Mathematical discipline which uses the techniques of calculus to study geometric problems. General relativity is written in this language.

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First fundamental form in the Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term

Let me expose my problem, I am trying to perform the explicit variation of the Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term, $$S_{GH}=\int_{\partial M} d^{n-1}x\sqrt{\left|h\right|}K$$ The problem I have is ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Compound map in manifolds [migrated]

In the description of a manifold, we often start with the mathematical definition that $M=\cup M_i$ and if $m\in M_i \subset M$, where m is a point on the manifold, then it is mapped by a one-to-one ...
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24 views

Yamabe flow, Metric times Scalar curvature? [migrated]

I was watching a lecture on differential geometry on Ricci flow, when someone asked a question about "Scalar curvature being multiplied by metric" to my understanding this shall be written as ...
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3answers
129 views

Technical question about 2-forms

A technical question about the electromagnetic tensor, but before that, it is know if, say, instead of being $$F_{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\mu}A_{\nu} - \partial_{\nu}A_{\mu}$$it were ...
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1answer
92 views

How does one express a Lagrangian and Action in the language of forms?

In Lipschitzs Classical Mechanics a Lagrangian is defined as: $L(q,q',t)$ for some trajectory $q(t)$ of a particle And the action is defined as: $S:=\int^a_b L(q,q',t) dt$ How does one ...
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1answer
64 views

Confusion about two forms of connection coefficients

I am new to GR. In one book I found that the connection coefficient expression is given by $$ \Gamma^\mu_{\nu\lambda} = -\frac{1}{2} g^{\mu\rho} (\partial_\nu g_{\lambda\rho} + \partial_\lambda ...
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2answers
67 views

“Shortest” path in general relativity

My professor in mechanics course sneakily teach us some basic idea of general relativity. Which one of the basic assumption is particle walks in shortest world line. I understand shortest path in ...
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1answer
88 views

Can Bosons couple to gravity? Why do we need vielbein?

It is said that In theories such as Supergravity where there are fermions coupled to gravity, one must use an auxiliary quantity, the frame field (vielbein). In supergravity, can a boson be coupled ...
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3answers
129 views

In GR, why should the spacetime manifold be differentiable?

In general relativity (GR), spacetime is viewed as a differentiable manifold of dimension $D$ with a metric of Lorentzian signature $(-,+,+,...,+)$. My question is why differentiable?
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60 views

Trajectories in Rindler space with zero net time dilation

I've discovered a family of curves in Rindler space that have zero net time dilation. However I struggle to see why this should be so, i.e. what the physical significance of these curves is. My ...
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0answers
54 views

Scalar functions and manifolds [migrated]

This paragraph is taken from Supergravity book by Freedman and Van Proeyen.he simplest objects to define on a manifold $M$ are scalar functions $f$ that map $M \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$. We say that ...
3
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1answer
35 views

Manifolds, unit 2-sphere and stereographic projection

I am always passing through this example while reading about manifolds that I don't quite get. It is when describing the unit 2-sphere $S^2$ as an example of a manifold. They say, initially it may ...
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1answer
50 views

Can't derive FRW Christoffel symbol [on hold]

I'm trying to confirm that the $\Gamma^1_{01}$ Christoffel symbol of the FRW metric is $\dot{a}/a$. I have the FRW metric: $$ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2\left[\frac{dr^2}{1-kr^2}+r^2(d\theta^2+\sin^2\theta\ ...
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1answer
74 views

Classical spin viewed as $SU(2)$

In which sense is the configuration variable of a classical spin $SU(2)$? I can view a classical spin as a unit vector in $\mathbb{S}^2$ (2-dim. sphere), but it seems it is really given by a matrix ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Does Birkhoff's theorem apply to rotating collapsing stars?

Birkhoff's theorem states that every spherically symmetric vacuum solution to $R_{\alpha\beta} = 0$ is static, which greatly assists in the solution to the Schwarzschild solution by eliminating time ...
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1answer
33 views

When does light reach a shell observer in Schwarzschild metric?

I am trying to simulate the trajectory of light in the Schwarzschild metric (as seen by a far away observer) with fixed $\theta = \pi/2$. According to my source (Chapter 18, section 18.5) the ...
3
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0answers
112 views

Geometric interpretation of quantum Yang-Mills field

In most books\articles review geometric interpretation of classical Yang-Mills field in terms of principal bundle, connections...etc. What are geometric interpretation of quantum Yang-Mills field? ...
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2answers
61 views

Schwarzschild metric: motivations and applications in physics

I have a mathematical background and I have just derived the expression of the Schwarzschild metric. Now I was wondering what were the motivations and applications in physics of this metric. Any info ...
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1answer
53 views

Laplace-Beltrami vs d'Alembert operators in flat vs curved space-time

I am confused with the difference between Laplace-Beltrami (LB) and d'Alembert operators in flat/curved space-time. d'Alembert operator in flat space-time (Minkowski) is defined as $$\Box= ...
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1answer
326 views

How does one write density as a form?

In vector calculus, given the density $\rho$ of a body with volume $V$, it's total mass $M$ is simply $M=\int_V \rho dV$. If density $\rho$ is a form, say dm it would need to be a volume form to ...
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1answer
58 views

Fibre bundles and space-time

I'm having some trouble understanding the concept for this more than likely due to my lacking mathematical background. I am currently reading Roger Penrose's The Road to Reality page 394 ...
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1answer
88 views

Carroll's derivation of the geodesic equations [duplicate]

In Carroll's derivation of the geodesic equations (page 69, http://preposterousuniverse.com/grnotes/grnotes-three.pdf), he starts with ...
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1answer
111 views

Why two different Lagrangians to derive geodesic equations?

I'm trying (very early stages) to understand the derivation of the geodesic equation ...
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45 views

Proof of Schwarzschild metric construction (O'neill chap 13)

I am struggling with a few steps of the proof in O'neill book $\textit{Semi-Riemannian Geometry, with applications to Relativity}$ on the construction of Schwarzschild's metric (chap13, Lemma1). Is ...
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0answers
77 views

Divergence Theorem, mathematical approach to Gauss's Law?

Let $D$ be a compact region in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with a smooth boundary $S$. Assume $0 \in \text{Int}(D)$. If an electric charge of magnitude $q$ is placed at $0$, the resulting force field is ...
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1answer
51 views

Calculating Christoffel symbols from Lagrangian

I was given the following metric for a sphere $$g_{\mu\nu} = diag(1, r^2, r^2\sin^2\theta)$$ and tasked to calculate the Christoffel symbols. There are 2 ways that I know of to calculate them. One ...
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1answer
108 views

Differentiating the Lagrangian to find geodesic equations?

I'm stuck pretty much at the first hurdle trying to follow the derivation of the geodesic equations from the Lagrangian ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Spinors and Möbius strips

I asked this question on Math.SE as I thought the perspective of representation theory might be enlightening. But since the question was provoked by a description of Spinors describing the spin of ...
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0answers
48 views

Branes wrapping curves in M-theory. What does it mean?

What does it mean that a M5-branes wraps a holomorphic curve in M-theory? In specific a lot of Vafa's paper involve various branes (not only M5) wrapping some cycles. What does this really mean ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Null geodesic equation

For a null geodesic curve $X^i$, $$0=g_{ij}V^iV^j.$$ When we derive the geodesic equation from E-L equations, will this affine parametrization cause it to blow up? How is it justified to use the ...
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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 ...
5
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2answers
106 views

Lie derivative vs. covariant derivative in the context of Killing vectors

Let me start by saying that I understand the definitions of the Lie and covariant derivatives, and their fundamental differences (at least I think I do). However, when learning about Killing vectors I ...
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53 views

A couple of questions on the ADM formalism in general relativity

I've been reading up on the ADM formalism in general relativity and have been stuck on a couple of concepts. The first is to do with the foliation of spacetime into space-like hypersurfaces. I ...
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1answer
31 views

Determinant of the curved space scalar wave operator

I am reading a paper titled 'Analogue Gravity' (http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2011-3 or http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0505065) In the paper (page 15/159) they say this: $$\det(\sqrt{-g} g^{\mu \nu}) ...
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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 = ...
2
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2answers
81 views

Making sense out of covariance and contravariance

I just read about co- and contravariant vectors and I am not sure that I got it right: If we imagine that we have a n-dimensional manifold $M$ then a tangent space is spanned by the vectors ...
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1answer
128 views

Why a timelike geodesic maximizes path length?

I'm studying some GR and my book says that in Pseudo-Riemannian manifolds geodesics may even maximize the path locally. That's what happen to the timelike geodesics, for example. My first question: Is ...
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0answers
70 views

Lagrangian, geodesics and relativity [closed]

My background is in maths, but I have been studying some basic physics with occasional input from a friend who is studying for a physics PhD. Due to my background, I am keen to visualize things ...
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1answer
60 views

General Relativity - Four Velocity Derivative Question

I am trying to get my head around a small point used in a book I am reading about General Relativity. The book states that because $u_au^a = c^2$ it follows that $u_a \nabla_b u^a = 0 $ The first ...
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1answer
72 views

Spinor notation in general relativity

I have a somewhat broad/big question, and I know that there are many references for it available out there. However, so far I couldn't find anything that I can really understand, that's why here is my ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Parallel Transported Orthonormal Basis

The following argument results in a conclusion that I find strange, and makes me suspect there is something wrong with the reasoning. First, consider a timelike geodesic $\gamma$ with normalized ...
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2answers
78 views

Deriving the geodesic equation [closed]

I having been reading a general relativity book, but when in comes to the geodesic equation, it is not derived. How does one go about doing this?
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0answers
55 views

metric determinant and its partial and covariant derivative

question : $\nabla_a \nabla_b \sqrt{g} \phi =\partial_a \sqrt{g} \partial_b \phi$ is true ? because $\nabla_a \sqrt{g}=0$ so we can write $\sqrt{g} \nabla_a \nabla_b \phi$ , but because metric ...
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1answer
66 views

Varying wrt metric [closed]

I saw people write $\frac{\partial( F^{ab} F_{ab})}{\partial g^{ef}}$ as $\frac {\partial (g^{ca}g^{db}F_{cd}F_{ab})}{\partial g^{ef}}$ in a way that exposes the dependence on the metric. but ...
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0answers
30 views

Books or papers recommendation on orbifold and CFT

Could you recommend some references on orbifold CFT? I have found this paper "The conformal field theory of orbifolds"(1987)(http://inspirehep.net/record/230342) is very useful for me, so I want to ...
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1answer
30 views

Why does this allegedly Hermitian Kähler metric have non-zero diagonal terms?

In string theory, the Kähler potential of Kähler moduli (e.g. - the volume of a Calabi-Yau manifold) is given by (see, for instance, Becker, Becker, Schwarz: "String Theory and M Theory" p. 498) $$K ...
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1answer
52 views

Show that a solenoidal field is always a curl of a vector field [closed]

Can someone prove that: $$\nabla \cdot \mathbf{B} = 0 \implies \mathbf{B} = \nabla \times \mathbf{A}~?$$ I know that $$\nabla \cdot (\nabla \times \mathbf{A}) = 0$$ identically. But can one prove ...
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2answers
132 views

Momentum is a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
8
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1answer
120 views

What is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket [duplicate]

Apologies if this is a really basic question, but what is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket in classical mechanics? In particular, how should one interpret the relation between the ...
2
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2answers
63 views

Under what representation do the Christoffel symbols transform?

I often read the statement, that the Christoffel symbols aren't tensors. But then, under which representation do they transform?