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On the Status of the Geodesic Principle in Newtonian and Relativistic Physics

Weatherall, James Owen (2011) On the Status of the Geodesic Principle in Newtonian and Relativistic Physics. [Preprint]

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A theorem due to Bob Geroch and Pong Soo Jang ["Motion of a Body in General Relativity." Journal of Mathematical Physics 16(1), (1975)] provides a sense in which the geodesic principle has the status of a theorem in General Relativity (GR). I have recently shown that a similar theorem holds in the context of geometrized Newtonian gravitation (Newton-Cartan theory) [Weatherall, J. O. "The Motion of a Body in Newtonian Theories." Journal of Mathematical Physics 52(3), (2011)]. Here I compare the interpretations of these two theorems. I argue that despite some apparent differences between the theorems, the status of the geodesic principle in geometrized Newtonian gravitation is, mutatis mutandis, strikingly similar to the relativistic case.

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Item Type: Preprint
Weatherall, James
Keywords: inertial motion; geodesic principle; geometrized Newtonian gravitation; general relativity; Newton-Cartan theory; Geroch-Jang theorem
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: James Owen Weatherall
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2011 21:34
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2011 21:34
Item ID: 8662

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