General Relativity: Einsteins Theory of Gravitation Presented By Arien Crellin-Quick and Tony Miller SPRING 2009 PHYS43, SRJC The Motivations of General Relativity
General Relativity, or GR, was created in order to better understand gravity It has helped us to answer why gravity exists General Relativity has many predictions most of which have been verified by experiment with amazing accuracy The Motivations of GR
The special theory of relativity encompasses inertial frames of reference moving at uniform relative velocities Einstein asked whether or not systems moving in nonuniform motion with respect to one another could be relative and came up with the idea of general relativity
The Equivalence Principle The equivalence principle is the fundamental underpinning of general relativity, it says that: There is no experiment that can be done in a small confined space that can detect the difference between a uniform gravitational field and an equivalent uniform acceleration.
The History of GR Developed between 1907 and 1915 The beginnings of GR germinate in 1907 with Einsteins thought experiment concerning a free-falling observer that he called the happiest thought of his life: "For an observer falling freely from the roof of a house, the gravitational field does
not exist" The History of GR 1907- published first paper applying SR to accelerating reference frames that also predicted gravitational time dilation 1911- published paper predicting gravitational lensing
1912- Einstein was focused on formulating a theory of spacetime that was purely geometrical The History of GR By 1915 Einstein had developed what are known as the Einstein Field Equations
General Theory of Relativity published in Annalen der Physik in 1916 The Characteristics of GR GR is a theory of gravitation that supersedes Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation using the warping of spacetime by mass to explain gravitational attraction instead of the idea of
forces Essentially, massive bodies warp and curve their local spacetime An Example of Curved Spacetime Some Predictions of GR
Geodetic Deviation Frame Dragging
Gravitational Lensing Black Holes Gravitational Redshift Gravity Waves Geodetic Deviation Arises from the transportation of angular momentum through gravitational field when
EFE are applied to a massive body Massive bodies like Earth warp spacetime and a spinning object (i.e. gyroscope) orbiting the larger body will exhibit a precession of its axis of rotation Gravity Probe B Frame Dragging
Derived by Hans Thirring and Josef Lense (AKA Lense-Thirring Effect) Rotating massive bodies pull spacetime around with them Frame Dragging Effect Gravitational Lensing Effect The Gravitational Lensing effect occurs when
light reaching an observer has passed by a very massive body which is heavily distorting space. The light can be seen, (of course), to bend around the body. Black Holes Black Holes are the most profound prediction of general relativity
A black hole is a large body of matter that is so dense that nothing can escape its gravitational attraction, at a given distance, known as the Schwarzschild radius Gravitational Redshift Gravitational redshift occurs when light leaving a massive body redshifts in order to
conserve energy Light can also blueshift if falling into a gravity well The appropriate equation for the red shift is Gravitational Waves Fluctuation of spacetime curvature that is propagated as a wave
Radiates away from accelerating bodies Carries energy away from source Predicts that two massive bodies rotating about their center of mass will loose energy in the form of gravity waves and the orbit will decay Experimental Verifications of GR
Gravity Probe B Black Holes Eddingtons 1919 expedition to Africa
Pound and Rebka (Gravitational Redshift) Enter Gravity Probe B Collaborative experiment between NASA and Stanford Utilized putting worlds most perfect gyroscopes in polar orbit around earth, launched in 2004
Gravity Probe B was designed to detect the Geodetic Deviation and Frame dragging effects due to the spacetime warping of the Earth Geodetic Deviation Measurements Confirmed by GP-B with total of 1% experimental uncertainty Hoped that by 2010 analysis will yield 0.01%
uncertainty Frame Dragging Measurements Current data analysis yields 15% statistical uncertainty Hoped to be down to 1% by 2010 Black Holes
Do they exist? FOR SURE! Black Holes come in two different sizes: Stellar (5 to 20 solar masses) and supermassive (millions or billions of times the mass of the sun) Black Holes are detected by either their gravitational influence on nearby bodies or through electromagnetic radiation
Gravitational Redshift Measured accurate to within 0.02% of the predicted value by Pound and Rebka in 1960 in the tower of Harvard University Further Implications of GR Cosmology-the ultimate fate of the universe
The Hawking Effect-the first combination of the quantum theory with general relativity Conclusion What have we learned from general relativity? What can we predict using GR? GR is one of the most accurate physical
theories to date Sources Kaku, Michio. Einsteins Cosmos. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2004. Thornton, Stephen T. and Andrew Rex. Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Belmont: Brooks/Cole, 2006.
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