Use this for questions pertaining to curvature of manifolds. Does not need to be specific to general relativity, but also for curvature of e.g. a [tag:calabi-yau] manifold.

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Higher-Dimensional Metrics in (Hyper)-Spherical Coordinates

I want to compute the components of the Riemann curvature tensor (for a case similar to the Schwarzschild solution) in 4 + 1 dimensions, but I want to use a higher-dimensional analogue of spherical ...
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2answers
86 views

How can space be euclidean when light bends?

I have read people arguing that tridimensional space sections of space time continuum (whatever its number of dimensions) appears to be euclidean from empirical evidence. I cannot reconcile it with my ...
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44 views

Maximum curvature in a black hole

If the curvature inside the horizon of a black-hole is not infinite in some quantum gravity theories (as in Loop quantum gravity), then what is the expression of the maximum value of the curvature ...
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1answer
41 views

Number of Stars vs Value of Omega (Crtitical Density of the Universe)

I may be badly mixing things up here. If I am, please kindly correct me. As I understand it, if the universe was too dense at the start of the big bang, it would have collapsed back in on itself. Too ...
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159 views

Space-time curvature creates gravity or is it (could it be) vice-versa too?

Mass (Energy) creates space-time curvature and thus it forms the reason for gravity. Can it be vice-versa too? Like, mass created gravitational field, gravitational field created space-time curvature? ...
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Is the apparent lack of (Ricci) curvature in the Schwarzschild metric due to a choice of coordinates?

I've been lightly studying GR lately. Something that has been bothering me has been the lack of (Ricci) curvature produced from the Schwarzschild metric in the few lectures I've watched, as well as ...
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1answer
62 views

Has a metric formulation of electromagnetism ever been attempted? [duplicate]

I understand that electromagnetic fields carry energy, and this energy curves spacetime gravitationally. That's not my question. I'm asking if anyone has tried to formulate electromagnetism in such ...
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Why does a flat universe imply an infinite universe?

This article claims that because the universe appears to be flat, it must be infinite. I've heard this idea mentioned in a few other places, but they never explain the reasoning at all.
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What makes a coordinate curved?

Bear with me while I try to explain exactly what the question is. The question Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration? is imagining a coordinate system in which the curvature is ...
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147 views

Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration?

I realize that the curvature of space-time causes acceleration (gravity). Is it possible to have a curvature only of space, or a curvature only of time? If so, would a curvature only of space, or a ...
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1answer
69 views

The relationship between Lorentz Lie algebra and curvature

Here I transfered the question from the comment The relationship between spin and spinor curvature How $\mathcal{R}_{ab} = \frac{1}{4}R_{abst}\gamma^s \gamma^t$ is from $\Psi \mapsto \Psi + ...
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1answer
137 views

Two definitions of Riemann curvature tensor

I am relatively used to the coordinate free expression of the Riemann tensor: $$ R(X, Y)Z=\nabla_X\nabla_Y Z - \nabla_Y\nabla_X Z - \nabla_{[X, Y]} Z, $$ where $\nabla$ is the Levi-Civita connection ...
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108 views

How to understand the curvature of this metric?

Suppose we have the metric $ ds^2 = dr^2 + \alpha^2 d\phi^2$, where $\alpha$ is a constant, $0 \leq r \leq \infty$, $ 0 \leq \phi \leq 2 \pi$ and we identify points $\phi = 0$ with points $\phi = ...
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166 views

What exactly is charge? [duplicate]

If gravity is really the bending of space/time causing objects with mass to experience acceleration, is there a similar physical meaning to 'charge' besides 'a property of matter which causes it to ...
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1answer
89 views

Is the scalar curvature of the Schwarzschild solution 0?

The Schwarzschild solution is meant to be a solution of the vacuum Einstein equations. That is $$R_{\mu\nu}=0.$$ So, the Ricci tensor must be null for $r>0$. Now, if the scalar curvature is ...
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Geodesic Deviation between Test Particles from Gravitational Wave

I'm having trouble understanding how Carroll (Spacetime and Geometry p.296) explains the effect of a passing gravitational wave on test particles. If we have two geodesics with tangents $\vec{U}$, ...
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71 views

Calculate the Riemann tensor and Ricci tensor [closed]

Given a metric tensor $\gamma_{ij}$ (where $i, j = 1, 2, 3$; the metric tensor of 3- dimensional space is denoted by $\gamma_{ij}$ to distinguish it from the metric tensor $g_{\mu\nu}$ of ...
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1answer
99 views

The relationship between spin and spinor curvature

The identity, $$ -\gamma^b{\mathcal{R}}_{ab} = {\mathcal{R}}_{ab}\gamma^b = \frac{1}{2}\gamma^b R_{ab}$$ is presented in the answer to the question Dirac Equation in General Relativity. How does ...
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Simple General Relativity Relation [closed]

Given the identity $$\nabla_a(R^{ab}-\frac{1}{2}R g^{ab})=0,$$ how do I then show that $R_{ab}=0$ implies $$\nabla_a R^a_{\space \space \space bcd}=0$$
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4answers
188 views

Where does the idea gravity=curvature of spacetime really come from?

I have been searching for quite a while but mostly found the answer: Einstein's genius. Quite unsatisfactory. I know and understand that the idea gravity=curvature of spacetime works. Furthermore I ...
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3answers
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Linear independence of the Covariant Derivative

What's the easiest way to show that the covariant derivative $\nabla U^{\mu}$ is linearly independent to $U^{\mu}$, which is a vector? I mean I'm assuming they are since I'm proving the second ...
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About the proof of the second Bianchi Identity

The second Bianchi Identity is $$ \nabla_{[a}R_{bc]de}=0 $$ As far as I know, the proof (say, Walfram Mathword) start by stating the representation of Riemann tensor in local inertial coordinates $$ ...
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Why is spacetime curved by mass but not charge?

It is written everywhere that gravity is curvature of spacetime caused by the mass of the objects or something to the same effect. This raises a question with me: why isn't spacetime curved due to ...
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1answer
87 views

proper distance and proper length

I am wondering if I mix up the notion of proper distance and proper length. I have two cuves in Schwarzschild space-time describing the flight of two photons (think of it as photons guided in by ...
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How did WMAP measure the flatness of space? [duplicate]

I read that WMAP constrained $\Omega_0$ to be $1$ within $1%$. I realize that the baryon acoustic oscillations will produce a preferred scale on the CMB. Knowing $H_0$ one could measure the angle of ...
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What Would Negative Mass Do To Spacetime?

It's known that positive mass bends space-time to create a curvature. But if something had negative mass what would it do? Make it flat or like a crest?
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1answer
122 views

The curvature of the space of commuting hermitian matrices

This is a question that I asked in the mathematics section, but I believe it may get more attention here. I am working on a project dedicated to the quantisation of commuting matrix models. In the ...
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4answers
775 views

How to measure the curvature of the space-time?

I know G.R. change our vision of space and time as a unique surface than can bend. We can associate the curvature of the space-time as the gravity created by the mass of planets, stars... But how can ...
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2answers
137 views

What is the meaning of space-time curvature?

What is the difference between the Space-time curvature and Space curvature?
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1answer
90 views

Ricci tensor of direct product of manifolds

Imagine I have a (Lorentzian) manifold with a metric $\left[ {\begin{array}{cc} g_{\mu\nu} &0\\ 0&g_{mn}\\ \end{array} } \right]$ Will the Ricci tensor be also block diagonal ...
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49 views

Rigid rectangle in Schwarzschild

Say I build a perfect rectangle. Side lengths $l_1$ and $l_2$ and perfect right angles. I am on earth and the metric is given by the Schwarzschild metric. Setting $dt=0$ leads to the spatial ...
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1answer
88 views

Metric for infinite straight cosmic string

A string theory question on my general relativity problem set: Metric is given as $$\mathrm{d}s^2 = -A(r)\mathrm{d}t^2 + B(r)\mathrm{d}r^2 + r^2 \mathrm{d}\theta^2.$$ a) Solve the vacuum equations ...
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64 views

Does non-matter energy curve spacetime? [duplicate]

I know that matter (mass) curves spacetime, but do other forms of energy do the same? I.e. is matter the only form of energy that curves spacetime?
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Aside from experimental evidence, is there any reason to model space as Euclidean?

Obviously experiment is the end-all-be-all of any science, but I'm curious if there's any a priori reason to model space as Euclidean three-space (from a pre-relativity viewpoint, of course; I'm ...
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1answer
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Open Big Bang-less universe?

This came up in discussion around a class I'm taking. For a Universe with $\Lambda$ and matter contributions to energy density (and implicitly curvature, but no radiation), can you have a universe ...
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71 views

Scattering theory of Dirac equation in curved space-time in presence of a strong magnetic field

What is the exact solution of the Dirac equation in curved space-time in the presence of a strong magnetic field? The solution should be in momentum space for simplicity to calculate scattering cross ...
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3answers
145 views

Is the universe flat?

There are more than one way to view the description of the universe as flat. There is the description of an open, flat or closed universe in terms of it's fate, expansion forever away from gravity, or ...
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1answer
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Size of the Universe: Curved vs flat? Finite vs infinite?

I have recently heard the theory that the Universe may be smaller than observed but may be curved to the extent that light rays may have looped past us once already and hence appear to have originated ...
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1answer
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Removing any obstacles, if I were to make a long plank of wood equal to the Earth's diameter, would it appear curved from space?

Let's say I was able to make a really long plank of wood equal to the Earth's diameter and it was able to go through all obstacles- i.e oceans, mountains, etc. My first question: Once the plank of ...
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1answer
102 views

The source of gravitation in a spacetime without matter

In a discussion concerning: Physical meaning of non-trivial solutions of vacuum Einstein's field equations there were a number of answers claiming that the flatness of the Ricci space (Rµv=0) ...
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2answers
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Frames, Tetrads and GR

Given a general metric, $g_{ab}$ I can select an orthonormal basis $\omega^{a}$ such that, $$g_{ab} = \eta_{ab}\omega^a \otimes \omega^b$$ where $\eta_{ab}$ = $\mathrm{diag}(1,-1,-1,-1).$ We may ...
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Computing the Einstein tensor for a spherically symmetrical metric using the tetrad formalism

I am having some trouble understanding how to use the tetrad formalism. I will start with what I have so far, my question will be after that. I begin with the metric $$ \text{d}s^2 = e^{2a} \text{ ...
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2answers
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What are the factors affecting the spacetime curvature?

Large masses in space as stars and planets cause a curvature in the spacetime fabric. What are the factors that affect this curvature? Is it only mass? And can we conclude these factors using Tensors? ...
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Physical applications of the mathematical curvature

I was studying multivariable calculus last semester and had one of the topics talking about a curvature, but we had no applications on it. So how does it help in physics? E.g. curvature of curve: ...
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1answer
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Killing vector contractions along isometric curves

Imagine $\xi_{\nu}$ is a Killing vector field on a manifold. Does $\xi_{\nu}\xi^{\nu}$ remain constant along any isometric curve defined by the Killing vector field? My guess is that yes since as ...
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Space time curvature due to electric charge or magnetic charges [duplicate]

since we know that gravitational force is nothing but a curvature in space-time. I have a similar analogous for the electric or magnetic charges. Similarity is that both electromagnetic and ...
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144 views

Questions about spacetime curvature and gravity

These are some further important queries regarding the question here Why would spacetime curvature cause gravity? Q1. Explain the statement “Everything in spacetime moves at the speed of light”. Is ...
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Why would spacetime curvature cause gravity?

It is fine to say that for an object flying past a massive object, the spacetime is curved by the massive object, and so the object flying past follows the curved path of the geodesic, so it "appears" ...
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1answer
152 views

Computing Curvature via Cartan Formalism

Given a metric $g_{\mu \nu}$, one can select an orthonormal basis $\omega^{\hat{a}}$ such that, $$ds^2= \omega^{\hat{t}}\otimes\omega^{\hat{t}} - \omega^{\hat{x}} \otimes \omega^{\hat{x}} - ...$$ By ...
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5answers
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Naive visualization of space-time curvature

With only a limited knowledge of general relativity, I usually explain space-time curvature (to myself and others) thus: "If you throw a ball, it will move along a parabola. Initially its vertical ...