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Relativistic gravitational potential and its relation to mass-energy

Abstract

From the general theory of relativity a relation is deduced between the mass of a particle and the gravitational field at the position of the particle. For this purpose the fall of a particle of negligible mass in the gravitational field of a massive body is used. After establishing the relativistic potential and its relationship to the rest mass of the particle, we show, assuming conservation of mass-energy, that the difference between two potential-levels depends upon the value of the radial metric coefficient at the position of an observer. Further, it is proved that the relativistic potential is compatible with the general concept of the potential also from the standpoint of kinematics. In the third section it is shown that, although the mass-energy of a body is a function of the distance from it, this does not influence the relativistic potential of the body itself. From this conclusion it follows that the mass-energy of a particle in a gravitational field is anisotropic; isotropic is the mass only. Further, the possibility of an incidental feed-back between two masses is ruled out, and the law of the composition of the relativistic gravitational potentials is deduced. Finally, it is shown, by means of a simple model, that local inhomogeneities in the ideal fluid filling the Universe have negligible influence on the total potential in large regions.

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Voráček, P. Relativistic gravitational potential and its relation to mass-energy. Astrophys Space Sci 65, 397–413 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00648504

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Keywords

  • Simple Model
  • General Theory
  • Large Region
  • Gravitational Field
  • General Concept