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Cooperstock's energy-localization hypothesis

In physics, the Cooperstock's energy-localization hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed by Fred Cooperstock that in general relativity, energy only exists in regions of non-vanishing energy–momentum tensor.[1]

Since the creation of general relativity there have been questions about the energy of gravitational fields. Among the proposals for the energy are the Landau–Lifshitz pseudotensor, Einstein pseudotensor, and the Møller superpotential.

In Misner, Thorne & Wheeler[2] the authors claimed that energy can only be localized for spherical systems, which Cooperstock & Sarracino [3] demonstrated implies that energy must be localized for all systems, while Bondi [4] argued that non-localizable energy is not allowed in general relativity.

The energy localization hypothesis has also been proven for a number of specific examples (see for example Ref [5]), but has not been proven or disproven in general.

Feynman's sticky bead argument shows that energy is transported by gravitational waves, which is difficult to make compatible with the Cooperstock's hypothesis.


  1. ^ F.I. Cooperstock, Found. Phys. 22, 1011 (1992)
  2. ^ Misner, Charles; Thorne, Kip S. & Wheeler, John Archibald (1973). Gravitation. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman. ISBN 0-7167-0344-0.
  3. ^ F.I. Cooperstock and R.S. Sarracino, J. Phys. A11, 877 (1978)
  4. ^ H. Bondi, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A427,249 (1990)
  5. ^ S.S. Xulu, Mod. Phys. Lett. A15, 1511 (2000); Int. J. Mod. Phys. A15, 4849 (2000)