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

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11
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2answers
580 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

Is there a simple way to define/solve for a null cone for a general spacetime geometry?

I'm wondering if there's any simple way to define and solve for a null cone for a general spacetime geometry in $n+1$ dimensions, given its vertex $p^\mu$. I can't seem to find a simple way to do it ...
2
votes
3answers
145 views

Length of a curve in D dimensional euclidean space

In a book I am reading on special relativity, the infinitesimal line element is defined as $dl^2=\delta_{ij}dx^idx^j$ (Einstein summation convention) where $\delta_{ij}$ is the euclidean metric. Next, ...
4
votes
2answers
656 views

Christoffel symbols and affine connection

What is the difference between the "affine connection" (S. Weinberg, Cosmology) and "Christoffel symbols?"
3
votes
3answers
283 views

Singularity-free stationary electro-vacuum solution

Let's say we have a spherically symmetric fluid: $$ T^{\alpha \beta} = \begin{bmatrix} \rho & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & p & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & p & 0 \\ 0 ...
5
votes
2answers
316 views

Sewing together flat spacetime pieces = flat spacetime?

I'm trying to imagine the geometry "operations" here: Angular deficit and Conical spacetime of cosmic string If we sew flat spacetime pieces together, what is the requirement for the sewing to not ...
12
votes
4answers
361 views

Discontinuities and nondifferentiability in thermodynamics

In physics and engineering sources, calculus-based formalisms - whether differential forms on a manifold, or "differentials" of functions of several variables - are presented as a way of modeling and ...
4
votes
1answer
276 views

Relativistic space-time geometry

What subject (suggest book titles, etc.) should I study to get a clear grasping of hypersurfaces, 2-surfaces, and integration on them, mostly in special relativity (I'm not messing with general ...
5
votes
2answers
385 views

Conical spacetime of cosmic string

Inspired by: Angular deficit The 2+1 spacetime is easier for me to visualize, so let's use that here. (so I guess the cosmic string is now just a 'point' in space, but a 'line' in spacetime) Edward ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the symplectic manifold version of Hamiltonian mechanics used in Newtonian mechanics?

Books such as Mathematical methods of classical mechanics describe an approach to classical (Newtonian/Galilean) mechanics where Hamiltonian mechanics turn into a theory of symplectic forms on ...
3
votes
0answers
360 views

I lost a factor of two in the electromagnetic field tensor

I apologize for this simple question, but I lost a factor of 2 and can't find it anymore, so now I'm looking on the internet, perhaps one of you has some information about its whereabouts. :-) ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Angular deficit

If one starts with a flat piece of paper, removes a wedge, and tapes the paper together, you get a cone. The angle of the removed wedge is called the "angular deficit". Now if this is done in 3 ...
11
votes
1answer
688 views

Can GR be derived by postulating a maximum force?

This paper was published in a peer review journal, and claims the answer is yes. http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0607090 The derivation in the paper seems more like dimensional analysis hand-waving in ...
9
votes
1answer
656 views

What all is needed to solve for the metric in GR?

Einstein's field equations are: $R_{ab} - {1 \over 2}g_{ab}\,R + g_{ab} \Lambda = {8 \pi G \over c^4} T_{ab}$ And since the Ricci curvature tensor is "less information" than the Riemann curvature ...
7
votes
1answer
304 views

Is GR vacuum equation unique?

The title question would be too long if I tried to specify it clearly. So let me be more clear. Consider the class of theories having the following properties: The langrangian density is only ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What is Euler Density?

Can someone please explain to me what Euler Density is? I have encountered it in Weyl anomaly related issues in various articles. Most of them assumes that its familiar, but I couldn't find any ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Quantum mechanics on a manifold

In quantum mechanics the state of a free particle in three dimensional space is $L^2(\mathbb R^3)$, more accurately the projective space of that Hilbert space. Here I am ignoring internal degrees of ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Does the positive mass conjecture indicate a necessity of interactions in our universe?

The positive mass conjecture was proved by Schoen and Yau and later reproved by Witten. Total mass in a gravitating system must be positive except in the case of flat Minkowski space, where energy is ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I calculate the perturbations to the metric determinant?

I am trying to calculate sqrt(-g) in terms of a background metric and metric perturbations, to second order in the perturbations. I know how to expand tensors that depend on the metric, but I don't ...
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Flux through a Mobius strip

I was sent here from mathoverflow, hoping for a complete answer to this: === A friend of mine asked me what is the flux of the electric field (or any vector field like $$ \vec r=(x,y,z)\mapsto ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the physical meaning of the connection and the curvature tensor?

Regarding general relativity: What is the physical meaning of the Christoffel symbol ($\Gamma^i_{\ jk}$)? What are the (preferably physical) differences between the Riemann curvature tensor ($R^i_{\ ...
2
votes
1answer
190 views

Shape of volume element in curvilinear system?

I have always pictured volume element as a small cuboid in with volume $dx dy dz$. however in curvilinear system, how would the shape of this volume element be? I mean in spherical polar coordinate ...
11
votes
1answer
496 views

Formulation of Transformation optics using a Material Manifold

Dear Community, recently, Transformation optics celebrates some sort of scientific revival due to its (possible) applications for cloaking, see e.g. Broadband Invisibility by Non-Euclidean Cloaking ...
47
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 ...