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Theo

ory of relativ
r
vity
From Wikipedia, the free
e encyclopedia
a

This articcle is about th


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:

Meassurements off various qua


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.

The term "theory of re


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first published, relativity superseded a 200-year-old theory of mechanicscreated primarily by Isaac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

On the theory of relativity[edit]


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

USSR stamp dedicated to Albert Einstein

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.

Technically, general relativity


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]

General relativity, also known as the general theory of relativity, is


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

for a relattivistic theory


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

From classicall mechan


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

iss symmetric. In particularr,

iss the curvatu


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

Schematic reprresentation of the gravitation


nal redshift of a light wave escaping
e
from the
su
urface of a ma
assive body

Assuming that the


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

The deflection of light by gravity is responsible for a new class of astronomical


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]

Gravitational wave astronomy[edit]


Main articles: Gravitational wave and Gravitational wave astronomy

Artist's impression of the space-borne gravitational wave detector LISA

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]

Black holes and other compact objects[edit]


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]

This blue horse


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.

Main article: Physsical cosmolo


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

of the complexity of a gravitating object collapsing to form a black hole, the


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

about the properties of singularities, and much of current research is devoted to


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]

Global and quasi-local quantities[edit]


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]

Relationship with quantum theory[edit]

If general relativity were considered to be one of the two pillars of modern


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.

Quantum field theory in curved spacetime[edit]


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]

Projection of a CalabiYau manifold, one of the ways ofcompactifying the extra


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]

Simple spin network of the type used in loop quantu


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]

Special relativity (alternative formulations)


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]

1 "Single postulate" approaches


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

9 Very special 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]

Lorentz ether theory[edit]


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.

Test theories of special relativity[edit]


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]

Curvilinear coordinates and non-inertial frames[edit]


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

and this lea


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

ant purely byy the principle


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

ssuch version called comm


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]

Main article: Doubly special relativity


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.