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Interpretation of the Jacobi field

  1. Jun 23, 2012 #1
    I have been searching far and wide, but cannot find a direct physical interpretation of the Jacobi field along a congruence of causal geodesics, other than that it is the deviation vector between two "infinitesimally nearby" geodesics. My sense is that the norm of a Jacobi field is the tidal distortion in that direction felt by a small body of finite size and zero internal stresses, whose center of mass moves along the original geodesic. However, I cannot find evidence to support or contradict this assertion. Is it correct?
  2. jcsd
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