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general relativity

Click for a colorful interactive web visualization explaining what the team found in S More than years after Albert Einstein published his iconic general theory of relativity, it is beginning to fray at the edges, said Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy. However, his theory is definitely showing vulnerability. The scientist proposed that objects such as the sun and the Earth change this geometry. The laws of physics, including gravity, should be valid everywhere in the universe, said Ghez, who added that her research team is one of only two groups in the world to watch a star known as S make a complete orbit in three dimensions around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.


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Spectra also show the composition of the star. These data were combined with measurements Ghez and her team have made over the last 24 years.

General Covariance

Spectra — collected at the W. Images of the star the researchers took at the Keck Observatory provide the two other dimensions. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Chair in Astrophysics.

Theory of General Relativity - NOVA Documentary HD

However, his theory is definitely showing vulnerability. It cannot fully explain gravity inside a black hole, and at some point we will need to move beyond Einstein's theory to a more comprehensive theory of gravity that explains what a black hole is.

Covariant differential and Riemann tensor

This giant, located in the Milky Way's core, is about 4 million times the mass of the sun and about The star got as close as astronomical units AU from the black hole — an AU is the average distance between Earth and the sun, about 93 million miles million kilometers — traveling as fast as 2. Find out more about Instant Expert.


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Published in , it explains that what we perceive as the force of gravity in fact arises from the curvature of space and time. Einstein proposed that objects such as the sun and the Earth change this geometry. In the presence of matter and energy it can evolve, stretch and warp, forming ridges, mountains and valleys that cause bodies moving through it to zigzag and curve.

Einstein's General Relativity Theory: Gravity as Geometry - dummies

So although Earth appears to be pulled towards the sun by gravity, there is no such force. It is simply the geometry of space-time around the sun telling Earth how to move.


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The general theory of relativity has far-reaching consequences. It not only explains the motion of the planets; it can also describe the history and expansion of the universe, the physics of black holes and the bending of light from distant stars and galaxies. We now know it was hot and dense and has been expanding for the past It is also populated with incredibly warped regions of space-time called black holes that trap anything falling within their clutches.