The Equivalence Principle, the Covariance Principleand
the Question of Self-Consistency in General Relativity
The equivalence principle, which states the local equivalence between acceleration and gravity, requires that a free falling observer must result in a co-moving local Minkowski space. On the other hand, covariance principle assumes any Gaussian system to be valid as a space-time coordinate system. Given the mathematical existence of the co-moving local Minkowski space along a time-like geodesic in a Lorentz manifold, a crucial question for a satisfaction of the equivalence principle is whether the geodesic represents a physical free fall. For instance, a geodesic of a non-constant metric is unphysical if the acceleration on a resting observer does not exist. This analysis is modeled after Einstein illustration of the equivalence principle with the calculation of light bending. To justify his calculation rigorously, it is necessary to derive the Maxwell-Newton Approximation with physical principles that lead to general relativity. It is shown, as expected, that the Galilean transformation is incompatible with the equivalence principle. Thus, general mathematical covariance must be restricted by physical requirements. Moreover, it is shown through an example that a Lorentz manifold may not necessarily be diffeomorphic to a physical space-time. Also observation supports that a spacetime coordinate system has meaning in physics. On the other hand, Pauli version leads to the incorrect speculation that in general relativity space-time coordinates have no physical meaning
④关键字 the Covariance Principl
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