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

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Metric tensor and its inverse

Is it always allowed to represent the metric tensor $g_{\mu \nu}$ in General Relativity as a $4\times 4$ matrix? If the last one is represented for example with a $4\times 4$ matrix ...
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3answers
2k views

What is a Killing vector field?

I recently read a post in physics.stackexchange that used the term "Killing vector". What is a Killing vector/Killing vector field?
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2answers
288 views

Mathematical probabilistic interepretation of probability amplitude

As a warning, I come from an "applied math" background with next to no knowledge of physics. That said, here's my question: I'm looking at the possibility of using probability amplitude functions to ...
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0answers
38 views

Reference request: Classical Mechanics as an Application to Smooth Manifolds [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Classical Mechanics for Mathematician Last time I asked a question, but it does not sound specific. I am currently taking graduate topology class (using Lee's ...
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1answer
131 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?
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1answer
271 views

Killing vectors for SO(3) (rotational) symmetry

I am reading a paper$^1$ by Manton and Gibbons on the dynamics of BPS monopoles. In this, they write the Atiyah-Hitchin metric for a two-monopole system. The first part is for the one monopole moduli ...
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What does the dual of a tensor mean (e.g. dual stress tensor in relativistic ED)?

I know what the dual of a vector means (as a map to its field), and I am also aware of of the definition a dual of a tensor as, $$F^{*ij} = \frac{1}{2} \epsilon^{ijkl} F_{kl}\tag{1}$$ I just don't ...
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4answers
369 views

Complete set of observables in classical mechanics

I'm reading "Symplectic geometry and geometric quantization" by Matthias Blau and he introduces a complete set of observables for the classical case: The functions $q^k$ and $p_l$ form a complete ...
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2answers
465 views

Is there an analogue of configuration space in quantum mechanics?

In classical mechanics coordinates are something a bit secondary. Having a configuration space $Q$ (manifold), coordinates enter as a mapping to $\mathbb R^n$, $q_i : Q \to \mathbb R$. The primary ...
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1answer
141 views

what is wrong with the following argument about stokes law in compact universes?

I want to understand what is wrong with the following argument: in a topologically compact spacetime, a closed 3D boundary separates the spacetime in two connected components, because of this ...
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3answers
243 views

Where 2 comes from in formula for Schwarzschild radius?

In general theory of relativity I've seen several times this factor: $$(1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}),$$ e.g. in the Schwarzschild metric for a black hole, but I still don't know in this factor where 2 comes ...
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3answers
712 views

Equations of fluid dynamics and differential geometry [closed]

Where can I look for equations of fluid motion written in terms of nifty things from differential geometry like exterior derivative, Hodge dual, musical isomorphism? Preferably both with and without ...
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1answer
959 views

Covariant derivative and Leibniz rule

I read the Wikipedia page about the covariant derivative, my main problem is in this part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covariant_derivative#Coordinate_description Some of the formulas seem to lead ...
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1answer
116 views

What is the physical intepretation of harmonic coordinates?

When I see harmonic coordinates used somewhere, what should my association be? Is there some general use or need to consider the harmonic cooridnate condition? I don't really see what's ...
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5answers
1k views

What does symplecticity imply?

Symplectic systems are a common object of studies in classical physics and nonlinearity sciences. At first I assumed it was just another way of saying Hamiltonian, but I also heard it in the context ...
7
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4answers
509 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 ...
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7answers
1k views

Introduction to differential forms in thermodynamics

I've studied differential geometry just enough to be confident with differential forms. Now I want to see application of this formalism in thermodynamics. I'm looking for a small reference, to learn ...
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1answer
687 views

Is 4-volume element a scalar or a pseudoscalar in special relativity?

In general relativity 4-volume element $\mathrm{d}^4 x = \mathrm{d} x^0\mathrm{d} x^1 \mathrm{d} x^2\mathrm{d} x^3$ is clearly a pseudoscalar (or scalar density) of weight 1 since it transforms as ...
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1answer
86 views

Smooth trajectory on a smooth manifold

Physicists talk about a smooth trajectory of a particle on a smooth manifold and they label it as q(t) where q_1(t)....q_n(t) are component functions coming from the homeomorphism. I don't see how we ...
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3answers
269 views

What are some mechanics examples with a globally non-generic symplecic structure?

In the framework of statistical mechanics, in books and lectures when the fundamentals are stated, i.e. phase space, Hamiltons equation, the density etc., phase space seems usually be assumed to be ...
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6answers
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What is a tensor?

I have a pretty good knowledge of physics but couldn't understand what a tensor is. I just couldn't understand it, and the wiki page is very hard to understand as well. Can someone refer me to a good ...
6
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1answer
987 views

Maxwell's equations in microscopic and macroscopic forms, and quantization

The macroscopic Maxwell's equations can be put in terms of differential forms as $$\mathrm{d}\mathrm{F}=0,\quad\delta \mathrm{D}=j\implies \delta j=0,\quad \mathrm{D}=\mathrm{F}+\mathrm{P}.$$ ...
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4answers
355 views

Formulation of general relativity

EDIT: I think I can pinpoint my confusion a bit better. Here comes my updated question (I'm not sure what the standard way of doing things is - please let me know if I should delete the old version). ...
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0answers
496 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 ...
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1answer
154 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 ...
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3answers
301 views

How to connect Einstein's Special Relativity(SR) with General Relativity(GR)?

How Einstein's SR becomes GR? $$ds^2=dr^2-c^2dt^2,$$ $$ds^2=g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu}.$$ When the $s$ is constant $ds^2=0$, isn't it true? How to connect Einstein's SR with GR? What is the ...
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4answers
743 views

Topology needed for Differential Geometry [duplicate]

I am a physics undergrad, and need to study differential geometry ASAP to supplement my studies on solitons and instantons. How much topology do I need to know. I know some basic concepts reading from ...
6
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1answer
166 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 ...
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0answers
85 views

Relating the deformation of Calabi-Yau metrics and the conformal quantum field theories

(v2) As I read e.g. in this question, the nice holonomy group features of Calabi-Yau manifolds are valuable regarding supersymmetry (I suspect because it's a symmetry involving the target manifold, ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
3
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0answers
191 views

What are the topics of string theory that are comprehensible with only a mathematical background on Manifolds and Algebraic Topology?

What are the topics of string theory that are comprehensible with only a mathematical background on manifolds and algebraic topology? Also, I have read only the first four chapters in Peskin & ...
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0answers
191 views

An introductory resource for learning AdS space

Can someone please point me to introductory resources about the geometry of Anti DeSitter Space ? What are some examples of other spaces used in theoretical physics ?.I'm learning Differential ...
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2answers
597 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 ...
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3answers
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Why do objects follow geodesics in spacetime?

Trying to teach myself general relativity. I sort of understand the derivation of the geodesic equation ...
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1answer
231 views

A question regarding particle trajectories in the symplectic manifold formalism

How to solve a free particle on a 2-sphere using symplectic manifold formalism of classical mechanics ? Is there a way to get coriolis effect directly, without going into Newton mechanics? And is ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Why is light described by a null geodesic?

I'm trying to wrap my head around how geodesics describe trajectories at the moment. I get that for events to be causally connected, they must be connected by a timelike curve, so free objects must ...
2
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1answer
225 views

How to express the heat capacity in terms of heat?

The first law of thermodynamics divides the internal energy change into contributions of heat and work. $$\text dU=\omega_Q-\omega_W,$$ Here I chose the notation to emphasise that the two parts are ...
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2answers
561 views

Equivalence of definitions of ADM Mass

ADM Mass is a useful measure of a system. It is often defined (Wald 293) $$M_{ADM}=\frac{1}{16\pi} \lim_{r \to \infty} \oint_{s_r} (h_{\mu\nu,\mu}-h_{\mu\mu,\nu})N^{\nu} dA$$ Where $s_r$ is two ...
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1answer
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Conversion of motion equation from Cartesian to Polar coordinates: Is covariant differentiation necessary?

I have earlier posted the same question here on math stackexchange but without any answer. As the question concerns tensors, I guess that I have come to the right ...
5
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3answers
587 views

Does spacetime in general relativity contain holes?

Are there physical models of spacetimes, which have bounded (four dimensional) holes in them? And do the Einstein equations give restrictions to such phenomena? Here by holes I mean ...
7
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2answers
635 views

Lorentz invariance of the 3 + 1 decomposition of spacetime

Why is allowed decompose the spacetime metric into a spatial part + temporal part like this for example $$ds^2 ~=~ (-N^2 + N_aN^a)dt^2 + 2N_adtdx^a + q_{ab}dx^adx^b$$ ($N$ is called lapse, $N_a$ is ...
2
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1answer
205 views

Derivative of quantities with internal indices

In the context of the 3 + 1 decomposition of spacetime needed for a Hamiltionian formulation of general relativity, quantities with so called internal indices are introduced (in the book I am reading ...
2
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1answer
135 views

Question from Schutz's

In q. 22 in page 141, I am asked to show that if $U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha} V^{\beta} = W^{\beta}$, then $U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha}V_{\beta}=W_{\beta}$. Here's what I have done: $V_{\beta}=g_{\beta ...
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1answer
660 views

Stokes' theorem in GR

I read this formula in Sean Carroll's book of GR: $$\int_{\Sigma}\nabla_{\mu}V^{\mu}\sqrt{g}d^nx~=~\int_{\partial\Sigma}n_{\mu}V^{\mu}\sqrt{\gamma}d^{n-1}x$$ where n is the 4-vector orthogonal to ...
2
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1answer
247 views

Contraction of indices

We use contraction of indices method to manipulate Tensors. However, I cannot relate that manipulation visually. We can change covariant tensor to contravariant tensor and vice versa by contracting ...
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2answers
763 views

Visualizing Ricci Tensor

By definition Ricci Tensor is a Tensor formed by contracting two indices of Riemann Tensor. Riemann Tensor can be visualized in terms of a curve, a vector is moving and orientation of the initial and ...
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2answers
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Riemann Tensor Calculation trick(number of element)

When we calculate Riemann Tensor for different curvature we have lots of components. However, there are many components that are zero. How can we argue, based on the symmetry of connection , that ...
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6answers
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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
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1answer
302 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 ...
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4answers
5k views

Are matrices and second rank tensors the same thing?

Tensors are mathematical objects that are needed in physics to define certain quantities. I have a couple of questions regarding them that need to be clarified: 1-Are matrices and second rank tensors ...