4
votes
3answers
89 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 ...
51
votes
4answers
5k views

Why would spacetime curvature cause gravity?

It is fine to say that for an object flying past a massive object, the spacetime is curved by the massive object, and so the object flying past follows the curved path of the geodesic, so it "appears" ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Pseudo-Riemannian Manifolds with multiple temporal dimensions

Consider a Pseudo-Riemannian Manifold with signature $$ (\underbrace{+,\cdots,+}_p,\underbrace{-,\cdots,-}_q) $$ For any positive integers $p$ and $q$. Can this kind of manifold contain closed ...
8
votes
1answer
160 views

How to prove that a spacetime is maximally symmetric?

In Carroll's book on general relativity, I found the following remark: In two dimensions, finding that $R$ is a constant suffices to prove that the space is maximally symmetric [...] In higher ...
8
votes
2answers
911 views

Does space curvature automatically imply extra dimensions?

Total newbie with basically no physics knowledge here :) I would welcome any correction to the steps of my reasoning that lead to my question, which could easily turn out to be invalid :) My current ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

How to express “curvature scalars” in terms of "discrete curvature values $\kappa_n$?

We know from MTW [1] and Synge [2] how, for participants who were (pairwise) rigid to each other, it may be determined whether or not they were straight to each other, plane to each other, or ...
2
votes
6answers
251 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

What is the physical meaning of the Eddington - Finkelstein metric?

I want to see a some physical process (experimental) that could explain the many transformations of coordinates into this mathematical procedure. (really two transformations, but i think that is a ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

General relativity and global aspects [duplicate]

The theory of general relativity tells me something about the global structure of space-time, eg simply connected ?
9
votes
1answer
378 views

Can masses move in 2+1 gravity?

I would like to understand basic concepts of the general relativity in 2+1 spacetime. As far as I know, GR predicts that such a spacetime is flat everywhere except for the point masses which create ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

How does the warping of time behave as a fourth dimension?

My problem is that I have a hard time grasping something if I can't conceptualize it, though maybe this can not be conceptualized, just accepted, in which case I thank you for your patience. The ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Index raising and lowering - how does it work?

In the context of four-dimensional spacetime, how does the metric turn a tangent vector into a gradient, and vice versa? By this I mean that I know the metric can be used to raise and lower indices: ...
3
votes
2answers
272 views

Restriction of a Lagrangian

I'm wondering if anyone could help me with the following questions. Let $M$ be the Minkowski spacetime, given $f\in C^{\infty}(M) ; f(m)=x^{0}(m)$, with $\{x^{\mu}\}$ being a global Cartesian ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

Can universe be a closed manifold?

I had a question at MSE which gave a rise to another question. Maxwell equations can be written in form $$d\star F = J$$ Then by Stokes theorem we have $$ \int_U J = \int_U d \star F = ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

What is a geometrical object?

From the Wikipedia link for Geometry: Geometry (Ancient Greek: γεωμετρία; geo- "earth", -metron "measurement") is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Are there any restrictions on building the topology of spacetime out of the complement of open balls?

I assume that for a Lorentzian manifold (i.e. with Minkowski signature), the analog of an open ball is the interior of a light cone. My question is motivated by the observation that whereas any point ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Can the vanishing of the Riemann tensor be determined from causal relations?

Given a Lorentzian manifold and metric tensor, "$( M, g )$", the corresponding causal relations between its elements (events) may be derived; i.e. for every pair (in general) of distinct events in set ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Killing vector argument gone awry?

What has gone wrong with this argument?! The original question A space-time such that $$ds^2=-dt^2+t^2dx^2$$ has Killing vectors $(0,1),(-\exp(x),\frac{\exp(x)}{t}), ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

The most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time

What is the most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time? For the first 2 criteria, the Robertson-Walker metric springs to mind. (I shall adopt the (-+++) ...
1
vote
0answers
120 views

Do we expect that the universe is simply-connected? [duplicate]

I heard recently that the universe is expected to be essentially flat. If this is true, I believe this means (by the 3d Poincare conjecture) that the universe cannot be simply-connected, since the ...
2
votes
3answers
401 views

Are the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy independent of one another?

Einstein in deriving the Lorentz transformations, used the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy. Does space-time isotropy follow from space-time homogeneity or are they completely ...
4
votes
3answers
352 views

Could metric expansion create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime?

Is it possible for metric expansion to create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime? According to the Schwarzschild metric, the metric expansion of space around a black hole goes to infinity ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

An issue about the compactness and the existence of CTCs

There is a well known fact that a compact spacetime necessarily contains a closed timelike curve (CTC). Proof can be found in several books on GR (e.g. Hawking, Ellis, Proposition 6.4.2), and in ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

Real, non-constant scalar field with special properties in class of 4-dimensional spacetimes

David Deutsch (Oxford University) asked the following question which I think is an interesting one: In what class of 4-dimensional spacetimes does there exist a real, non-constant scalar field φ with ...
3
votes
1answer
494 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Symmetries of spacetime and objects over it

I guess according to mathematical didactic, we first think of spacetime as a set and we reason about elements of its topology and then it's furthermore equipped with a metric. Appearently it is this ...
7
votes
4answers
465 views

Hamiltonian and the space-time structure

I'm reading Arnold's "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics" but I failed to find rigorous development for the allowed forms of Hamiltonian. Space-time structure dictates the form of ...
2
votes
0answers
430 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

How should one interpret the de Sitter slicings?

When 'constructing' the usual de Sitter space in $\mathcal{M^5}$ by invoking the contraint $-X^{2}_{0} +X^{2}_{1} +X^{2}_{2} +X^{2}_{3} + X^{2}_{4} = \alpha^2$ we quickly see that we end up with a ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

If a fundamental theory exibits e.g. a mirror symmetry, in what sense it the underlying geometry real?

Are the more recently discovered symmetries in string theory such that the theories based on mirroring geometries are absolutely the same from an observable point of view? I have mirror symmetry ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do objects follow geodesics in spacetime?

Trying to teach myself general relativity. I sort of understand the derivation of the geodesic equation ...
9
votes
2answers
518 views

Is spacetime simply connected?

As I've stated in a prior question of mine, I am a mathematician with very little knowledge of Physics, and I ask here things I'm curious about/things that will help me learn. This falls into the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Can spacetime be non-orientable?

This question asks what constraints there are on the global topology of spacetime from the Einstein equations. It seems to me the quotient of any global solution can in turn be a global solution. In ...
40
votes
6answers
2k views

What is known about the topological structure of spacetime?

General relativity says that spacetime is a Lorentzian 4-manifold $M$ whose metric satisfies Einstein's field equations. I have two questions: What topological restrictions do Einstein's equations ...