Curved Spacetime

# Curved Spacetime - Curved Spacetime Now suppose someone `at...

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Curved Spacetime Now suppose someone ``at rest'' outside your elevator way out in space shines a flashlight horizontally across the elevator you occupy toward the far wall of the elevator. If your elevator is at rest, then you will see the beam of light travel in a straight horizontal line. If your elevator is moving at a constant velocity upward relative to the person outside, you will see the beam of light travel in a straight-line path angled downward. The person outside still sees the beam travelling in a horizontal direction. If the elevator is accelerating upward, then the beam will follow a curved path downward relative to you. But if the beam of light curves in the accelerating elevator, then the equivalence principle says that the beam of light should also follow a curved path in a gravitational field. Light travels along the shortest path between two points in spacetime (a geodesic). If the geodesic is curved, then the path of light is curved. Einstein proposed in his General Relativity theory that what is called gravity is really the result of curved spacetime.

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The Earth does not orbit the Sun because the Sun is pulling on it. The Earth is simply following
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## This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Curved Spacetime - Curved Spacetime Now suppose someone `at...

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