Foundations of Physics Letters

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 85–88 | Cite as

The meaning of general covariance of einstein’s theory of gravity

  • Walter Wyss


The fundamental symmetry of Einstein’s theory of gravity is Lorentz-invariance which leads to a well defined energy-momentum tensor. This is also true for Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism which has an additional symmetry due to its spin one, restmass zero character. Similarly, the spin two, restmass zero character of the gravitational field leads to an additional gauge symmetry that happens to be isomorphic to the concept of general covariance. The gauge-covariant energy-momentum tensor for gravitational interactions vanishes identically.

Key words

Einstein’s theory of gravity Lagrange formalism Lorentz invariance energy-momentum tensor restmass zero spin two field gauge group general covariance 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Wyss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of ColoradoBoulder

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