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

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Why is the phase space a symplectic manifold rather than a manifold with a metric?

Why does phase space require a symplectic geometry rather than a metric? Is there some scenario where a metric is unable to describe the notion of length in phase space, specifically in relation to ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Can these two terms cancel out?

In trying to prove that $$\Gamma_{\mu\nu\lambda} = \eta_{ab}J^a_bJ^b_{\nu\lambda}.$$ The author canceled out while expanding the first equation $$J^a_{\mu\lambda}J^b_\nu$$ with ...
3
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0answers
87 views

Level quantization of 7d $SO(N)$ Chern-Simons action

In 3d, one can write down the $SO(N)$ Chern-Simons action to be $$S(A)=\frac{k}{192\pi}\int_{M}\text{Tr}(A d A +\frac{2}{3}A^3),$$ where $A$ is an $SO(N)$ connection. The level quantization can be ...
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1answer
46 views

Riemann Curvature Tensor Symmetries Proof

I am trying to expand $$\varepsilon^{{abcd}} R_{{abcd}}$$ by using four identities of the Riemann curvature tensor: Symmetry $$R_{{abcd}} = R_{{cdab}}$$ Antisymmetry first pair of indicies ...
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0answers
59 views

Help with parametrization of surface if I'm given the metric [closed]

I've got a homework question. Consider a 2 dimensional space with metric $$ ds^{2} = \frac{dr^{2}}{1 -\frac{2}{r} } + r^{2}d\theta^{2} .$$ I need to show that this is the induced metric ...
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1answer
82 views

Conservative Vector Fields

I was always told that to find whether or not a vector field is conservative, see if the curl is zero. I have now been told that just because the curl is zero does not necessarily mean it is ...
2
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0answers
68 views

What are Killing spinors?

What are Killing spinors? How can they be motivated? Are they directly related to Killing vectors and Killing tensors and is there an overarching motivation for all three objects? Any answer is ...
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0answers
48 views

Why are Lagrangian subspaces called 'Lagrangian'?

I am wondering what the special role of Lagrangian subspaces (or submanifolds) are in mechanics. Do these subspaces have some sort of special property for which we have some sort of `Lagrangian ...
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0answers
52 views

Equation regarding the Riemann tensor in the Cartan formalism [closed]

I have a problem verifying the following equation (in three dimensions) $$\epsilon_{abc} e^a\wedge R^{bc}=\sqrt{|g|}Rd^3 x$$ where $R$ is the Ricci scalar and $R^{bc}$ is the Ricci curvature ...
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0answers
53 views

Ricci curvature of embedded spacetime

If I am not mistaken, there is a theorem which states that every Riemannian manifold can be embedded in the $n$-dimensional Euclidean space for some large-enough $n$. Does it also hold for ...
2
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2answers
110 views

Momentum vector transformation

I am confused about the way momentum vector transforms in the following case: $$q_k \to q_k'= q_k + \epsilon f_k(q)$$ The Jacobian is thus $\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q'_i}{\partial q_j} \approx ...
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1answer
68 views

Derivative chain rule in a triangle, confusing but interesting problem

I asked the question in math.stackexchange. But I think it is better to ask here again. I am new to these sites. Please forgive me if it is not polite. http://math.stackexchange.com/q/921001 You can ...
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0answers
44 views

What is elliptic genera?

What is elliptic genera in physics? Reading many relevant papers, they just defined elliptic genus as sort of partition function. I try to find useful materials to explain it, but I couldn't find ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Mathematical books to become a successful mathematical physicists [duplicate]

My understanding of algebraic topology and Riemannian geometry come from Nakahara's Geometry, Topology, and Physics, which I do not think is sufficient. I am first year PhD student, and I want to do ...
1
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1answer
57 views

The Euler-Poincare equation

Can anyone tell me very basically how the Euler-Poincare equation generalises the Euler-Lagrange equation? Further does anyone know if there is an "easy" relationship between the two, i.e. can anyone ...
3
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1answer
105 views

Geometric mechanics - Symplecticity

I am just trying to wade through literature on classical mechanics and I really don't know where to start, everything is Fibre bundle this or manifold that, and doesn't really ease you in to the ...
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0answers
76 views

Geodesic deviation on a unit sphere

Very little interest in the original version of this question so I've rejigged it hoping for a more positive response. I'm trying to use the geodesic deviation ...
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0answers
28 views

Supergravity solution, metric for the total space, and connection

In supergravity solutions, one sometimes encounters the case where the manifold may be a bundle over some base space, and one has to write down the explicit metric regarding such bundle. I would like ...
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1answer
91 views

Geodesic curvature and Weyl transformations

The geodesic curvature is given by $$k=\pm t^a n_b\nabla_a t^b,$$ where $t^a$ is a unit vector tangent to the boundary of the string worldsheet and $n_a$ is an outward vector orthogonal to $t^a$. I ...
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0answers
16 views

Is Hodge star operation can be understood as contraction after tensor product of a $p$-form with the volume element? [migrated]

By defintion, the Hodge star of a $p$-form $\omega_{a_1\cdots a_p}$ on a $n$-dimensional manifold is given by $*\omega_{b_1\cdots b_{n-p}}=\frac{1}{p!}\omega^{a_1\cdots a_p}\epsilon_{a_1\cdots ...
3
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2answers
344 views

Which of these two textbook equations of geodesic deviation is correct?

My previous question Geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere - is this the right track? got shot down as “off topic”, so I'm having a second stab at it. Misner et al's Gravitation (p34) gives the geodesic ...
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0answers
114 views

Textbook disagreement on geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere

Apologies if I have this completely wrong (and for the general long-windedness). I've searched online but can't find anything helpful/relevant. I'm trying to use the geodesic equation ...
2
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0answers
54 views

If $S$ is a closed achronal set in a spacetime, any timelike curve starting at a point in $I^+[S]$ and ending at a point in $I^-[S]$ interset $S$?

Suppose $S$ is an achronal set in a spacetime $M$. And $S$ is closed. At the same time, any null geodesic of $M$ intersects $S$. Then, why does any timelike curve from $I^+[S]$ to $I^-[S]$ intersect ...
4
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0answers
95 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
67 views

Definition of derivative operator on a manifold

I'm hoping to understand the motivation for certain parts of the definition of a derivative operator $\nabla$ on a manifold $M$. In Wald's General Relativity, two clauses of the definition are: ...
4
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1answer
137 views

Wick Rotation in Curved space

So over time I have learned to do exhaustive searches before asking things here. Wick rotations are cool if you are trying to work in qft and make statements about the thermodynamics of some physical ...
3
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4answers
112 views

What is the motivation for the definition of a manifold?

In Wald's General Relativity, an $n$-dimensional $C^{\infty}$ manifold $\mathit{M}$ is defined as a set, with subsets $\lbrace{O}_{\alpha}\rbrace$, which satisfies 3 properties. In particular, the ...
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4answers
259 views

Is force a contravariant vector or a covariant vector (or either)?

I don't understand whether something physical, like velocity for example, has a single correct classification as either a contravariant vector or a covariant vector. I have seen texts indicate that ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Why can any pair of master coordinates be used to calculate a nonlinear mode of a nonlinear dynamical system?

This is a question I have been asking myself for some time since the following technique is often used in the nonlinear dynamics community, but never managed to get an answer why it could be applied. ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Deformation of light-cone

In the paper The geometry of free fall and light propagation by Ehlers and his colleagues (Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 44 no. 6, pp. 1587–1609 (2012)), when the authors introduce the differentiable ...
2
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0answers
20 views

Using Polyakov-Alvarez Anomaly Formula [closed]

Take $\Sigma=\mathbb{D}$ to be the unit disk with metric $g=\frac{4}{(1+|z|^2)^2}\,|dz|^2$. If $\phi$ is a nice enough function on $\mathbb{D}$, then I want to compute $$\int_{\partial \Sigma} k_g ...
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1answer
42 views

If a point r lies in the boundary of the chronological future of another point p, why does the chronological future of r belong to that of p?

I am studying the global causality of the spacetime. Here, I come across a problem. Suppose a point $r\in \partial I^+(p)$. $I^+(p)$ is the chronological future of a different point $p$ in ...
2
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1answer
38 views

How does a spatial covariant derivative act on tensors that are not purely spatial?

I have a possibly dumb question on ADM formalism. Starting with a metric in ADM form \begin{equation} ds^2 = -N^2dt^2 + q_{ij}(dx^i + N^idt)(dx^j + N^jdt) \end{equation} where $i,j$ only run over the ...
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0answers
65 views

How to test that a flat metric represents a global three-torus geometry

When introducing Robertson-Walker metrics, Carroll's suggests that we consider our spacetime to be $R \times \Sigma$, where $R$ represents the time direction and $\Sigma$ is a maximally symmetric ...
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0answers
52 views

Riemann curvature of a unit sphere

The Riemann curvature of a unit sphere is shown in many textbooks to be sine-squared theta where theta is the azimuthal angle of spherical co-ordinates. But what is the significance of the angle and ...
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1answer
62 views

Length in polar coordinates

Say we are in 3 dimensions and use $(-++)$. If we have the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2df^2(t),$$ then what is the third coordinate if the first two were $t$ and $r$? $$X^iX_i=-t^2+r^2+?$$
2
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3answers
93 views

Configuration manifolds and constraints

In Classical Mechanics there's this notion of configuration manifold. Although I've heard about that a lot and although I often use that concept, I'm not sure I really understand them well because ...
3
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1answer
53 views

Bondi-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) symmetry of asymptotically flat space-times

I started studying the BMS symmetry in connection with the paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.2229 and there are a few strange things I noticed. First of all, from reading the original papers by Bondi, ...
2
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0answers
67 views

Electrodynamics using exterior calculus

Can anyone suggest resource for full course of electrodynamics using exterior calculus?
7
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2answers
236 views

Does a 4-current J determine a unique maxwell-faraday F tensor up to isometry?

Maxwell's equations on a pseudo-Riemannian manifold $(M,g_{ab})$ say, $$d_a F_{bc} = \nabla_{[a}F_{bc]} = 0,$$ $$\nabla_a F^{ab} = J^b,$$ where $d_a$ is the exterior derivative, $\nabla_a$ is the ...
2
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0answers
79 views

Interesting Hamiltonian System

The definition of a Hamiltonian system I am working with is a triple $(X,\omega, H)$ where $(X,\omega)$ is a symplectic manifold and $H\in C^\infty(X)$ is the Hamiltonian function. I am wondering if ...
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0answers
31 views

Caustic and Singularities in General Relativity

What is the relation between the formation of caustics of a family of null geodesics and the existence of an incomplete null geodesic?
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2answers
66 views

Static geodesics in GR

Can we find static geodesics of the type $$x^{\nu}=x_0^{\nu}+\delta_0^{\nu}\tau$$ in some space-time other than Minkowski's?
3
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1answer
81 views

Why do we do partial and not covariant differentiation with $x^{\nu}$?

Why when taking the velocity vector we make $$u^{\nu}=\frac{d}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ and not $$u^{\nu}=\frac{\nabla}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ where in the last equation I meant the covariant derivative. Why?
2
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1answer
124 views

Can Minkowski spacetime be redefined as a non-flat riemannian manifold?

Minkowski space time is defined in terms of a flat pseudo-Riemannian manifold. I have wondered if it can be redefined as Riamannian manifold and in the case what type of curvature would there appear. ...
3
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0answers
68 views

Is the “Force” of Gravity Simply Hamilton's Principle on a Curved Spacetime?

It's my understanding that General Relativity abstracts away the concept of gravity as a force, and instead describes it as a feature of spacetime by which massive objects cause curvature. Then it ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Interpretations of (r,s) tensors [duplicate]

A tensor of type (r,s) on a vector space V is a C-valued function T on V×V×...×V×W×W×...×W (there are r V's and s W's in which W is dual space of V) which is linear in each argument. We take (0, 0) ...
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1answer
47 views

The commutator of Killing vectors

I'm going over an assignment for my general relativity course. My solution to the question below strikes me as too short, considering that it appeared in the "longer questions" section of the ...
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3answers
1k views

Is topology of universe observable?

There is an idea that the geometry of physical space is not observable(i.e. it can't be fixed by mere observation). It was introduced by H. Poincare. In brief it says that we can formulate our ...
3
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1answer
126 views

Instantons in Witten's supersymmetry and Morse theory

I'm reading Witten's paper on supersymmetry and Morse theory and am confused about the details of the instanton calculation which he uses to define a Morse complex (beginning at page 11 of the pdf) . ...