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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2
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2answers
191 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...)
0
votes
1answer
209 views

Homogeneous gravitational field and the geodesic deviation

In General Relativity (GR), we have the geodesic deviation equation (GDE) ...
2
votes
1answer
307 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
286 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
297 views

Space-time geometry and metric

I am confused in one question in general relativity, why we can always express a space-time geometry only by metric. It means a metric, which is just about distance in tangent space, can tell us all ...
2
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
408 views

Is spacetime flat inside a spherical shell?

In a perfectly symmetrical spherical hollow shell, there is a null net gravitational force according to Newton, since in his theory the force is exactly inversely proportional to the square of the ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

What's the difference between the equivalence principle and curvature of spacetime?

Calculating using the equivalence principle only accounts for half the deflection of light, whereas the other half is from curvature of space-time. But isn't the equivalence principle the same thing ...
3
votes
1answer
496 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
593 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Is there a formula to work out how much the fabric of spacetime bends?

From my knowledge, a big mass (planet star etc) can bend the fabric of spacetime. Is there a formula that we can use to work out how much it bends?
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Galilean transformations and Frenet Frame

How I can prove that the curvature and torsion of a curve are invariant under the Galilean transformations? In my physics book a hint is the isometries of Galilean transformations, but it's still ...
5
votes
1answer
194 views

Curvature and edge state

If the boundary of quantum hall fluid has non-constant curvature, how will it affect the edge state which is usually described in chiral Luttinger fluid?
-9
votes
1answer
328 views

Why are we talking about space curvature as if we know what space is? [closed]

1) Why are we talking about space curvature as if we know what space is? Every question about gravity seems to evoke an answer involving "space curvature" which seems like an undefined placeholder ...
1
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1answer
120 views

What is the curvature scalar $\Psi_{4}$?

What is the curvature scalar $\Psi_{4}$? Is it related to the scalar curvature $R$? What does its real and imaginary parts represent?
5
votes
2answers
338 views

What is the variation of Gauss-Bonnet term a total derivative of?

What is the variation of Gauss-Bonnet term total derivative of? i.e. Variation of Gauss-Bonnet combination $= \nabla_{\mu} C^{\mu}$. What's $C^{\mu}$ in 4-dimensions?
5
votes
0answers
88 views

gravitational convergence of light

light has a non-zero energy-stress tensor, so a flux of radiation will slightly affect curvature of spacetime Question: assume a flux of radiation in the $z$ direction, in flat Minkowski space it ...
5
votes
5answers
633 views

Gravitation is not force?

Einstein said that gravity can be looked at as curvature in space- time and not as a force that is acting between bodies. (Actually what Einstein said was that gravity was curvature in space-time and ...
2
votes
0answers
431 views

de Sitter and anti de Sitter metric

Is the following correct for the distance $d$ from the origin $(0,0)$ to point $(t,x)$ in the 2-dimensional de-Sitter and anti de-Sitter spaces? Here, $t$ is time and the distance may be called the ...
6
votes
1answer
856 views

What is the stress energy tensor?

I'm trying to understand the Einstein Field equation equipped only with training in Riemannian geometry. My question is very simple although I cant extract the answer from the wikipedia page: Is the ...
4
votes
2answers
533 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
771 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
231 views

How can we model intrinsic curvature?

Can it only be done in Euclidean space? Doesn't Euclidean space only model extrinsic curvature?
3
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Curved lines in a picture (Photography)

My problem is when I take a picture (a close one) the straight edge looks a little curved. In a standard camera, like a CyberShot. I would like to know if there is some relationship between the ...
18
votes
6answers
5k views

Laplace operator's interpretation

What is your interpretation of Laplace operator? When evaluating Laplacian of some scalar field at a given point one can get a value. What does this value tell us about the field or it's behaviour in ...
2
votes
1answer
298 views

Superposition of Ricci scalars [closed]

Suppose I have two point/line singularities in spacetime (what is important to me is that they are localized). Also suppose I have some fields in spacetime and that the two singularities interact with ...
1
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2answers
245 views

How to concile flat spacetime and big bang?

After reading How do we resolve a flat spacetime and the cosmological principle? I still remain perplex. Please excuse my ignorance and try explaining to me : I thought that basically, when we ...
1
vote
1answer
757 views

Is the curvature of space around mass independent of gravity?

Is the curvature of space caused by the local density of the energy in that area?Could gravity be a separate phenomenon only arising from the curvature of space? For instance if the density of energy ...
5
votes
1answer
269 views

Source term of the Einstein field equation

My copy of Feynman's "Six Not-So-Easy Pieces" has an interesting introduction by Roger Penrose. In that introduction (copyright 1997 according to the copyright page), Penrose complains that Feynman's ...
6
votes
3answers
284 views

How can I vizualize and understand curved spaces in general relativity?

I'm taking a basic physics class and the teacher described space with a special table that has curves and black holes etc. He would throw a metal ball down onto it and the class would watch it circle ...
1
vote
1answer
307 views

What is the difference between Ricci curvature tensor and the Laplacian

Can someone please explain the difference between the information that the Ricci curvature tensor gives us and that which the Laplacian offers? Here is my shot at it: My concept of the Ricci ...
4
votes
0answers
133 views

Why does the overhand knot jam but the figure-8 knot doesn't?

After tensioning a rope with an overhand knot in it, it is often very hard if not impossible to untie it; a figure-8 knot, on the other hand, still releases easily. Why is that so? Most "knot and ...
5
votes
4answers
524 views

The Sun as a gravitational lens

Since the Sun is a gravitational lens with as focal length of 550 AU for visible light, with an immense amplification factor, shouldn't it light up objects hanging out there? We should get solar ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

Curvature of the Universe imaginary?

If the curvature of the universe is zero, then $$Ω = 1$$ and the Pythagorean Theorem is correct. If instead $$Ω> 1$$ there will be a positive curvature, and if $$Ω <1$$ there will be a negative ...
4
votes
2answers
132 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
236 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 ($c_0$). ...
6
votes
2answers
394 views

How can a point-like particle “feel” gravity, if locally the curvature of spacetime is always flat?

I imagine a point-like particle can only experience the local properties of spacetime. But locally there is no curvature and no gravity, as it is often stated that Locally, as expressed in the ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the curvature of spacetime theory assume gravity?

Whenever I read about the curvature of spacetime as an explanation for gravity, I see pictures of a sheet (spacetime) with various masses indenting the sheet to form "gravity wells." Objects which are ...
3
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
9k views

How exactly does curved space-time describe the force of gravity?

I understand that people explain (in layman's terms at least) that the presence of mass "warps" space-time geometry, and this causes gravity. I have also of course heard the analogy of a blanket or ...