Q:

In Newtonian Gravity is there a factor similar to the precession factor in GR(ie., in the Scharzschild equation for Mercury's precession).

- Niles Dwyer (age 75)

Park Ridge,Illinois,USA

- Niles Dwyer (age 75)

Park Ridge,Illinois,USA

A:

For a spherical mass, no. However, off-spherical masses have a component of force falling off more rapidly than 1/r^{2}, and that does give some precession. Since the Sun isn't quite spherical, due to its rotation, Mercury shows some of that effect. There is also a precession effect in special relativity, because **F**=m**a** isn't quite right. These effects had to be considered in calculating what precession to expect for Mercury without general relativity, and they still left a discrepancy.

Mike W.

*(published on 06/03/2013)*