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Einstein views on gravitation, . help!

  1. Jan 31, 2007 #1
    Einstein views on gravitation,plz. help!

    Hi all,
    If someone may explain in simplest manner the views of Einstein on gravitation?.Particularly I'm much confused about 'geodesics' & 'curved space time'.Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2007 #2


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    Well, in order to answer your question, it may be helpful if you tell us how much you know. How familiar are you with special and general relativity?
  4. Jan 31, 2007 #3
    Not so much.Just a know how of postulates.Infact I want to get clear about curve sopace time in a simple manner.I want to study the topic of space & time but have no good book besides me.Thanks.
  5. Jan 31, 2007 #4
    cristo is correct. It would be helpful to know more about your background. There are many good sources of this information on the internet. Google general realtivity and you will find all you want.

    I will make a couple of comments. Einstien's first breakthrough in this are is special relativity which doesn't deal with gravity at all; it is a study of the relatinship between the speed of light, motions, and physical objects. Here is his original paper: http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/
    I suspect it will be difficult for you, but the crux of the theory is containd in 4 simple equaiton at the end of chapter #3. These equations show the effects of relative motion on objects and time. They arise mathematically from the two postulates: the principle of relativity and the constancy of the measurement of the speed of light (actually the second one can be deduced from the first so only one principle is required.)

    I suggest you learn about special relativity firs because it is simpler and requires only algebra to do real problems.

    General relativity is a theory of gravity and requires only one more principle, the equivalence principle. This principle states that the effect of gravity on a point mass is indistinguishable for the effect of acceleration on that point. Unfortunately, not much can be done in general relativity without a woriking knowledge of tensor analysis.

    Good luck!
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