Einstein’s Field Equations and Their Physical Implications

Volume 540 of the series Lecture Notes in Physics pp 1-126


Selected Solutions of Einstein’s Field Equations: Their Role in General Relativity and Astrophysics

  • Jiří BičákAffiliated withInstitute of Theoretical Physics, Charles University

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The primary purpose of all physical theory is rooted in reality, and most relativists pretend to be physicists. We may often be members of departments of mathematics and our work oriented towards the mathematical aspects of Einstein’s theory, but even those of us who hold a permanent position on “scri”, are primarily looking there for gravitational waves. Of course, the builder of this theory and its field equations was the physicist. Jürgen Ehlers has always been very much interested in the conceptual and axiomatic foundations of physical theories and their rigorous, mathematically elegant formulation; but he has also developed and emphasized the importance of such areas of relativity as kinetic theory, the mechanics of continuous media, thermodynamics and, more recently, gravitational lensing. Feynman expressed his view on the relation of physics to mathematics as follows [1]: