Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: sources of gravitational field

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 01/06/2013
Q:
General Relativity seems to correctly describe the nature of the Gravitational Field. Is is possible that there should be another theory that describes how matter creates or induces the gravitational field? We seem to make these distinctions with regard to electric fields?
- Dan (age 69)
Kirby, Wy, 82430
A:
General relativity already includes source terms in it (the stress-energy tensor, including energy and momentum densities) just as Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have source terms (charge and current densities). So at that level the two theories are operating the same way.

There's now a quantum version of the E-M theory but no established quantum version of the gravitational theory, so in that regard they're different. Perhaps by "another theory" you mean the quantum version, in which case we hope the answer will be yes.


Mike W.

(published on 01/06/2013)

Follow-up on this answer.