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Light in local reference frames in extreme gravitational fields.

  1. Jan 29, 2012 #1
    As I understand in SR light is always c in it's local reference frame regardless of a present gravitational field. Light would appear to be traveling slightly less than c in a gravitational field otherwise known as the Sharpio Delay in all non-local reference frames. Now, light must be traveling at c in the local reference frames to preserve causality as a consequence of SR. However, since we cannot measure light in any local reference frame is it not possible that it may be traveling less than c due to the gravitational field and s-t diagrams could be re-written to prevent any breaking of causality? If so what could the consequences be?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2012 #2
    I guess what I am saying is that perhaps SR, like Newtonian Physics is a great approximation for weak gravitational fields but not for extreme ones.
     
  4. Jan 29, 2012 #3

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    Special relativity doesn't apply in the presence of gravitational fields strong enough to noticeably affect the behavior of light. So you shouldn't interpret SR as making predictions regardless of a present gravitational field; it's more in the absence of such a field.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2012 #4

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    Our replies appear to have crossed :)
     
  6. Jan 29, 2012 #5
    Well, I am a Physics Undergraduate and I think I might just start playing around with modifying s-t diagrams introducing a gravitational field and see what happens.
     
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