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Relativity and Electrostatics

  1. Oct 14, 2010 #1
    Say you have to equal charges q1 and q2 and a distance r between them. We know from electrostatics that the force exerted by one charge on the other is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
    If you place a massive object at the middle of the segment connecting the two charges, General Relativity tells us that space-time curves.
    The question is, if space-time curves, isn't r modified, and so the force between the charges?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2010 #2

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Sure, in the case of significant curvature between the charges you would need to use one of the covariant formulations of classical EM to get the force.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2010 #3
    So does it mean that in the case of significant curvature, the electrostatic force between the charges is modified (as measured) ?
     
  5. Oct 15, 2010 #4

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Essentially yes.
     
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