From continuum mechanics to general relativity
Using ideas from continuum mechanics we construct a theory of gravity. We show that this theory is equivalent to Einstein's theory of general relativity; it is also a much faster way of reaching general relativity than the conventional route. Our approach is simple and natural: we form a very general model and then apply two physical assumptions supported by experimental evidence. This easily reduces our construction to a model equivalent to general relativity. Finally, we suggest a simple way of modifying our theory to investigate nonstandard spacetime symmetries.
This essay received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Essay Competition of the Gravity Research Foundation.
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