Propagation equations for test bodies with spin and rotation in theories of gravity with torsion Academic Article uri icon


  • We generalize the Papapetrou equations by deriving propagation equations for the energy-momentum and angular momentum of a test body which has both elementary-particle spin and macroscopic rotation and which is moving in background metric and torsion fields. Our results show that the torsion couples to spin but not to rotation. Thus a rotating test body with no net spin will ignore the torsion and move according to the usual Papapetrou equations. Hence the standard tests of gravity are insensitive to a torsion field. We propose experiments (although still infeasible) to compare the motion of a spin-polarized body with the motion of a rotating body. If the spin and rotation precess differently, the theory of gravity cannot be a metric theory but may be a torsion theory. 1980 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings

  • Physical Review D

author list (cited authors)

  • Yasskin, P. B., & Stoeger, W. R.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Yasskin, Philip B||Stoeger, William R

publication date

  • April 1980