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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Does the curvature of space-time cause objects to look smaller than they really are?

What's the difference between looking at a star from a black hole and looking at it from empty space? My guess is that the curvature of space-time distorts the wavelength of light thus changing the ...
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3answers
162 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
81 views

Invariants of Connection Form

I am somewhat going out "on a limb" here, since I am much more grounded in the physics side of things than I am in mathematics. Nonetheless, I am wondering if someone is able to comment on the ...
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1answer
142 views

Components of the Ricci Tensor

Is there any interpretation of what each of the components of the Ricci tensor corresponds to? For example, for the stress-energy tensor, $T_{00}$ corresponds to energy density, $T_{0i}$ is the ...
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1answer
254 views

A question about surface tension of membranes and their curvature

I'm reading a review about membranes properties and I have reach a section about fluid membranes. The section discuss the principal curvatures ($c_1, c_2$) and the spontaneous curvatures ($c_0$). ...
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0answers
319 views

How to prove that Weyl tensor is invariant under conformal transformations?

I need to verify that the solution for vanishing Weyl tensor is conformally flat metric $g_{\mu\nu} = e^{2\varphi}\eta_{\mu\nu}$. The most convenient way to show this is to prove that Weyl tensor is ...
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1answer
150 views

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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3answers
441 views

How scalar curvature of following spacetime can be equal to zero?

For an interval of this spacetime, $$ ds^{2} = c^{2}dt^{2} - c^{2}t^{2}(d \psi^{2} + sh^{2}(\psi )(d \theta^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta )d \varphi^{2})), $$ scalar curvature is equal to zero. Also, Ricci ...
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3answers
104 views

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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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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2answers
321 views

How do gravitons and curved space time work together? [duplicate]

I've heard two different descriptions of gravity, and I'm wondering how they work together. The first is Gravitons: "The three other known forces of nature are mediated by elementary particles: ...
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2answers
679 views

Equation of the saddle-like surface with constant negative curvature?

What is the equation for the saddle-like 2d surface (embeded in 3d Euclidean space with cartesian coordinates x, y and z) with constant negative curvature frequently used to illustrate open universe ...
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2answers
264 views

asymptotic curvature of the universe and correlation with local curvature

There is not-so-rough evidence that at very large scale the universe is flat. However we see everywhere that there are local lumps of matter with positive curvature. So i have several questions ...
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1answer
114 views

What spacetimes satisfy this identity?

What spacetimes satisfy $R^{\mu\nu} R_{\mu\nu} =\alpha R^2$, where $R = g^{\mu\nu}R_{\mu\nu}$ is the Ricci scalar, and $\alpha$ is some constant? A follow-up question: in what spacetimes does ...
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1answer
607 views

What bends fabric of space-time?

I know that mass can bend fabric of space-time, which causes gravity by making an object curve around a planet or star but is there anything else that can bend it? Other energy sources, forces ...
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1answer
1k views

Riemann tensor in 2d and 3d

Ok so I seem to be missing something here. I know that the number of independent coefficients of the Riemann tensor is $\frac{1}{12} n^2 (n^2-1)$, which means in 2d it's 1 (i.e. Riemann tensor given ...
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173 views

Deriving the transformation under Weyl rescaling in Polchinski eq. (1.2.31)

I have another question in Polchinski's string theory book volume 1, namely how to derive Eq. (1.2.32)? $$(-\gamma')^{1/2} R'=(-\gamma)^{1/2} (R-2 \nabla^2 \omega) \tag{1.2.32}$$ I have awared his ...
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1answer
505 views

Problem with calculating the curvature tensor of the $n$ dimensional sphere

I am calculating the Riemann curvature tensor, Ricci curvature tensor, and Ricci scalar of the $n$ sphere $$x_0^2 + x_1^2 + ....+x_n^2=R^2,$$ whose metric is $$ds^2=R^2(d\phi_1^2 + \sin{\phi_1}^2 ...
3
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1answer
234 views

Material strain from spacetime curvature

Let's say that you moved an object made of rigid materials into a place with extreme tidal forces. Materials have a modulus of elasticity and a yield strength. Does the corresponding 3D geometric ...
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1answer
276 views

Curvature, Omega, the Flatness problem, and the evolving shape of the universe

I'm a little confused by this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatness_problem Which seems to imply the universe is more curved now than it was soon after the Big Bang. Look at the graph on the right ...
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1answer
96 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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2answers
145 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
396 views

Lie derivative of Riemann tensor along killing vector ( = 0 )

I'm currently learning the mathematical framework for General Relativity, and I'm trying to prove that the Lie derivative of the Riemann curvature tensor is zero along a killing vector. With the ...
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2answers
204 views

The meaning of potential in Bohm-Aharonov experiment

The Bohm-Aharonov experiment involves a magnetic field inside a cylinder which is zero outside that cylinder. Nonetheless it affects the electrons moving outside the cylinder. The explanation for this ...
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2answers
109 views

5D Ricci Curvature

As part of a hw problem for a class, we're supposed to be deriving the equivalence given in equation 2.3 of this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.5563. I was wondering if there is some special ...
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3answers
312 views

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? And what is proper acceleration?

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? Geometrically, four-acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line. Therefore, the magnitude of the ...
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0answers
60 views

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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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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80 views

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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0answers
141 views

Gauss-Bonnet term in Physics

Given a 4-dimensional compact manifold (torsion free), the Euler characteristic is defined as: $$E_4 ~=~ \int \epsilon_{abcd}R^{ab} \wedge R^{cd}$$ with $R^{ab}$ is the curvature 2-form. Perturb the ...
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0answers
119 views

Curvature and spacetime

Suppose that it is given that the Riemann curvature tensor in a special kind of spacetime of dimension $d\geq2$ can be written as $$R_{abcd}=k(x^a)(g_{ac}g_{bd}-g_{ad}g_{bc})$$ where $x^a$ is a ...
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1answer
492 views

Difference between $\partial$ and $\nabla$ in general relativity

I read a lot in Road to Reality, so I think I might use some general relativity terms where I should only special ones. In our lectures we just had $\partial_\mu$ which would have the plain partial ...
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1answer
135 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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1answer
85 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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2answers
198 views

What is the curvature of the universe?

What is currently the most plausible model of the universe regarding curvature, positive, negative or flat? (I'm sorry if the answer is already out there, but I just can't seem to find it...)
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1answer
64 views

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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2answers
198 views

Curved space or curved spacetime?

As I understand it, you can have time + flat space = curved spacetime. So, when one is trying to emphasise that there is a curvature to the space, is it more technically correct to say curved space ...
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1answer
126 views

Flat poster on a wall gaining curvature over time

Assuming you have a flat poster with no curvature, why is it that when you pin it to the wall (with thumbtacks) it gains curvature as seen in the picture below. When I put the poster up it was ...
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1answer
844 views

$\pi$ and the Curvature of Space

If one draws a circle on a sphere and measures the ratio of the diameter to the circumference, that value varies depending on the diameter of the circle compared to the diameter of the sphere it is ...
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4answers
186 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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2answers
136 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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6answers
281 views

Curvature of Spacetime

I have been exploring for some time both the Special and General Relativity, hoping to glean at least a conceptual grasp of their basic tenets. In reading the book "Gravitation" by Misner, Thorne and ...
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1answer
63 views

Riemann normal chart and special relativity

When you pick Riemann normal coordinates at a point, then the Christoffel symbols vanish and the metric is flat, but the Riemann curvature tensor does not necessarily vanish. Since Einstein said that ...
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1answer
199 views

The Weyl tensor and gravitational waves

How exactly is the Weyl tensor is connected with information about gravitational waves? And what are physical reasons for that?
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1answer
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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1answer
123 views

How to prove that zero Weyl tensor predicts no deflection of light?

There is Nordstrom theory, which can be given as $$ C_{\mu \nu \alpha \beta} = 0. $$ The solution of Einstein equations for this case is conformally flat metric: $$ g^{\mu \nu} = e^{\epsilon \varphi ...
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1answer
213 views

Parallel transport of a vector along a closed curve in curvilinear coordinates

There is an expression indicating the change of the vector parallel translation along a closed infinitesimal curve in curvilinear coordinates (one way of introducing curvature tensor): $$ \Delta A_{k} ...
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1answer
82 views

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
70 views

Finding the components of the Riemannian tensor given the components of a metric

I am looking at a manifold of dimension $n$ (And I am considering a local co-ordinates system $x_1,x_2,\ldots x_n$) and the metric defined by the components $g_{ij} = \frac{\delta_{ij}}{x_1^2}$. I'm ...
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1answer
130 views

How can I express the Riemann tensor of the 4-metric in terms of quantities derived from the 3-metric and the normal to it?

I want an expression for the Riemann tensor of the four metric in terms of extrinsic curvature, normal, lie derivative of the normal, etc. The first Einstein-Codacci eq. gives the Riemann tensor of ...