General Relativity Simulation Contest

Description of Contest

The purpose of this Contest is to prove General Relativity.
The Contest consist of the following task:
  1. Write one general purpose program (any programming language will do) which simulates the movement of n objects over a certain period of time.
  2. The simulation method used (algorithms), should be based on the Rules of General Relativity.
  3. The program should be able to simulate and demonstrate the following examples:
    1. Forward movement (perihelion shift) of the planet Mercury (43 arc sec angle) around the Sun.
    2. The bending of light around the Sun (1.75 sec).
    3. The movement of a binary star system. The stars should spiral together.
    4. A clock in a space ship around the Earth.
    5. Twin paradox (SR). i.e. at least two clocks should be included.
    6. The behaviour of black holes.
  4. The results of the simulation should match actual observations.
For the rules of General Relativity see the following: General Relativity with John Baez
For the most elaborate list of links for General Relativity see:Relativity on the World Wide Web by Chris Hillman, maintained by John Baez
For a technical discussion about the problems with numerical simulations regarding General Relativity see:Numerical Relativity
If you want more about celestial mechanics simulations informal newsletter, The Orrery , which thrives on the topic. For a subscription: E-mail Greg Neill
For a nice site with lots of information about simulations try the following: A Scale Model of the Solar System , E-mail Bob Jenkins F

Program Evaluation

The winner is the program that, of the 6 examples or less, the closest matches observations.
The exact value of those observations is still open for discussion. Input from you, the readers, is highly appreciated.

Program Evaluation - Some Thoughts

IMO to define the rules of the observations is not so easy.
General speaking there is a time component and a distance component.
A very important starting assumption is that the whole measuring system must be based on one concept. It is wrong to state that within the solar system we use one concept and for outer galactic distances an other. In fact the most global system should be your starting point.
One way by measuring distance is by using clocks and lightsignals. If it takes 2 minutes or two years for a signal to come back than the distance is respectivily one light minute and one light year. The problem is when (i.e. at which moment) and what means one light minute resp. one light year.
Consider the definition of the speed of light c. For example consider that the speed of light is 300000 km /sec. What does that mean?
It means that a lightsignal travels in 1 second 300000 km. or 300000 times "The number of seconds in one Year" km. in one year or 300000 times "The number of seconds in million Years" km. in million years.
But this also raises different questions: The most important question to answer is: "Is light in any way physical influenced by the fact that space (the universe) expands"?

IMO the most practical solution is to define a 3D grid centered around the centre of our Galaxy and only to use one Earth based clock and to consider this one clock at rest in this 3D grid. That means no moving clocks and no length contraction are involved.
In fact you make the whole system absolute and no SR effects are involved.

How to enter the Contest

In order to participate the only thing that has to be done is to sent an e-mail to with the following information: All the rights stay with the author of the entry.

Extra Contest

The primary purpose of the contests is to write a general purpose program using the General Relativity Theory. However if someone believes that he or she can write a program which can simulate the same observations more accurate using a different set of rules, than this is also allowed. The following alternative rules are possible:
  1. Newton's Law.
  2. Special Relativity Theory.
  3. Post-Relativistic Gravity or PG by Ilja Schmelzer
  4. Autodynamics by Ricardo Carezani
  5. The Harmonics Theory by Ray Tomes
  6. Model Mechanics by Ken Hon Seto
  7. * Fractal Physics
  8. * Divergent Matter Model (Parallel World(s))
  9. * Project Omicron Removed as of 8/1/2016
  10. * Jack Martinelli,s Theory - A Deeply Unified Field Theory
  11. * John Doan's Theory - A Challenge to Einstein's Theory
  12. Radiant Pressure Model of Remote Forces by Stan Byers
  13. Distance-time theory (D=cT) By Keith Maxwell Hardy
  14. * The Absolute Reference Frame (Eather Theory and At Theory)
    For a copy of a program which demonstrates the At Theory select: obarr.bas E-mail: Gerald L. O'Barr
  15. Other. Please specify Law or Theory and URL with details.
Entries for the Extra Contest should identify one of the above.

For a full list of possible candidates for this Extra Contest have a look at:

Ending Date of the Contest

Starting Date of the Contest: 9 August 1996
There is no ending date to the contest. Participants can re-issue their solution as they like.
A list of entries received will be maintained.
The order in the list identifies a rating. The best program is at the top.


There are no formal prices in this contest.
If you do not like that may be the following contest is more suited for you: Relativity ?? $50.000 (US) Awards for Mathematical Proof. However the readers of the newsgroup news:sci.physics.relativity doubt that this price will ever be awarded.

Entry example

For an example of a possible solution to this contest is the program GRAVITY.EXE (51 kB) by Jens Joergen Nielsen
For a short description of the program see the following: 3D Simulation of Gravity
This very nice general purpose program, based on Newton's Law. This program is unfortunate hors concourse because no comparison is included with actual observations.

A program which generates relativistic orbits about rotating and non-rotating black holes of various masses written in FORTRAN by Steve Bell is at: General Relativity Papers There is no comparison with actual observations. See Feedback date 20/11/97 for more detail.

A program which generates images of far objects distorted through a black hole written in PASION simulation language by Stanislaw Raczynski is at: Simulating General Relativity. PASION translator requires PASCAL compiler to generate executable code. The program is also used to simulate a relativistic orbit of a planet. However there is no comparison with actual observations. See Feedback date 21/01/03 for more detail.

Results of the Contest

No Entries received for the General Relativity Contest.

One Entry received for the Extra Contest.

  1. Entry by R.L. Collins. For methode used see Feedback dated 3/9/97.
    Entry is within scope of contest, however only solves example 2.
    The MathCad program used to calculate the deflection is available on request to the author.

One entry in the category Special Relativity is the excellent program Relaty by Guido Wuyts. The program demonstrates the twin paradox. There is no comparison with actual observations. See Feedback date 21/11/97 for more detail.

Astronomy programming

If you are interested in astronomy programming you may want to check out the home page by E-mail: Eric Bergman-Terrell
His web site is:
You can also download Astronomy Lab 2 from that web site. Astronomy Lab is an astronomy prediction, graphing, and simulation program.


Created: 9 August 1996
Modified: 23 december 1999
modified: 28 January 2003
Modified:28 December 2005
Modified: 8 January 2016
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