Bonn 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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GR: Fachverband Gravitation und Relativitätstheorie

GR 6: Poster

GR 6.2: Poster

Dienstag, 31. März 2020, 17:00–18:30, Zelt

Teaching General Relativity with Sector Models: The Field Equations — •Corvin Zahn and Ute Kraus — Universität Hildesheim, Germany

Einstein’s field equations link the distribution of matter to the curvature of spacetime. Due to their complexity it is not feasible to discuss them at a mathematical level in high school or in undergraduate university education.

With sector models (Zahn and Kraus 2014) we are developing an accessible approach to general relativity relying only on elementary mathematics and geometric insight. A sector model represents a 2D or 3D subspace of a 4D curved spacetime, the model being true to scale. It is created according to the description of curved spacetimes in the Regge calculus, where the spacetime is subdivided into small, uncurved sectors (Regge 1961).

We show sector models of 3D and 2+1D slices of the curved spacetime of a neutron star and a black hole as computer graphics and as haptic models.

The curvature of the space or spacetime can be measured using ruler and protractor. From this the numerical value of the local matter density and the other components of the stress-energy tensor can be easily computed from the sum of three measured curvature values.


C Zahn and U Kraus 2014 Eur. J. Phys. 35 055020

Regge T 1961 General relativity without coordinates Il Nuovo Cimento 19 558-71

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