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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Where do I start with Non-Euclidean Geometry?

I've been trying to grok General Relativity for a while now, and I've been having some trouble. Many physics textbooks gloss over the subject with an "it's too advanced for this medium", and many ...
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2answers
253 views

Physical meaning of harmonic function?

In complex numbers, we define a harmonic function as a twice continuously differentiable function such that the Laplace operator acting on it gives zero. Can anybody explain me the physical ...
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782 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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450 views

In the static spacetime, the extrinsic curvature of hypersurface $t=constant$ is zero

How can I prove that in the static spacetime, the extrinsic curvature of hypersurface $t=constant$ is zero? My efforts all are failed. Any hint would be greatly appreciated.
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95 views

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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212 views

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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2answers
212 views

How is the shape of the universe measured by scientists?

I would like to learn how scientists go about measuring the large-scale curvature of the universe to determine if the universe is closed 'i.e. spherical', flat, or open 'i.e. saddle shaped'. My ...
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992 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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628 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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290 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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113 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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114 views

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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1answer
180 views

How does Spacetime Curvature increase the velocity of particles falling towards the earth?

Two particles fall side by side, towards the earth. The horizontal distance between them is 10m. As they advance nearer and nearer to the earth's surface, the horizontal distance decreases, from 10m ...
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146 views

Curvature of spacetime: pincushion distortion?

This may be an elementary question, but if gravity causes a curvature in spacetime, then why isn't everything distorted when looking down on earth, or up at the moon? Shouldn't there be a pincushion ...
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2answers
186 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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59 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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142 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
215 views

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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Curvature of spacetime and the equivalence principle

Assuming the Einstein equivalence principle, formulated as following: The outcome of any local non-gravitational experiment in a freely falling laboratory is independent of the velocity of the ...
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123 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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84 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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264 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
164 views

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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1answer
100 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
608 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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186 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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374 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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Tricks for Computing Riemann Curvature Tensor with Levi-Civita connection

I am new to differential geometry, so far it seems to me that computing the Riemann tensor tends to be a rather tedious task, I wanted to know whether there are some tricks that I am missing. In ...
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576 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
253 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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2answers
131 views

Can anyone explain me how time can bend according to Einstein in simple way? [duplicate]

I am just 16 and curious to learn about Theory of Relativity. Can any one explain it simple enough for me to understand? I read that it is bending of time-space or space-time that causes gravity. How ...
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3answers
201 views

How does warped space actually look (visually)?

Recently, I was reading about space warping due to extreme gravity and at speeds approaching c, but in books, they always show space in 2D and depth to show space distortion. I was wondering how ...
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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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Calculation of Einstein tensor for weak gravitational field

I am studying A First Course in General Relativity (2nd Ed.) by Bernard Schutz. I have some difficulty in deriving Eq.(8.32) on P.193, the form of Einstein tensor for weak gravitational field, which ...
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2answers
200 views

Can hyperbolic space be bounded?

There are many visualisations of hyperbolic geometry using Poincaré disks. What are their purpose? Can hyperbolic space be bounded? Can we endow the disk with the structure described by the FLRW ...
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309 views

What made Einstein think that gravity was caused by the curvature of spacetime?

What observation/thought experiment led him to think this?
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182 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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1answer
118 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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874 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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1answer
122 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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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 ...
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148 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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659 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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1answer
915 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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2answers
80 views

Telling if geometry is curved without Riemann tensor

If you're only interested in telling whether a certain geometry is flat or curved, and you do not need to know in which way it is curved, do you still need the Riemann tensor? When I try to visualize ...
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1answer
53 views

Spacial curvature and expanding space

If we take the analogy that in an empty space the space is just a flat sheet then if there is a single planet or a star then the flat sheet will curve below the planet leaving a curvature shaped like ...
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1answer
169 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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1answer
3k 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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420 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
745 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 ...