Conformal Structures and Reference Frames in the Post-Newtonian Approximation to General Relativity

  • Dietmar S. Theiss
Conference paper
Part of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia book series (IAG SYMPOSIA, volume 114)


According to general relativity, the gravitational field of a body is described by the metric tensor field g on the spacetime manifold. With respect to some given local chart (x μ ) ≡ (x 0, x 1, x 2, x 3) of spacetime, the components (“potentials”) g μv of g contain ten independent elements in general. That is, in order to describe the relativistic gravitational field of the Earth, the knowledge of the multipole structure of each of these “potentials” is required. The gravitational field of the Earth, however, is weak so that the post-Newtonian approximation to general relativity can be used in this context. To be more specific, let U be the Newtonian potential in the vicinity of the Earth and c the velocity of light. Then one obtains U/c 2 ≈ 10-10; which expresses essentially the weakness of the gravitational field.


Reference Frame Gravitational Field Conformal Structure Multipole Moment Spacelike Hypersurface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietmar S. Theiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geodetic ScienceUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartF.R. Germany

Personalised recommendations