Newtonian versus general-relativistic prediction for the trajectory of a bouncing ball system

Shiuan Ni Liang, Boon Leong Lan

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The dynamics of a bouncing ball undergoing repeated inelastic impact with a sinusoidally-oscillating table is studied numerically. For the ball bouncing at low speed in a weak gravitational field, we show, contrary to expectation, that the trajectories predicted by Newtonian mechanics and general-relativistic mechanics from the same parameters and initial conditions will rapidly disagree completely if the trajectories are chaotic. When the two theories predict completely different chaotic trajectories for a low-speed weak-gravity system, we expect the general-relativistic prediction is empirically correct since general relativity continues to be verified in recent high-precision experiments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)36 - 39
    Number of pages4
    JournalResults in Physics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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