Global versus local - Mach's principle versus the equivalence principle
MetadataShow full item record
The equivalence principle is the conceptual basis for general relativity. In contrast, Mach's principle, although said to have been influential on Einstein in his formulation of general relativity, has not been shown to be central to the structure of general relativity. In this paper, we suggest that the quantum effects of Hawking and Unruh radiation are a manifestation of a thermal Mach's principle, where the local thermodynamic properties of the system are determined by the nonlocal structure of the quantum fields which determine the vacuum of a given spacetime. By comparing Hawking and Unruh temperatures for the same local acceleration we find a violation of the Einstein elevator version of the equivalence principle, which vanishes in the limit that the horizon is approached.