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•
Spaces that obey the Euclidean rules of geometry are termed
flat
.
•
Zero curvature –
the Euclidean case where parallel lines stay parallel
•
Positive curvature –
exemplified by a sphere where parallel lines cross each
other
•
Negative curvature –
exemplified by a saddle where parallel lines stray away
from each other on an object rather than cross each other.
•
Geodesic –
the shortest distance path between two points. (straight line in
Euclidean space but NOT in a curved space)
•
Equivalence principle –
the premise that no experiment can distinguish between
gravity and acceleration in a small closed room
•
Inertia –
the tendency of an object to maintain an initial state of motion and resist
any attempt to change that state. (i.e. stopping a train going 100 mph)
•
Einstein’s theory of general relativity –
characterizes the effect of gravity in
terms of ordinary inertia, acting in a region of space that is curved due to the
presence of matter and energy.
•
General relativity is based off of theory that is meant to describe motion in four
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This note was uploaded on 12/28/2010 for the course ASTRONOMY 142 taught by Professor Bregman during the Winter '10 term at University of Michigan.
 Winter '10
 BREGMAN
 Space

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