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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Light trajectory

We have observed stars where "we should not" Some people say that gravity can alter light trajectory. Some people say that gravity actually alter the space on which light travels. Which one is ...
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1answer
30 views

If there are any discernible effects of travelling through curved space..?

If one is on a spaceship traveling through a 'very' curved section of space-time, are there experiments one could perform on the ship that would reveal measurable differences between the very curved ...
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1answer
47 views

Commutator of Gauge Covariant derivatives

What is the physical meaning of $$ [D_{\mu}, D_{\nu}] ~\propto~ F_{\mu, \nu}, $$ where $D_{\mu}$ is the gauge covariant derivative and $F_{\mu,\nu}$ is the field strength? Is it just a definition? ...
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4answers
104 views

Any tips on evaluating Riemann tensor?

I am calculating the Riemann tensor for the Schwarzschild solution. I've calculated all 9 non-vanishing Christoffel symbols already. Now I need to evaluate the Riemann tensor and I find no easy way to ...
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0answers
18 views

Line Elements for $n$-dimensional hyperspheres [migrated]

I'm currently in the process of deriving the components of the Riemann Curvature Tensor for a 3-sphere using the Cartan Equations. The line element I'm starting with is: $$ ds^2 = ...
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4answers
90 views

How is gravity proportional to space-time curvature in the rubber-sheet analogy?

In General Relativity, Einstein established that gravity is due to the curvature produced by objects in space. We all know that gravity is proportional to mass. The picture Einstein painted looks ...
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0answers
24 views

FRW Metric maximally symmetric, derivation, $R=3K$ or $R=6K$ confusion, two different texts

I'm looking at Tod and Hughston Introduction to GR and writing the metric in the two forms; [1]$$ ds^{2}=dt^{2}-R^{2}(t)(\frac{dr^{2}}{1-kr^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+sin^{2}\theta d\phi^{2})) $$ [2] $$ ...
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1answer
204 views

Earth curvature refraction for dummies

I keep being presented with 'earth curvature experiment' videos recently, by flat/concave earth advocates. It seems to be their favorite "evidence" that Earth is not spherical. Debunking this gets ...
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0answers
158 views

Can the universe be round but still infinite?

Can the universe still be infinite in space if its curvature is > 1? Is a manifold of positive curvature necessarily compact? Does the Tarski paradox have any bearing on the finite or infinite ...
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1answer
68 views

The actual space curvature

What is the curvature of our physical space, according to the latest experimental data? I've found it somewhat difficult to find a definitive answer to the question, because the spacetime curvature ...
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3answers
271 views

How do we know dark matter isn't curved spacetime?

Could Dark Matter actually just be spacetime with curvature "leftovers" from the big bang or the inflationary epoch?
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2answers
100 views

Does mass curve space?

Just to be sure, according to the theory of General Relativity, my understanding is that mass curves space-time. My question is, can mass also curve space?
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2answers
106 views

Once I calculate the Riemann curvature tensor, what do I do with it?

I am considering the Schwarzschild metric. I have calculated my Christoffel symbols and am able to calculate the Riemann tensor (I think). In short, I have done a bunch of work to find this thing ...
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2answers
80 views

Schwarzschild: Proof that $\{r<2m\}$ is a black hole

I saw the following proof to show that $\{r<2m\}$ is a black hole in the Schwarzschild metric. Consider the Schwarzschild metric: $$ g=-V(r)\text d t^2 + \frac{1}{V(r)}\text d r^2 + r^2 \text d ...
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1answer
97 views

Can energy bend space? [duplicate]

I know mass bends the space around it and I also remember matter can be converted into energy and vice versa, so my question is: can energy interact with space in a similar fashion as matter does?
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1answer
61 views

Bianchi Identity using null tetrad

I'm currently looking at the Newman-Penrose Formalism, and trying to understand where there sets of equations come from. For that, I need to know how I can write the second Bianchi identity for the ...
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1answer
46 views

Weyl scalar calculation

I'm trying to compute Weyl scalars, but don't really understand the formulae for them, in the sense I don't understand how to compute them. Let's take ...
3
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0answers
64 views

Feynman Path integrals in space with holes in it [closed]

Feynman Path Integrals are a way of calculating the wave function of quantum mechanics. It usually integrates every possible path through all of space. I wonder if there is any study of Feynman path ...
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2answers
534 views

Radius of curvature of a lens

Is the radius of curvature of a lens correspond the the radius of the sphere in which the lens rises from?
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1answer
87 views

How can I use Einstein's field equations? [duplicate]

Every time I try to find the answer to this question I get redirected to different pages that ultimately do not end up answering my question. I have some understanding of Riemannian geometry but have ...
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1answer
94 views

How can I use Einstein's field equations to find the metric tensor? [duplicate]

I have watched and read a lot on the topic of General Relativity and the geometry behind it. I am confident that I can derive an approximation of the the stress-energy-momentum tensor with just the ...
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0answers
54 views

How does Einstein's gravity work? [duplicate]

I'm a chemistry student interested in physics. Hope the question doesn't sound funny. As opposed to Newton's gravity, which doesn't explain how gravity works, Einstein explained gravity as a result ...
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1answer
91 views

Why is space (almost) flat? Is it because masses are approximately homogeneously distributed? [duplicate]

The question I have is: Why is space (almost perfectly) flat in our neighbourhood? (I am disregarding the deviations due to the sun and the planets.) Is it correct to say that space is (almost) flat ...
2
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1answer
148 views

Is my diagram of spacetime curvature valid (relatively)?

I've been wracking my brain trying to understand what "curved spacetime" really is, and I think replacing one dimension with the time dimension then drawing the world-lines through time was the "aha!" ...
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4answers
131 views

What is the meaning of Einstein's field equation in terms of source and its effects on curvature?

The Einstein's Field Equation is $$R_{\mu\nu}-(1/2)g_{\mu\nu}R=-8\pi T_{\mu\nu},$$ where the left hand side is the curvature term and the right hand side is the source term (see, Hartle). Now, in the ...
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2answers
41 views

Does the value of the Ricci scalar determine the strength of the gravitational field?

If I was solving an equation that contains the Ricci Scalar, and I want to solve the equation in the strong and weak gravity regimes, is right to assume that $R>>1$ for first case and ...
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1answer
83 views

Fastest way to find the curvature terms from a given metric [closed]

I want to find the spherically symmetric, static solutions to Einstein's equations $$ R_{\mu \nu} - \frac{1}{2}Rg_{\mu \nu} = 0 $$ in four dimensions using the metric $$ g_{\mu \nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu} ...
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34 views

Did spacetime curve infinitely about 13.7 billion years ago? [duplicate]

GR/Big Bang Model implies that there was a singularity about 13 billion years ago, in which all the matter and energy along with the observable universe (or perhaps, the entire universe) was ...
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1answer
455 views

Why does the Ricci tensor vanishes in Schwarzschild metric? [duplicate]

If the Schwarzschild metric is suppose to describe the behaviour of a spherical object in flat space, so the Schwarzschild is different from the flat metric because it describes curved space so why ...
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0answers
90 views

Quadratic order perturbation terms in the expansion of Ricci tensor [closed]

I want to expand Einstein-Hilbert action for the metric $$ g_{\mu \nu} = \eta_{\mu \nu} + h_{\mu \nu} $$ up to quadratic order in $h_{\mu \nu}$. For this purpose I need to calculate the Ricci tensor ...
4
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1answer
95 views

Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates: Why $\ln(r-2m)$ instead of $\ln|r-2m|$?

If one considers the Schwarzschild metric $$ \text d s^2 = -V(r)\text d t^2 + \frac{1}{V(r)}\text d r^2 + r^2 \text d \Omega^2\;,\qquad V(r) = 1-\frac{2m}{r}\;, $$ and introduces the ...
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0answers
49 views

Does the curvature of spacetime by gravity affect homogeneity and isotropy of the space of the universe?

The FLRW metric starts with the assumption of homogeneity and isotropy of space.(Wikipedia) FLRW metrics of the universe have no or only very weak curvature - It is curved space. In contrast, ...
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3answers
329 views

Why do the Einstein field equations (EFE) involve the Ricci curvature tensor instead of Riemann curvature tensor?

I am just starting to learn general relativity. I don't understand why we use the Ricci curvature tensor. I thought the Riemann curvature tensor contains "more information" about the curvature. Why is ...
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2answers
40 views

Particle motion characteristic

I'm making a particle motion raffling normal numbers. The normal random numbers raffled are the angles of the directions that the particle is going. The particle speed is constant. Look how this is ...
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0answers
72 views

Gravitational time dilation in changing curved space time

Imagine a portion of spacetime which is changing its spacetime curvature because of an object with great mass travelling nearby. For instance, before it was flatter, and after the object passes it ...
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2answers
107 views

Curvature gravity and a falling apple? [duplicate]

I know very little of physics after Einstein. I am aware of that Einstein's gravity theory says that the existence of matters creates curvature of a space-time, so that our Earth orbits our Sun. I ...
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0answers
62 views

Are Laplace Operator and mean curvature exactly the same thing for 2D function?

Let's assume we study 2D function/surface f(x,y). Then Laplace Operator is defined as: $$\nabla^2 f=\frac{\partial^2f}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2f}{\partial y^2}$$ And the mean curvature: let ...
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1answer
118 views

General relativity: is curvature of spacetime really required or just a convenient representation?

I'm not really far into the general theory of relativity but already have an important question: are there formulations that can do without spacetime curvature and describe the general theory of ...
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2answers
225 views

Curvature of spacetime as a real thing?

I get the curvature tensor in General Relativity, it is “just” math. Does space-time REALLY curves as a tangible thing, or is Einstein proposing a mathematical abstraction? More naively, please ...
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1answer
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Flatness and Kinetic Energy

Why the curvature parameter can be interpreted as the difference between the average potential energy and the average kinetic energy of a region of space? Curvature ...
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2answers
117 views

Is the surface of a heavy sphere bigger than $4 \pi r^2$ due to general relativity?

I am unfortunately not familiar with the mathematics behind general relativity. However, on a heavy planet (say a sphere) gravity will bend space-time in a way that an object initially in rest, will ...
5
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1answer
83 views

How is $\Omega_0 = 1$ when the characteristic “teardrop” past light cone seems to admit curvature?

Introduction: The top graphic is just one I pulled from a page describing the process of detecting cosmic curvature. The second graphic is one I drew up to illustrate my misunderstanding. My ...
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2answers
130 views

Curved space-time VS change of coordinates in Minkowski space

I'm looking for a rather intuitive explanation (or some references) of the difference between the metric of a curved space-time and the metric of non-inertial frames. Consider an inertial reference ...
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1answer
94 views

Relationship between mass and the radius of curvature of space and time

What is the relationship between mass and the radius of curvature of space and time created due to the presence of the mass? please give the mathematical relation if there is any?
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1answer
200 views

If space warps distort moving objects' trajectories, does it mean that static objects are immune to gravity? [closed]

If gravity is just space distortion, which affects trajectories of moving objects, then a static object (not moving, thus no trajectory) will not suffer any type of accelerating force from gravity? ...
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1answer
144 views

Is there any relationship between the $E=mc^2$ equation and the $a_n=\kappa v^2$ formula for the normal component to acceleration?

To clarify, I know very little about physics and don't pretend to have any insight whatsoever into relativity beyond what has entered the popular imagination; my knowledge is more or less at the level ...
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1answer
105 views

Physical visualisation of curvature

I was wondering-how do you visualise curvature in the context of general relativity. The gravity well and trampoline analogies are quite wrong, so I want a more realistic approach to it (say, the way ...
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1answer
51 views

How can we see that the Riemann curvature tensor is covariant?

The Riemann curvature tensor, using the conventions of wikipedia, is written in terms of Christoffel symbols as: $$ \tag{1} R^\lambda_{\,\,\mu \nu \rho} = \partial_\nu \Gamma^\lambda_{\,\,\rho \mu} - ...
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2answers
435 views

Visualizing gravity in 3D

We've all seen the depiction of gravity bending space downwards, and so attracting objects into the dent it creates, cf. e.g. this and this Phys.SE posts. That's intuitive and makes a lot of sense, ...
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3answers
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If gravitation is due to space-time curvature, how can a body free-fall in a straight line?

According to general relativity, Gravity is due to space-time curvature. Then all paths must be curved. If so, how can there be any straight line motion? The body must follow a curved path. So, there ...