Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Mercury's Orbital Precession Anomaly

  1. Dec 25, 2009 #1
    The perihelion of Mercury precesses by 5600 arc-seconds per century, which is 43 arc-seconds per century more than Newtonian physics alone would predict

    Albert Einstein proposed a second-order correction to Mercury's orbit, based on his general theory of relativity.

    Which equation had Einstein used to calculate this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The equation one gets from the analysis is, I believe (lifted from Hartle):
    [tex]\Delta \phi = 2 l \int_{r_1}^{r_2}\frac{dr}{r^2}\left(1-\frac{2GM}{r c^2}\right)^{-1/2}\left[c^2 e^2 \left(1-\frac{2GM}{r c^2}\right)^{-1} - \left(c^2 + \frac{l^2}{r^2}\right)\right]^{-1/2} [/tex]
    I don't have the book in front of me though so there might be small errors.
    One can expand this to get a definite answer neglecting higher order corrections, but I don't have that equation in front of me.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook