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Principles of equivalence

  1. Apr 12, 2013 #1


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    In my studies about equivalence principle,I learned that there are three equivalence principles:Weak,Einsteinian and Strong equivalence principles.I'm just confused with them.Also looks like EEP and SEP can be derived from WEP making them seem superfluous.
    Can someone explain clearly?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2013 #2


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    http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2001-4/ [Broken]

    The WEP and EEP are described in section 2.1, and the SEP is described in 3.1.2.

    Section 2.2.1: "Around 1960, Schiff conjectured that this kind of connection was a necessary feature of any self-consistent theory of gravity. More precisely, Schiff’s conjecture states that any complete, self-consistent theory of gravity that embodies WEP necessarily embodies EEP. In other words, the validity of WEP alone guarantees the validity of local Lorentz and position invariance, and thereby of EEP.

    If Schiff’s conjecture is correct, then Eötvös experiments may be seen as the direct empirical foundation for EEP, hence for the interpretation of gravity as a curved-spacetime phenomenon. Of course, a rigorous proof of such a conjecture is impossible (indeed, some special counter-examples are known [204, 194, 62]), yet a number of powerful “plausibility” arguments can be formulated."

    Section 3.1.2: "Empirically it has been found that almost every metric theory other than GR introduces auxiliary gravitational fields, either dynamical or prior geometric, and thus predicts violations of SEP at some level (here we ignore quantum-theory inspired modifications to GR involving “R2” terms). The one exception is Nordström’s 1913 conformally-flat scalar theory [195], which can be written purely in terms of the metric; the theory satisfies SEP, but unfortunately violates experiment by predicting no deflection of light. General relativity seems to be the only viable metric theory that embodies SEP completely. In Section 3.6, we shall discuss experimental evidence for the validity of SEP."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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