: Einstein

n field equatio

ons and Math

thematics of general

g

relattivity

Having fo

ormulated the

e relativistic, geometric ve

ersion of the effects of gra

avity, the que

estion of gravvity's

source re

emains. In Ne

ewtonian gravity, the sourrce is mass. In special relativity, masss turns out to

o be

part of a more

m

genera

al quantity called the enerrgymomentu

um tensor, which

w

includes

both enerrgy and mom

mentum densities as well as stress (that is, pressurre and shearr).[29] Using th

he

equivalen

nce principle,, this tensor is

i readily gen

neralized to curved

c

space

e-time. Drawiing further up

pon

the analo

ogy with geom

metric Newto

onian gravity, it is natural to

t assume th

hat the field equation

e

for

gravity re

elates this ten

nsor and the Ricci tensor,, which descrribes a particcular class off tidal effects: the

change in

n volume for a small cloud

d of test partticles that are

e initially at re

est, and then

n fall freely. In

n

special re

elativity, cons

servation of energymom

e

mentum corresponds to the statement that the enerrgy

momentu

um tensor is divergence-fr

d

ree. This form

mula, too, is readily generalized to curved spacetim

me

by replaccing partial de

erivatives witth their curve

ed-manifold counterparts,

c

died

covariant derivatives stud

in differen

ntial geometrry. With this additional

a

conditionthe covariant divvergence of the

t energy

momentu

um tensor, an

nd hence of whatever

w

is on

o the other side

s

of the eq

quation, is ze

ero the sim

mplest

set of equ

uations are what

w

are calle

ed Einstein's (field) equattions:

Einsstein's field eq

quations

On th

he left-hand side

s

is the Einstein tensor, a specific divergence-fr

d

ree combinattion of the Riicci

tenso

or

and the

t metric. Where

W

ure scalar. Th

he Ricci tenso

or itself is rellated to the more

m

generall Riemann

c

curvature

tensor as

On the rig

ght-hand side

e,

is the

e energymo

omentum tenssor. All tenso

ors are written

in abstrac

ct index nota

ation.[30] Match

hing the theo

ory's predictio

on to observa

ational resultts

forplaneta

ary orbits (orr, equivalentlyy, assuring th

hat the weakk-gravity, low

w-speed limit is

Newtonia

an mechanicss), the proportionality con

nstant can be

e fixed as = 8G/c4,

[31]

with G the

egravitationa

al constant an

nd c the spee

ed of light. When there is no matterr

present, so

s that the energymome

entum tensorr vanishes, th

he results are

e the vacuum

m

Einstein equations,

e

e are alterna

atives to gene

eral relativity built upon th

he same prem

mises, which

There

includ

de additionall rules and/orr constraints,, leading to different

d

field equations.

[

Exam

mples areBra

ansDicke the

eory, telepara

allelism, and EinsteinCa

artan theory.[32]

Deffinition and

a basicc applica

ations[ed

dit]

See also:

a

Mathem

matics of gen

neral relativityy and Physiccal theories modified

m

by

gene

eral relativity

The derivation

d

ou

utlined in the previous secction containss all the inforrmation need

ded to

define general rellativity, descrribe its key properties,

p

an

nd address a question of

al importance

e in physics, namely how

w the theory can

c be used for modelcrucia

building.

Definition and

d basic pro

operties[edit]

Gene

eral relativity is a metric th

heory of gravvitation. At itss core are Ein

nstein's

equa

ations, which describe the

e relation betw

ween the geo

ometry of a fourf

dimensional, pseu

udo-Riemann

nian manifold

d representin

ng spacetime

e, and

[33]

e

entum contained in that spacetime.

s

Phenomena

a that in classsical

the energymome

mech

hanics are asscribed to the

e action of the force of gra

avity (such as

a freefall, orbital

o

motion

n, and spaceccraft trajectories), corresp

pond to inertial motion within

a currved geometrry of spacetim

me in genera

al relativity; th

here is no gra

avitational force

deflecting objectss from their natural, straight paths. Insstead, gravityy correspondss to

s

and tim

me, which in turn

t

changess the straightestchanges in the prroperties of space

at objects will naturally fo

ollow.[34] The curvature

c

is, in turn, caussed

possible paths tha

omentum of matter. Paraphrasing the

e relativist Joh

hn Archibald

by the energymo

eler, spacetim

me tells mattter how to mo

ove; matter te

ells spacetim

me how to

Whee

curve

e.[35]

While

e general rela

ativity replaces the scalarr gravitationa

al potential off classical ph

hysics

by a symmetric ra

ank-two tenso

or, the latter reduces to th

he former in certain limitin

ng

s. Forweak gravitational

g

f

fields

and slo

ow speed rela

ative to the speed

s

of lightt, the

cases

theorry's prediction

ns converge on those of Newton's law

w of universa

al gravitation.[36]

As it is constructe

ed using tenssors, general relativity exh

hibits genera

al covariance: its

and furtherr laws formullated within the general re

elativistic frameworktakke on

laws

the same form in all coordinatte systems.[377] Furthermorre, the theoryy does not co

ontain

ground structtures, i.e. it iss background

d independen

nt. It

any invariant geometric backg

m

stringentt general prin

nciple of relativity, namelyy that the law

ws of

thus satisfies a more

ame for all observers.[38] Locally,

L

as exxpressed in the

t equivalen

nce

physics are the sa

principle, spacetim

me isMinkow

wskian, and th

he laws of ph

hysics exhibitt local Lorenttz

invarriance.[39]

Mod

del-buildin

ng[edit]

The core

c

conceptt of general-rrelativistic mo

odel-building is that of a solution

s

of

Einsttein's equatio

ons. Given bo

oth Einstein'ss equations and

a suitable equations

e

for the

prope

erties of mattter, such a so

olution consists of a speccific semi-Rie

emannian

manifold (usually defined by giving

g

the me

etric in specific coordinate

es), and speccific

er fields defin

ned on that manifold.

m

Mattter and geom

metry must satisfy Einstein's

matte

equa

ations, so in particular,

p

the

e matter's energymomen

ntum tensor must be

diverrgence-free. The

T matter must,

m

of coursse, also satissfy whatever additional

equa

ations were im

mposed on itss properties. In short, succh a solution is a model

unive

erse that satissfies the laws of general relativity, and

d possibly ad

dditional lawss

governing whatevver matter miight be prese

ent.[40]

Einsttein's equatio

ons are nonlin

near partial differential

d

eq

quations and, as such, diffficult

to solve exactly.[411] Nevertheless, a numbe

er of exact so

olutions are known, althou

ugh

d

physica

al application

ns.[42] The besst-known exa

act solutions, and

only a few have direct

also those

t

most in

nteresting fro

om a physicss point of view

w, are the Scchwarzschild

solution, the ReisssnerNordsttrm solution and the Kerrr metric, eacch correspond

ding

to a certain

c

type of

o black hole in an otherw

wise empty un

niverse,[43] an

nd

the FriedmannLe

F

ematreRob

bertsonWalkkerand de Sitter universe

es, each

describing an exp

panding cosm

mos.[44] Exact solutions of great theore

etical interest

de the Gdel universe (w

which opens up

u the intrigu

uing possibilitty of time travvel in

includ

curve

ed spacetime

es), the Taub

b-NUT solutio

on (a model universe

u

thatt

is homogeneous, but anisotro

opic), and antti-de Sitter sp

pace (which has

h recently

come

e to prominen

nce in the co

ontext of what is called the

e Maldacena

a conjecture)..[45]

Given

n the difficultty of finding exact

e

solution

ns, Einstein'ss field equatio

ons are also

solve

ed frequently by numerica

al integration on a computer, or by con

nsidering sm

mall

pertu

urbations of exact

e

solution

ns. In the field

d of numerical relativity, powerful

p

comp

puters are em

mployed to simulate the geometry

g

of spacetime

s

an

nd to solve

[

Einsttein's equatio

ons for interesting situatio

ons such as two

t

colliding black holes.[46]

In

principle, such me

ethods may be

b applied to

o any system, given sufficcient compute

er

urces, and may

m address fundamental

f

uch as naked

d singularitiess.

resou

questions su

Appro

oximate solu

utions may also be found by perturbation theories such

s

as lin

nearized gravvity[47] and its generalizatio

on, the post-Newtonian expansion, bo

oth of

which

h were developed by Einsstein. The lattter provides a systematicc approach to

o

solvin

ng for the geometry of a spacetime

s

that contains a distribution of matter tha

at

move

es slowly com

mpared with the

t speed off light. The exxpansion invo

olves a serie

es of

terms

s; the first terrms represen

nt Newtonian

n gravity, whe

ereas the late

er terms

repre

esent ever sm

maller correcttions to Newton's theory due to generral relativity.[448] An

exten

nsion of this expansion

e

is the paramettrized post-N

Newtonian (PPN) formalism,

which

h allows quantitative com

mparisons bettween the pre

edictions of general

g

relatiivity

and alternative

a

theories.[49]

Con

nsequencces of Einstein's theory[edit

e ]

Gene

eral relativity has a numbe

er of physica

al consequen

nces. Some fo

ollow directlyy

from the theory's axioms, whe

ereas others have become clear only in the course

e of

y years of ressearch that fo

ollowed Einsstein's initial publication.

p

many

Grav

vitational time dilatiion and fre

equency shift

s

[edit]

Main article: Gravvitational time

e dilation

nal redshift of a light wave escaping

e

from the

su

urface of a ma

assive body

e equivalence principle ho

olds,[50] gravitty influencess the passage

e of

ht sent in the

time. Light sent down into a gravity well is blueshifted, whereas ligh

osite direction

n (i.e., climbin

ng out of the gravity well)) is redshifted

d; collectivelyy,

oppo

these

e two effects are known as

a the gravita

ational freque

ency shift. Mo

ore generallyy,

proce

esses close to

t a massive body run mo

ore slowly wh

hen compare

ed with proce

esses

taking

g place farther away; thiss effect is kno

own as gravittational time dilation.[51]

Gravitational redsshift has been measured in the labora

atory[52] and using astronomical

[53]

G

t

time

dilation in the Earth'ss gravitationa

al field has been

b

observations. Gravitational

sured numero

ous times ussing atomic clocks,[54] while ongoing va

alidation is

meas

provided as a side

e effect of the operation of

o the Global Positioning

em (GPS).[55] Tests in stro

onger gravitational fields are

a provided by the

Syste

observation of bin

nary pulsars.[56] All resultss are in agree

ement with ge

eneral

urrent level of

o accuracy, these

t

observvations canno

ot

relativity.[57] However, at the cu

nguish betwe

een general re

elativity and other theorie

es in which th

he equivalencce

distin

principle is valid.[558]

Ligh

ht deflectio

on and gra

avitationall time dela

ay[edit]

Main articles: Kep

pler problem in general re

elativity, Gravvitational lenss and Shapirro

y

delay

Deflec

ction of light (ssent out from the

t location sh

hown in blue) near a compa

act body (show

wn in

gray)

Gene

eral relativity predicts thatt the path of light is bent in

i a gravitatio

onal field; light

passing a massivve body is deflected towarrds that bodyy. This effect has been

ght of stars or distant qua

asars being deflected as itt

confirmed by observing the lig

es the Sun.[59]

passe

This and related predictions

p

fo

ollow from the fact that lig

ght follows what is called a

eodesica generalizatio

g

n of the straight lines alon

ng which ligh

ht

light-like or null ge

els in classica

al physics. Su

uch geodesiccs are the ge

eneralization of

trave

the in

nvariance of lightspeed in

n special rela

ativity.[60] As one

o examiness suitable mo

odel

space

etimes (eithe

er the exterio

or Schwarzscchild solution or, for more than a single

e

mass

s, the post-Ne

ewtonian exp

pansion),[61] several

s

effectts of gravity on

o light

propa

agation emerrge. Although

h the bending

g of light can

n also be deriived by exten

nding

theun

niversality of free fall to lig

ght,[62] the angle of deflecttion resulting

g from such

calcu

ulations is only half the va

alue given byy general rela

ativity.[63]

Close

ely related to

o light deflecttion is the gra

avitational tim

me delay (or Shapiro

S

dela

ay),

the phenomenon

p

that light sig

gnals take lon

nger to move

e through a gravitational fiield

than they would in

n the absencce of that field

d. There havve been nume

erous successsful

wtonian form

malism (PPN),

tests of this predicction.[64] In theparameterizzed post-New

surements off both the defflection of light and the grravitational time delay

meas

deterrmine a parameter called , which enccodes the inffluence of gra

avity on the

geom

metry of spacce.[65]

Grav

vitational waves

w

[ediit]

Main article: Gravvitational wavve

Ring

R

of test parrticles influencced by gravitattional wave

One of several an

nalogies betw

ween weak-field gravity and electroma

agnetism is that,

ogous to elecctromagnetic waves, there

e aregravitattional waves:: ripples in th

he

analo

metric of spacetim

me that propa

agate at the speed

s

of ligh

ht.[66] The simplest type of such

ve can be vissualized by itts action on a ring of freely floating pa

articles. A sin

ne

a wav

wave

e propagating

g through succh a ring tow

wards the read

der distorts the

t ring in a

chara

acteristic, rhyythmic fashio

on (animated image to the

e right).[67] Sin

nce Einstein'ss

equa

ations are non

n-linear, arbittrarily strong gravitational waves do not

n obey linea

ar

superposition, ma

aking their de

escription diffficult. Howevver, for weak fields, a linear

appro

oximation can be made. Such

S

linearizzed gravitatio

onal waves are sufficientlyy

accurate to descrribe the exceedingly weakk waves that are expected to arrive he

ere

arth from far--off cosmic events,

e

which

h typically ressult in relative

e distances

on Ea

increasing and de

ecreasing by

or le

ess. Data ana

alysis method

ds routinely make

m

o the fact tha

at these linea

arized wavess can be Fourier decompo

osed.[68]

use of

Some

e exact soluttions describe

e gravitationa

al waves with

hout any app

proximation, e.g.,

e

a wav

ve train trave

eling through empty space[69] or so-callled Gowdy universes,

u

varieties of an expanding cosm

mos filled witth gravitation

nal waves.[70] But for

es produced in astrophyssically relevan

nt situations, such as the

gravitational wave

ger of two bla

ack holes, numerical meth

hods are pressently the on

nly way to

merg

consttruct approprriate models..[71]

Orbital effects

s and the relativity

r

o direction[edit]

of

Main article: Kepller problem in

n general rellativity

Gene

eral relativity differs from classical mechanics in a number of predictions

conce

erning orbitin

ng bodies. It predicts an overall

o

rotatio

on (precessio

on) of planeta

ary

orbits

s, as well as orbital decayy caused by the

t emission

n of gravitatio

onal waves and

effects related to the relativity of direction.

Precession of ap

psides[edit]

Newtonian

N

(red

d) vs. Einsteinian orbit (blue)) of a lone plan

net orbiting a star

s

In ge

eneral relativity, the apside

es of any orb

bit (the point of the orbitin

ng body's clossest

appro

oach to the system's

s

centter of mass) will precess

the orbit is not an ellipsse,

but akin

a

to an ellip

pse that rotates on its foccus, resulting

g in a rose cu

urve-like shap

pe

(see image). Einsstein first derived this resu

ult by using an

a approxima

ate metric

esenting the Newtonian

N

lim

mit and treating the orbiting body as a test particle

e. For

repre

him, the fact that his theory ga

ave a straightforward exp

planation of th

he anomalou

us

M

disco

overed earlie

er by Urbain Le Verrier in

perihelion shift of the planet Mercury,

1859

9, was important evidence

e that he had at last identified the corrrect form of

the gravitational field

f

equation

ns.[72]

The effect

e

can alsso be derived

d by using eitther the exacct Schwarzscchild

metric (describing

g spacetime around

a

a sph

herical mass)[73] or the mu

uch more

[74]

gene

eral post-New

wtonian forma

alism. It is due

d to the inffluence of grravity on the

geom

metry of spacce and to the contribution ofself-energy to a body'ss gravity (enccoded

in the

e nonlinearityy of Einstein'ss equations).[75] Relativistic precession

n has been

observed for all planets

p

that allow

a

for accu

urate precesssion measure

ements

cury, Venus, and Earth),[776] as well as in binary pullsar systems, where it is

(Merc

large

er by five orde

ers of magnittude.[77]

Orbittal decay[ed

dit]

Orbital

O

decay fo

or PSR1913+1

16: time shift in seconds, tra

acked over three decades.[788]

According to general relativity, a binary system will emit gravitational waves, thereby

losing energy. Due to this loss, the distance between the two orbiting bodies

decreases, and so does their orbital period. Within the Solar System or for

ordinary double stars, the effect is too small to be observable. This is not the case

for a close binary pulsar, a system of two orbiting neutron stars, one of which is

a pulsar: from the pulsar, observers on Earth receive a regular series of radio pulses

that can serve as a highly accurate clock, which allows precise measurements of

the orbital period. Because neutron stars are very compact, significant amounts of

energy are emitted in the form of gravitational radiation.[79]

The first observation of a decrease in orbital period due to the emission of

gravitational waves was made by Hulse and Taylor, using the binary

pulsar PSR1913+16 they had discovered in 1974. This was the first detection of

gravitational waves, albeit indirect, for which they were awarded the 1993 Nobel

Prize in physics.[80] Since then, several other binary pulsars have been found, in

particular the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039, in which both stars are pulsars.[81]

Geodetic precession and frame-dragging[edit]

Main articles: Geodetic precession and Frame dragging

Several relativistic effects are directly related to the relativity of direction.[82] One

is geodetic precession: the axis direction of a gyroscopein free fall in curved

spacetime will change when compared, for instance, with the direction of light

received from distant starseven though such a gyroscope represents the way of

keeping a direction as stable as possible ("parallel transport").[83] For the Moon

Earth system, this effect has been measured with the help of lunar laser

ranging.[84] More recently, it has been measured for test masses aboard the

satellite Gravity Probe B to a precision of better than 0.3%.[85][86]

Near a rotating mass, there are so-called gravitomagnetic or frame-dragging effects.

A distant observer will determine that objects close to the mass get "dragged

around". This is most extreme for rotating black holes where, for any object entering

a zone known as the ergosphere, rotation is inevitable.[87] Such effects can again be

tested through their influence on the orientation of gyroscopes in free

fall.[88] Somewhat controversial tests have been performed using

the LAGEOS satellites, confirming the relativistic prediction.[89]Also the Mars Global

Surveyor probe around Mars has been used.[90][91]

Astrophysical applications[edit]

Gravitational lensing[edit]

Main article: Gravitational lensing

Einstein cross: four images of the same astronomical object, produced by a gravitational

lens

phenomena. If a massive object is situated between the astronomer and a distant

target object with appropriate mass and relative distances, the astronomer will see

multiple distorted images of the target. Such effects are known as gravitational

lensing.[92] Depending on the configuration, scale, and mass distribution, there can

be two or more images, a bright ring known as an Einstein ring, or partial rings

called arcs.[93] The earliest example was discovered in 1979;[94] since then, more

than a hundred gravitational lenses have been observed.[95] Even if the multiple

images are too close to each other to be resolved, the effect can still be measured,

e.g., as an overall brightening of the target object; a number of such

"microlensingevents" have been observed.[96]

Gravitational lensing has developed into a tool of observational astronomy. It is

used to detect the presence and distribution of dark matter, provide a "natural

telescope" for observing distant galaxies, and to obtain an independent estimate of

the Hubble constant. Statistical evaluations of lensing data provide valuable insight

into the structural evolution of galaxies.[97]

Main articles: Gravitational wave and Gravitational wave astronomy

Observations of binary pulsars provide strong indirect evidence for the existence of

gravitational waves (see Orbital decay, above). However, gravitational waves

reaching us from the depths of the cosmos have not been detected directly. Such

detection is a major goal of current relativity-related research.[98] Several landbased gravitational wave detectors are currently in operation, most notably

the interferometric detectors GEO 600, LIGO (two detectors), TAMA

300 and VIRGO.[99] Various pulsar timing arrays are using millisecond pulsars to

detect gravitational waves in the 109 to 106 Hertz frequency range, which originate

from binary supermassive blackholes.[100] European space-based detector, eLISA /

NGO, is currently under development,[101] with a precursor mission (LISA Pathfinder)

due for launch in 2015.[102]

Observations of gravitational waves promise to complement observations in

the electromagnetic spectrum.[103] They are expected to yield information about black

holes and other dense objects such as neutron stars and white dwarfs, about

certain kinds of supernova implosions, and about processes in the very early

universe, including the signature of certain types of hypothetical cosmic string.[104]

Main article: Black hole

Whenever the ratio of an object's mass to its radius becomes sufficiently large,

general relativity predicts the formation of a black hole, a region of space from which

nothing, not even light, can escape. In the currently accepted models of stellar

evolution, neutron stars of around 1.4 solar masses, and stellar black holes with a

few to a few dozen solar masses, are thought to be the final state for the evolution

of massive stars.[105]Usually a galaxy has one supermassive black hole with a few

million to a few billion solar masses in its center,[106] and its presence is thought to

have played an important role in the formation of the galaxy and larger cosmic

structures.[107]

Simulation based on the equations of general relativity: a star collapsing to form a black hole

while emitting gravitational waves

Astronomically, the most important property of compact objects is that they provide

a supremely efficient mechanism for converting gravitational energy into

electromagnetic radiation.[108] Accretion, the falling of dust or gaseous matter

onto stellar or supermassive black holes, is thought to be responsible for some

spectacularly luminous astronomical objects, notably diverse kinds of active galactic

nuclei on galactic scales and stellar-size objects such as microquasars.[109] In

particular, accretion can lead to relativistic jets, focused beams of highly energetic

particles that are being flung into space at almost light speed.[110] General relativity

plays a central role in modelling all these phenomena,[111] and observations provide

strong evidence for the existence of black holes with the properties predicted by the

theory.[112]

Black

k holes are also

a

sought-a

after targets in

n the search for gravitatio

onal waves

(cf. Gravitational

G

w

waves,

abovve). Merging black hole binariesshould

d lead to som

me of

the strongest gravvitational wavve signals re

eaching detecctors here on

n Earth, and the

t

ger ("chirp") could be use

ed as a "standard candle"" to

phase directly beffore the merg

nce to the me

erger events

and hence serve

s

as a probe of cosm

mic

deduce the distan

[

The gravitational wave

es produced as a stellar black

b

expansion at large distances.[113]

ould provide direct

d

informa

ation about the

t

hole plunges into a supermassive one sho

ack hole's geometry.[114]

supermassive bla

Cos

smology[ed

dit]

eshoe is a distant galaxy tha

at has been magnified and warped

w

into a

ne

early complete

e ring by the strong

s

gravitational pull of th

he massive forreground lumin

nous

re

ed galaxy.

ogy

The current

c

mode

els of cosmollogy are base

ed on Einstein's field equ

uations, which

h

includ

de the cosmo

ological consstant since it has imporrtant influence

e on the larg

gescale

e dynamics of

o the cosmoss,

where

w

iss the spacetim

me metric.[115]] Isotropic an

nd homogene

eous solution

ns of

these enhancced equations, the Friedm

mannLemattreRobertso

onWalker

[116]

solutions,

s

a

allow

physicists to model a universe that has evolvved over the past

14

1 billion yea

ars from a hott, early Big Bang

B

phase.[1117] Once a sm

mall number of

parameters

p

(ffor example the

t universe''s mean mattter density) have

h

been fixxed

by

b astronomiccal observatiion,[118] furthe

er observation

nal data can be used to put

p

the models to

o the test.[119] Predictions, all successfu

ul, include the initial

abundance

a

of chemical ellements form

med in a perio

od of primord

dial

nucleosynthe

n

esis,[120] the la

arge-scale strructure of the

e universe,[1211] and the

existence

e

and

d properties of

o a "thermall echo" from the early cossmos, the cosmic

[122]

background

b

r

radiation.

Astronomical

A

observations of the cosm

mological exp

pansion rate allow the total

amount

a

of ma

atter in the un

niverse to be

e estimated, although

a

the nature of tha

at

matter

m

remain

ns mysterious in part. Abo

out 90% of all

a matter app

pears to be so

ocalled

c

dark matter,

m

which has mass (o

or, equivalenttly, gravitational influence

e),

but

b does not interact electtromagnetica

ally and, hencce, cannot be

e observed

[123]

directly.

d

Th

here is no ge

enerally accepted descripttion of this ne

ew kind of matter,

within

w

the fram

mework of kn

nown particle

e physics[124] or

o otherwise..[125] Observattional

evidence

e

from

m redshift surveys of dista

ant supernovvae and measurements of

o the

cosmic

c

backg

ground radiattion also sho

ow that the evvolution of ou

ur universe iss

significantly

s

in

nfluenced byy a cosmological constanttresulting in an

a acceleration of

cosmic

c

expan

nsion or, equ

uivalently, by a form of energy with an

unusual

u

equa

ation of state, known as dark

d

energy, the

t nature off which rema

ains

[126]

unclear.

u

A so-called in

nflationary ph

hase,[127] an additional

a

pha

ase of strongly accelerate

ed

expansion

e

at cosmic times of around

secon

nds, was hyp

pothesized in

n

1980

1

to account for severral puzzling observations

o

that were un

nexplained byy

classical

c

cosm

mological mo

odels, such as

a the nearly perfect homogeneity of the

t

cosmic

c

backg

ground radiattion.[128] Rece

ent measurem

ments of the cosmic

background

b

r

radiation

have resulted in the first evid

dence for thiss

[129]

scenario.

s

H

However,

the

ere is a bewildering varietty of possible

e inflationary

scenarios,

s

wh

hich cannot be

b restricted by current ob

bservations.[130] An even larger

question

q

is th

he physics of the earliest universe, prio

or to the infla

ationary phasse

and

a close to where

w

the cla

assical mode

els predict the

e big bang siingularity. An

n

authoritative

a

a

answer

would require a complete

c

theo

ory of quantu

um gravity, which

w

has

h not yet be

een develope

ed[131](cf. the section on quantum gravvity, below).

Time

T

trave

el[edit]

Kurt

K Gdel sh

howed that solutions to Einstein's

E

equ

uations exist that

t

contain

c

close

ed timelike cu

urves (CTCs)), which allow

w for loops in time. The

solutions

s

requ

uire extreme physical con

nditions unlikkely ever to occur

o

in practtice,

and

a it remains an open qu

uestion whether further la

aws of physiccs will elimina

ate

them complettely. Since th

hen othersimilarly impra

acticalGR solutions

containing

c

CT

TCs have been found, such as the Tip

pler cylinder and traversa

able

wormholes.

w

Advance

A

d concep

pts[edit]

Causal

C

structure and

d global geometry[edit

e ]

Main

M

article: Causal

C

struccture

PenroseC

Carter diagram

m of an infinite Minkowski un

niverse

In general relativity, no ma

aterial body can

c catch up

p with or overrtake a light

pulse.

p

No influence from an

a event A ca

an reach anyy other location X before light

sent

s

out at A to X. In conssequence, an

n exploration of all light worldlines

w

(null

geodesics)

g

yields key info

ormation about the spacetime's causa

al structure. This

T

structure

s

can be displayed

d using PenrroseCarter diagrams

d

in which

w

infinite

ely

la

arge regions of space and infinite time

e intervals arre shrunk ("ccompactified"") so

as

a to fit onto a finite map, while light sttill travels alo

ong diagonals as in

standardspac

s

cetime diagra

ams.[132]

Aware

A

of the importance of

o causal stru

ucture, Roge

er Penrose an

nd others

developed

d

wh

hat is known as global ge

eometry. In global geometry, the objecct of

study

s

is not one

o particularr solution (or family of solutions) to Ein

nstein's

equations.

e

Ra

ather, relations that hold true

t

for all ge

eodesics, succh as

the Raychaud

dhuri equatio

on, and additional non-spe

ecific assumptions about the

nature

n

of mattter (usually in the form off so-called en

nergy conditiions) are use

ed to

derive

d

genera

al results.[133]

Horizons

H

[edit

e ]

Main

M

articles:: Horizon (ge

eneral relativiity), No hair theorem

t

and Black hole

mechanics

m

Using

U

global geometry, so

ome spacetim

mes can be shown

s

to con

ntain boundaries

called

c

horizon

ns, which demarcate one

e region from the rest of spacetime. Th

he

best-known

b

e

examples

are

e black holes: if mass is compressed

c

into a sufficie

ently

compact

c

regio

on of space (as specified

d in the hoop conjecture, the

t relevant

le

ength scale is the Schwa

arzschild radius[134]), no light from inside can escape

e to

the outside. Since

S

no obje

ect can overtake a light pulse, all interrior matter is

mprisoned ass well. Passa

age from the exterior to th

he interior is still possible,

im

showing

s

that the boundarry, the black hole's

h

horizo

on, is not a ph

hysical barrie

er.[135]

The

T ergospherre of a rotating

g black hole, which

w

plays a key

k role when it comes to

extracting

e

enerrgy from such a black hole

Early

E

studies of black hole

es relied on explicit

e

solutions of Einste

ein's equations,

notably

n

the sp

pherically symmetric Schwarzschild solution(used

s

to describe

a static black hole) and th

he axisymmetric Kerr solu

ution (used to

o describe a

rotating,

r

statio

onary black hole,

h

and intrroducing inte

eresting featu

ures such as

the ergosphe

ere). Using global geomettry, later stud

dies have revvealed more

general

g

prope

erties of blacck holes. In th

he long run, they

t

are rather simple objjects

characterized

c

d by eleven parameters

p

specifying ene

ergy, linear

momentum,a

m

angular mome

entum, locatiion at a speccified time and electric cha

arge.

This

T

is stated

d by the blackk hole unique

eness theore

ems: "black holes have no

o

hair",

h

that is, no distinguisshing marks like

l

the hairstyles of humans. Irrespecctive

object that results (having emitted gravitational waves) is very simple.[136]

Even more remarkably, there is a general set of laws known as black hole

mechanics, which is analogous to the laws of thermodynamics. For instance, by

the second law of black hole mechanics, the area of the event horizon of a

general black hole will never decrease with time, analogous to the entropy of a

thermodynamic system. This limits the energy that can be extracted by classical

means from a rotating black hole (e.g. by the Penrose process).[137] There is

strong evidence that the laws of black hole mechanics are, in fact, a subset of

the laws of thermodynamics, and that the black hole area is proportional to its

entropy.[138] This leads to a modification of the original laws of black hole

mechanics: for instance, as the second law of black hole mechanics becomes

part of the second law of thermodynamics, it is possible for black hole area to

decreaseas long as other processes ensure that, overall, entropy increases.

As thermodynamical objects with non-zero temperature, black holes should

emit thermal radiation. Semi-classical calculations indicate that indeed they do,

with the surface gravity playing the role of temperature in Planck's law. This

radiation is known as Hawking radiation (cf. the quantum theory section,

below).[139]

There are other types of horizons. In an expanding universe, an observer may

find that some regions of the past cannot be observed ("particle horizon"), and

some regions of the future cannot be influenced (event horizon).[140] Even in flat

Minkowski space, when described by an accelerated observer (Rindler space),

there will be horizons associated with a semi-classical radiation known

as Unruh radiation.[141]

Singularities[edit]

Main article: Spacetime singularity

Another general feature of general relativity is the appearance of spacetime

boundaries known as singularities. Spacetime can be explored by following up

on timelike and lightlike geodesicsall possible ways that light and particles in

free fall can travel. But some solutions of Einstein's equations have "ragged

edges"regions known as spacetime singularities, where the paths of light and

falling particles come to an abrupt end, and geometry becomes ill-defined. In

the more interesting cases, these are "curvature singularities", where

geometrical quantities characterizing spacetime curvature, such as the Ricci

scalar, take on infinite values.[142] Well-known examples of spacetimes with

future singularitieswhere worldlines endare the Schwarzschild solution,

which describes a singularity inside an eternal static black hole,[143] or the Kerr

solution with its ring-shaped singularity inside an eternal rotating black

hole.[144] The FriedmannLematreRobertsonWalker solutions and other

spacetimes describing universes have past singularities on which worldlines

begin, namely Big Bang singularities, and some have future singularities (Big

Crunch) as well.[145]

Given that these examples are all highly symmetricand thus simplifiedit is

tempting to conclude that the occurrence of singularities is an artifact of

idealization.[146] The famous singularity theorems, proved using the methods of

global geometry, say otherwise: singularities are a generic feature of general

relativity, and unavoidable once the collapse of an object with realistic matter

properties has proceeded beyond a certain stage[147] and also at the beginning

of a wide class of expanding universes.[148] However, the theorems say little

characterizing these entities' generic structure (hypothesized e.g. by the socalled BKL conjecture).[149] The cosmic censorship hypothesis states that all

realistic future singularities (no perfect symmetries, matter with realistic

properties) are safely hidden away behind a horizon, and thus invisible to all

distant observers. While no formal proof yet exists, numerical simulations offer

supporting evidence of its validity.[150]

Evolution equations[edit]

Main article: Initial value formulation (general relativity)

Each solution of Einstein's equation encompasses the whole history of a

universe it is not just some snapshot of how things are, but a whole, possibly

matter-filled, spacetime. It describes the state of matter and geometry

everywhere and at every moment in that particular universe. Due to its general

covariance, Einstein's theory is not sufficient by itself to determine the time

evolution of the metric tensor. It must be combined with a coordinate condition,

which is analogous to gauge fixing in other field theories.[151]

To understand Einstein's equations as partial differential equations, it is helpful

to formulate them in a way that describes the evolution of the universe over

time. This is done in so-called "3+1" formulations, where spacetime is split into

three space dimensions and one time dimension. The best-known example is

the ADM formalism.[152] These decompositions show that the spacetime

evolution equations of general relativity are well-behaved: solutions

always exist, and are uniquely defined, once suitable initial conditions have

been specified.[153] Such formulations of Einstein's field equations are the basis

of numerical relativity.[154]

Main article: Mass in general relativity

The notion of evolution equations is intimately tied in with another aspect of

general relativistic physics. In Einstein's theory, it turns out to be impossible to

find a general definition for a seemingly simple property such as a system's

total mass (or energy). The main reason is that the gravitational fieldlike any

physical fieldmust be ascribed a certain energy, but that it proves to be

fundamentally impossible to localize that energy.[155]

Nevertheless, there are possibilities to define a system's total mass, either

using a hypothetical "infinitely distant observer" (ADM mass)[156] or suitable

symmetries (Komar mass).[157] If one excludes from the system's total mass the

energy being carried away to infinity by gravitational waves, the result is the socalled Bondi mass at null infinity.[158]Just as in classical physics, it can be shown

that these masses are positive.[159] Corresponding global definitions exist

for momentum and angular momentum.[160] There have also been a number of

attempts to define quasi-local quantities, such as the mass of an isolated

system formulated using only quantities defined within a finite region of space

containing that system. The hope is to obtain a quantity useful for general

statements about isolated systems, such as a more precise formulation of

the hoop conjecture.[161]

physics, then quantum theory, the basis of understanding matter

from elementary particles to solid state physics, would be the

other.[162] However, how to reconcile quantum theory with general relativity is still

an open question.

Main article: Quantum field theory in curved spacetime

Ordinary quantum field theories, which form the basis of modern elementary

particle physics, are defined in flat Minkowski space, which is an excellent

approximation when it comes to describing the behavior of microscopic particles

in weak gravitational fields like those found on Earth.[163] In order to describe

situations in which gravity is strong enough to influence (quantum) matter, yet

not strong enough to require quantization itself, physicists have formulated

quantum field theories in curved spacetime. These theories rely on general

relativity to describe a curved background spacetime, and define a generalized

quantum field theory to describe the behavior of quantum matter within that

spacetime.[164] Using this formalism, it can be shown that black holes emit a

blackbody spectrum of particles known as Hawking radiation, leading to the

possibility that theyevaporate over time.[165] As briefly mentioned above, this

radiation plays an important role for the thermodynamics of black holes.[166]

Quantum gravity[edit]

Main article: Quantum gravity

See also: String theory, Canonical general relativity, Loop quantum

gravity, Causal Dynamical Triangulations and Causal sets

The demand for consistency between a quantum description of matter and a

geometric description of spacetime,[167] as well as the appearance

of singularities (where curvature length scales become microscopic), indicate

the need for a full theory of quantum gravity: for an adequate description of the

interior of black holes, and of the very early universe, a theory is required in

which gravity and the associated geometry of spacetime are described in the

language of quantum physics.[168] Despite major efforts, no complete and

consistent theory of quantum gravity is currently known, even though a number

of promising candidates exist.[169]

dimensions posited by string theory

Attempts

A

to generalize

g

ord

dinary quantum field theo

ories, used in

n elementary

particle

p

physics to describ

be fundamental interactions, so as to include graviity

have

h

led to se

erious proble

ems. At low energies,

e

thiss approach proves successsful,

[

in

n that it results in an acce

eptable effecctive (quantum

m) field theorry of gravity.[170]

At

very

v

high ene

ergies, howevver, the result are modelss devoid of all predictive

power

p

("non-rrenormalizab

bility").[171]

um gravity

One

O attempt to overcome

e these limitattions is string

g theory, a qu

uantum theory

not

n of point particles, but of

o minute one-dimensional extended objects.[172] The

T

theory promisses to be a unified description of all pa

articles and interactions,

ncluding gravvity;[173] the prrice to pay iss unusual fea

atures such as

a six extra

in

dimensions

d

o space in ad

of

ddition to the

e usual three..[174] In what iss called

the second su

uperstring re

evolution, it was

w conjecturred that both string theoryy and

a unification of

o general relativity and supersymmet

s

try known

as

a supergravity[175] form pa

art of a hypotthesized elevven-dimensio

onal model known

as

a M-theory, which would constitute a uniquely deffined and consistent theo

ory of

quantum

q

gravvity.[176]

Another

A

apprroach starts with

w the cano

onical quantizzation proced

dures of quan

ntum

theory. Using

g the initial-va

alue-formulattion of genera

al relativity (ccf. evolution

equations

e

abo

ove), the ressult is theWhe

eelerdeWitt equation (an

n analogue of

o

the Schrding

ger equation) which, regrrettably, turnss out to be ill-[177]

defined.

d

Ho

owever, with the introducction of what are now kno

own as Ashte

ekar

[178]

variables,

v

t

this

leads to a promising model known as loop quantum gravitty.

Space

S

is reprresented by a web-like structure called

d a spin netw

work, evolving

over

o

time in discrete

d

stepss.[179]

Depending

D

on

n which featu

ures of generral relativity and

a quantum

m theory are

accepted

a

uncchanged, and

d on what levvel changes are

a introduce

ed,[180] there are

a

numerous

n

oth

her attempts to arrive at a viable theory of quantum

m gravity, some

examples

e

beiing dynamica

al triangulatio

ons,[181] causa

al sets,[182] twiistor models[183] or

the path-integ

gral based models

m

of qua

antum cosmo

ology.[184]

All candidate theories still have major formal and conceptual problems to

overcome. They also face the common problem that, as yet, there is no way to

put quantum gravity predictions to experimental tests (and thus to decide

between the candidates where their predictions vary), although there is hope for

this to change as future data from cosmological observations and particle

physics experiments becomes available.[185]

Current status[edit]

General relativity has emerged as a highly successful model of gravitation and

cosmology, which has so far passed many unambiguous observational and

experimental tests. However, there are strong indications the theory is

incomplete.[186] The problem of quantum gravity and the question of the reality of

spacetime singularities remain open.[187]Observational data that is taken as

evidence for dark energy and dark matter could indicate the need for new

physics.[188] Even taken as is, general relativity is rich with possibilities for further

exploration. Mathematical relativists seek to understand the nature of

singularities and the fundamental properties of Einstein's equations,[189] and

increasingly powerful computer simulations (such as those describing merging

black holes) are run.[190] The race for the first direct detection of gravitational

waves continues,[191]in the hope of creating opportunities to test the theory's

validity for much stronger gravitational fields than has been possible to

date.[192] Almost a hundred years after its publication, general relativity remains a

highly active area of research.[193]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As formulated by Albert Einstein in 1905, the theory of special relativity was based on two main

postulates:

1. The principle of relativity The form of a physical law is the same in any inertial frame.

2. The speed of light is constant In all inertial frames, the speed of light c is the same

whether the light is emitted from a source at rest or in motion. (Note this does not apply in

non-inertial frames, indeed between accelerating frames the speed of light cannot be

constant.[1] Although it can be applied in non-inertial frames if an observer is confined to

making local measurements.)

There have been various alternative formulations of special relativity over the years. Some of these

formulations are equivalent to the original formulation whereas others result in modifications.

Contents

[hide]

2 Lorentz ether theory

3 Minkowski spacetime

4 Test theories of special relativity

5 Curvilinear coordinates and non-inertial frames

6 de Sitter relativity

7 Taiji relativity

8 Euclidean relativity

y

10 Doublyy special relattivity

11 Refere

ences

"Single postula

ate" apprroaches[edit]

Equivalen

nt to the origiinal ? Yes.

According

g to some refferences,[1][2][33][4] the theoryy of special re

elativity can be derived frrom a single

postulate: the principle of relativityy. This claim can be misle

eading becau

use actually these

t

ons rely on various

v

unsaid assumption

ns such as issotropy and homogeneity

h

y of space.[5] The

T

formulatio

question here is not about

a

the exa

act number off postulates. The phrase "single postu

ulate" is just used

e original "tw

wo postulate" formulation. The real que

estion here iss whether

in comparison with the

c be deducced rather tha

an assumed..

universal lightspeed can

mations, up to

o a nonnegattive free para

ameter, can be

b derived without

w

first

The Lorentz transform

postulatin

ng the univerrsal lightspee

ed. Experiment rules out the

t validity off the Galilean

n transformattions

and this means

m

the pa

arameter in the Lorentz trransformation

ns is nonzero

o hence there is a finite

maximum

m speed befo

ore anything has

h been saiid about lightt. Combining this with Ma

axwell's

equationss shows that light travels at this maxim

mum speed. The numericcal value of th

he parameter in

these tran

nsformations

s is determine

ed by experim

ment, just ass the numericcal values of the paramete

er

pair c and

d the permittiivity of free space

s

are leftt to be determ

mined by exp

periment even when using

g

Einstein'ss original pos

stulates. Whe

en the numerrical values in

n both Einste

ein's and thesse other

approach

hes have bee

en found then

n these differrent approach

hes result in the same the

eory. So the end

result of the

t interlocking trio of the

eory+Maxwell+experiment is the same

e either way. This is the sense

s

in which universal

u

ligh

htspeed can be deduced rather than postulated.

p

For some

e historical information, se

ee: History off special rela

ativity#Space

etime physicss and the secction

"Lorentz transformatio

t

on without se

econd postula

ate" for the approaches

a

o Ignatowski and

of

Frank/Ro

othe. Howeve

er, according to Pauli (192

21), Resnick (1967), and Miller (1981), those mod

dels

were insu

ufficient. But the constanccy of the speed of light is contained in

n Maxwell's equations.

e

Th

hat

section in

ncludes the phrase

p

"Ignattowski was fo

orced to reco

ourse to electtrodynamics to include the

speed of light.". So, th

he trio of "prin

nciple of rela

ativity+Maxwe

ell+numerica

al values from

m experimentt"

ecial relativity

y and this sho

ould be comp

pared with "p

principle of re

elativity+seco

ond

gives spe

postulate+Maxwell+nu

umerical valu

ues from exp

periment". Sin

nce Einstein's 1905 pape

er is all aboutt

s assuming Maxwell's

M

equ

uations, and the theory issn't practicallyy applicable

electrodyynamics he is

without numerical valu

ues. When co

ompared like

e with like, fro

om the point of view of assking what is

e, the second

d postulate ca

an be deduce

ed. If you resstrict your atttention to justt the standalone

knowable

theory of relativity then yes you ne

eed the postu

ulate. But givven all the avvailable know

wledge we don't

p

it. In

n other wordss different do

omains of kno

owledge are overlapping and thus takken

need to postulate

together have

h

more in

nformation th

han necessarry.

This can be summariz

zed as follow

ws:

Experimental results rule out

o the validitty of the Galiiliean transfo

ormations.

1. E

2. That just leave

es the Lorentz transforma

ations with a finite maxim

mal speed V.

G

a maxim

mal speed V,, the only con

nsistent way of combining

g PofR with Maxwell's

M

3. Given

equations is to

e

t identify Ma

axwell's parameter :

w the afore

with

ementioned

m

maximal

spee

ed V.

4. We

W are now at

a the same starting

s

point as if we had postulated the

t constancy of light, so we

p

proceed

to de

evelop all the

e usual resultts of special relativity.

There are

e references which discusss in more de

etail the princciple of relativity[6][7]

Main article: Lorentz ether theory

Equivalent to the original ? Yes.

Hendrik Lorentz and Henri Poincar developed their version of special relativity in a series of papers

from about 1900 to 1905. They used Maxwell's equations and the principle of relativity to deduce a

theory that is mathematically equivalent to the theory later developed by Einstein.

Minkowski spacetime[edit]

Main article: Minkowski space

Equivalent to the original ? Yes.

Minkowski space (or Minkowski spacetime) is a mathematical setting in which special relativity is

conveniently formulated. Minkowski space is named for the German mathematician Hermann

Minkowski, who around 1907 realized that the theory of special relativity (previously developed by

Poincar and Einstein) could be elegantly described using a four-dimensional spacetime, which

combines the dimension of time with the three dimensions of space.

Mathematically there are a number of ways in which the four-dimensions of Minkowski spacetime

are commonly represented: as a four-vector with 4 real coordinates, as a four-vector with 3 real and

one complex coordinate, or using tensors.

Main article: Test theories of special relativity

Equivalent to the original ? No.

Test theories of special relativity are flat space-time theories which differ from special relativity by

having a different postulate about light concerning one-way speed of light vs two-way speed of light.

Different postulates on light result in different notions of time simultaneity. There is Robertson's test

theory (1949) which predicts different experimental results from Einstein's special relativity, and then

there is Edward's theory (1963) which cannot be called a test theory because it is physically

equivalent to special relativity, and then there is the Mansouri-Sexl theory (1977) which is equivalent

to Robertson's theory.[8]

Equivalent to the original ? Curvilinear is a generalization, but the original SR can be applied locally.

There can be misunderstandings over the sense in which SR can be applied to accelerating frames.

The confusion here results from trying to describe three different things with just two labels.

The three things are:

A description of physics without gravity using just "inertial frames", i.e. non-accelerating

Cartesian coordinate systems. These coordinate systems are all related to each other by

the linear Lorentz transformations. The physical laws may be described more simply in

these frames than in the others. This is "special relativity" as usually understood.

A description of physics without gravity using arbitrary curvilinear coordinates. This is

non-gravitational physics plus general covariance. Here one sets the RiemannChristoffel tensor to zero instead of using the Einstein field equations. This is the sense

in which "special relativity" can handle accelerated frames.

A description of physics including gravity governed by the Einstein field equations, i.e.

full general relativity.

Special relativity cannot be used to describe a global frame for non-inertial i.e. accelerating

frames. However general relativity implies that special relativity can be applied locallywhere the

observer is confined to making local measurements. For example an analysis of

Bremsstrahlung does not require general relativity, SR is sufficient.[9][10][11]

The key point is that you can use special relativity to describe all kinds of accelerated

phenomena, and also to predict the measurements made by an accelerated observer

who'sconfined to making measurements at one specific location only. If you try to build a

complete frame for such an observer, one that is meant to cover all of spacetime, you'll run into

difficulties (there'll be a horizon, for one).

The problem is that you cannot derive from the postulates of special relativity that an

acceleration will not have a non-trivial effect. E.g. in case of the twin paradox, we know that you

can compute the correct answer of the age difference of the twins simply by integrating the

formula for time dilation along the trajectory of the travelling twin. This means that one assumes

that at any instant, the twin on its trajectory can be replaced by an inertial observer that is

moving at the same velocity of the twin. This gives the correct answer, as long as we are

computing effects that are local to the travelling twin. The fact that the acceleration that

distinguishes the local inertial rest frame of the twin and the true frame of the twin does not have

any additional effect follows from general relativity (it has, of course, been verified

experimentally).

In 1943, Moller obtained a transform between an inertial frame and a frame moving with

constant acceleration, based on Einstein's vacuum eq and a certain postulated timeindependent metric tensor, although this transform is of limited applicability as it does not reduce

to the Lorentz transform when a=0.

Throughout the 20th century efforts were made in order to generalize the Lorentz

transformations to a set of transformations linking inertial frames to non-inertial frames with

uniform acceleration. So far, these efforts failed to produce satisfactory results that are both

consistent with 4-dimensional symmetry and to reduce in the limit a=0 to the Lorentz

transformations. Hsu and Hsu[1] claim that they have finally come up with suitable

transformations for constant linear acceleration (uniform acceleration). They call these

transformations: Generalized Moller-Wu-Lee Transformations. They also say: "But such a

generalization turns out not to be unique from a theoretical viewpoint and there are infinitely

many generalizations. So far, no established theoretical principle leads to a simple and unique

generalization."

de Sitter relativity[edit]

Main article: de Sitter relativity

Equivalent to the original ? No.

According to the works of Cacciatoti, Gorini and Kamenshchik,[4] and Bacry and LviLeblond[12] and the references therein, if you take Minkowski's ideas to their logical conclusion

then not only are boosts non-commutative but translations are also non-commutative. This

means that the symmetry group of space time is a de Sitter group rather than the Poincar

group. This results in spacetime being slightly curved even in the absence of matter or energy.

This residual curvature is caused by a cosmological constant to be determined by observation.

Due to the small magnitude of the constant, then special relativity with the Poincar group is

more than accurate enough for all practical purposes, although near the big

bang and inflation de Sitter relativity may be more useful due to the cosmological constant being

larger back then. Note this is not the same thing as solving Einstein's field equations for general

relativvity to get a de

d Sitter Univverse, ratherr the de Sitter relativity is about getting

g a de Sitter

Group for special relativity which neglects gravity.

Taijji relativvity[edit]

Equivvalent to the original ? Ye

es.

This section is ba

ased on the work

w

of Jong--Ping Hsu an

nd Leonardo Hsu.[1][13][14][15] They decide

ed to

C

word

d meaning th

he ultimate prrinciples thatt existed befo

ore

use the word Taijji which is a Chinese

e world. In SI units, time is

i measured in seconds, but taiji time is measured

d in

the creation of the

m

spa

ace. Their arg

guments abo

out choosing what

units of metres the same units used to measure

t

of rela

ativity which is

units to measure time in, lead them to say that they can develop a theory

distinguishab

ble from speccial relativity, but without using the seccond postula

ate in

experimentally ind

T

claims have

h

been dissputed.[16][17] Espen

E

Gaard

der Haug disccusses of taiji

their derivation. Their

relativvity one of hiis book.[18]

The transformatio

t

ons that they derive involvve the factor

where is th

he velocity

meassured in metrres per metre

e (a dimensio

onless quantity). This lookks the same as (but shou

uld

NOT be conceptu

ually confused with) the ve

elocity as a fraction

f

of light v/c that ap

ppears in som

me

essions for th

he Lorentz tra

ansformation

ns. Expressin

ng time in me

etres has previously been

n

expre

done by other autthors: Taylor and Wheele

er in Spacetim

me Physics[199] and Moore in Six Ideas that

[2

20]

ped Physics.

Shap

The transformatio

t

ons are derive

ed using justt the principle

e of relativity and have a maximal spe

eed

of 1, which is quitte unlike "sing

gle postulate

e" derivationss of the Loren

ntz transform

mations in which

e up with a parameter that

t

may be zero.

z

So this is not the sa

ame as otherr "single

you end

postu

ulate" derivattions. Howevver the relatio

onship of taiji time "w" to standard

s

time

e "t" must still be

found

d, otherwise it would not be

b clear how

w an observerr would meassure taiji time

e. The taiji

transformations are

a then comb

bined with Maxwell's

M

equations to sho

ow that the speed of light is

pendent of th

he observer and

a has the value

v

1 in taijji speed (i.e. it has the ma

aximal speed

d).

indep

This can be thoug

ght of as saying: a time off 1 metre is the

t time it takkes for light to travel 1 me

etre.

e we can measure the speed of light by

b experimen

nt in m/s to get the value c, we can usse

Since

this as

a a conversion factor. i.e

e. we have no

ow found an operational definition

d

of taiji

t

time: w=cct.

So we

w have: w metres = (c m//s) * t second

ds

Le

et r = distanc

ce. Then taiji speed = r metres

m

/ w me

etres = r/w dim

mensionless.

But it is not ju

B

ust due to the

e choice of un

nits that there

e is a maxim

mum speed. Itt is the princiiple

o relativity, th

of

hat Hsu & Hssu say, when

n applied to 4d

4 spacetime

e, implies the invariance of

o the

4

4d-spacetime

e interval

in

nvolving the factor

ads to the co

oordinate tran

nsformationss

whe

ere beta is the

e magnitude of the velocity between two

t

in

nertial frames

s. The differe

ence between this and the spacetime interval

M

Minkowski

sp

pace is that

in

e of relativity

is invaria

whereas

w

b

postulates. The "prin

nciple of relattivity" in

requires both

s

spacetime

is taken to mea

an invariance

e of laws und

der 4-dimensional transformations.

Hsu & Hsu th

H

hen explore other

o

relationsships betwee

en w and t su

uch as w=bt where

w

b is a

fu

unction. They

y show that there

t

are verrsions of relativity which are

a consisten

nt with experiment

b have a de

but

efinition of tim

me where the

e "speed" of light is not co

onstant. Theyy develop one

mon relativity which is morre convenien

nt for perform

ming calculatio

ons

fo

or "relativistic

c many bodyy problems" than using sp

pecial relativitty.

E

Euclidea

n relativvity[edit]

E

Equivalent

to the original ? No, the vellocity addition

n formula is different.

Euclidean relativity[21][22][23][224][25][26] uses a Euclidean (+

E

++++) metricc as opposed

d to the traditional

M

Minkowski

(+---) or (-+++)) metric which

h is derived from

f

the Minkowski metric by

re

ewriting

into the

e

equivalent

e

. The roles of time

e t and proper

tiime have switched

s

so that

t

proper time takes the

t role of the coordinate

e for the 4th

s

spatial

dimen

nsion. A unive

ersal velocityy for all obje

ects in 4D sp

pace-time appears from th

he

.

re

egular time derivative

d

T approach

The

h differs from

m the so-calle

ed Wick rotation or complex Euclidean

n relativity. In

n

W

Wick

rotation, time is rep

placed by , which also leads to a po

ositive definitte metric but it

m

maintains

pro

oper time as

a the Lorenttz invariant va

alue whereass in Euclidea

an relativity

b

becomes

a coordinate.

c

implies that

Because

B

p

photons

trave

el at the spee

ed of light in the

t subspace

e {x, y, z} and

d baryonic matter

m

that is at

re

est in {x, y, z}

z travels normal to photons along , a paradox arrises on how photons can

n be

p

propagated

in

n a space-tim

me. The posssible existencce of parallel space-timess or parallel

w

worlds

shifted

d and co-movving along is the approach of Giorgio Fontana.[27] The Euclidean

g

geometry

is consistent

c

witth classical, Minkowski

M

ba

ased relativitty in two reference framess.

T hyperbolic Minkowski geometry tu

The

urns into a ro

otation in 4D circular geom

metry where

le

ength contraction and tim

me dilation ressult from the geometric projection of 4D

4 propertiess to

3 space. In three referen

3D

nce frames an

a inconsistency appears in the velocity addition

fo

ormula, also affecting oth

her formulas that depend on the veloccity addition fo

ormula. The

in

nconsistency

y does so far not imply kn

nown contrad

dictions with experimental

e

l data but

ccompared to the classical formula it prredicts small deviations (<

<

m/s) in the additio

on

re

esult when both

b

input spe

eeds are veryy high (>10 km/s)

k

and ha

ave similar magnitude.

V

Very

speccial relattivity[edit]]

M

Main

article: Very

V

special relativity

E

Equivalent

to the original ? No

Ig

gnoring gravity, experime

ental bounds seem to sug

ggest that spe

ecial relativitty with its Lorrentz

s

symmetry

and

d Poincar symmetry desscribes space

etime.

S

Surprisingly,

Cohen andG

Glashow[28] ha

ave demonstrrated that a small

s

subgroup of the Lorrentz

g

group

is suffic

cient to expla

ain all the currrent boundss.

The minimal subgroup

T

s

in question

q

can

n be describe

ed as follows: The stabilizzer of a null

v

vector

is the special

s

Euclid

dean group SE(2),

S

which

h contains T(2

2) as the sub

bgroup

o

ofparabolic

transformation

ns. This T(2),, when exten

nded to includ

de either parity or time

re

eversal (i.e. subgroups

s

of the orthoch

hronous and time-reversa

t

al respectivelyy), is sufficient to

g

give

us all the

e standard prredictions. Th

heir new sym

mmetry is callled Very Spe

ecial

R

Relativity

(VS

SR).

D

Doubly

special

s

reelativity[eedit]

Equivalent to the original ? No.

Doubly special relativity (DSR) is a modified theory of special relativity in which there is

not only an observer-independent maximum velocity (the speed of light), but an observerindependent minimum length (the Planck length).

The motivation to these proposals is mainly theoretical, based on the following observation:

The Planck length is expected to play a fundamental role in a theory of Quantum Gravity,

setting the scale at which Quantum Gravity effects cannot be neglected

and new phenomena are observed. If Special Relativity is to hold up exactly to this scale,

different observers would observe Quantum Gravity effects at different scales, due to

the LorentzFitzGerald contraction, in contradiction to the principle that all inertial observers

should be able to describe phenomena by the same physical laws.

A drawback of the usual doubly special relativity models is that they are valid only at the

energy scales where ordinary special relativity is supposed to break down, giving rise to a

patchwork relativity. On the other hand, de Sitter relativity is found to be invariant under a

simultaneous re-scaling of mass, energy and momentum, and is consequently valid at all

energy scales.

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