The Flaws of General Relativity
A compilation of some defects of the conventional theory of gravitation
It is generally assumed that Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity
is an adequate theory of gravitation. However, although it has well passed
all observational and experimental tests so far, some theoretical arguments
indicate that it will have to be replaced with a more consistent theory.
Last modification 18th July '97
by Laro Schatzer
I removed the section stating the non-existence of interactive N-body solutions
in general relativity [3-6],
since the claim has been successfully refuted [7-8].
Accordingly, I decided to change the title: the "failure" was switched to "flaws".
General Relativity Does Not Respect Local Energy-Momentum
There are serious problems with local energy-momentum conservation in general relativity
(see  for a review).
It is well known that Einstein's theory does not assign a definite stress-energy tensor to the gravitational field.
This property is extremely unsatisfactory, because one knows
that all other fundamental interactions in nature actually do respect
the principle of local conservation of energy-momentum.
Essentially, the non-existance of a stress-energy tensor is a consequence
of the purely geometrical interpretation of gravity as curvature of space-time.
General Relativity Predicts Space-Time Singularities
Space-time singularities and event horizons are a consequence of general relativity,
appearing in the solutions of the gravitational field.
Although the "big bang" singularity and "black holes" have been an topic
of intensive study in theoretical astrophysics,
one can seriously doubt that such mathematical monsters should really represent
In fact, in order to predict black holes one has to extrapolate the theory
of general relativity far beyond observationally known gravity strengths.
Quoting Albert Einstein shows that he was quite aware of this conceptual problem:
"For large densities of field and of matter, the field equations
and even the field variables which enter into them will have no real significance.
One may not therefore assume the validity of the equations for very high density
of field and of matter, and one may not conclude
that the 'beginning of the expansion' [of the universe] must mean a singularity
in the mathematical sense.
All we have to realize is that the equations may not be continued over such regions." 
Many physicists would prefer a gravity theory without mathematical anomalies
in its field solutions.
General Relativity Failed to Be Quantized
Quantum mechanics can be said to be the cornerstone of modern physics.
For every physical field theory it should be possible to formulate it as quantum field theory.
Actually, it is generally accepted that the field theories of electromagnetism or gravitation
are but an approximation, the "classical limit", of more fundamental underlying quantum field
It is also assumed that interaction theories have to be gauge theories.
The possibility of formulating gravity as quantum field theory is essential
in the context of the unification of all fundamental interactions.
However, all attempts to find a consistent quantum gauge field theory of general relativity have failed.
This indicates again that general relativity can hardly be an absolutely correct theory of gravitation.
Towards a Consistent Theory of Gravitation
It appears that general relativity is not an adequate theory of gravitation, and
that it has to be replaced by a new consistent theory.
An alternative is the gravity theory of Hüseyin Yilmaz
 M. Carmeli, E. Liebowitz and N. Nissani:
"Gravitation, SL(2,C) gauge theory and conservations laws", World Scientific,
Singapore (1990), chapter 4
 A. Einstein: The Meaning of Relativity, Fifth Edition, Princeton University Press (1956), 129
 H. Yilmaz: "Towards a field theory of gravity", Nuovo Cimento 107B (1992), pp. 941
 C. O. Alley: "Investigations with lasers, atomic clocks and computer calculations
of curved spacetime and of the differences between the gravitation theories of Yilmaz
and of Einstein", Frontiers of Fundamental Physics, edited by M. Barone and
F. Selleri, Plenum Press, New York (1994), p. 125-137
 H. Yilmaz:
"Did the apple fall?", Ibid, p. 115-124
 G. C. McVittie: Astronomical Journal 75 (1970), pp. 287
 F. I. Cooperstock, D. N. Vollick: "The Yilmaz challenge to general relativity",
Nuovo Cimento 111B (1996), 265
 E. D. Fackerell: "Remarks on the Yilmaz and Alley papers", Proceedings of the first
australasian conference on general relativity and gravitation, ed.: D. L. Wiltshire,
University of Adelaide (1996), 117;
click here to find thepostscript version
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