In physics, the Newtonian limit is a mathematical approximation applicable to physical systems exhibiting (1) weak gravitation, (2) objects moving slowly compared to the speed of light, and (3) slowly changing (or completely static) gravitational fields.[1] Under these conditions, Newton's law of universal gravitation may be used to obtain values that are accurate. In general, and in the presence of significant gravitation, the general theory of relativity must be used.

In the Newtonian limit, spacetime is approximately flat[1] and the Minkowski metric may be used over finite distances. In this case 'approximately flat' is defined as space in which gravitational effect approaches 0, mathematically actual spacetime and Minkowski space are not identical, Minkowski space is an idealized model.

See also


  1. ^ a b Carroll, Sean M (1997). "Lecture Notes on General Relativity". arXiv:gr-qc/9712019.