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

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20
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2answers
115 views

Kerr Geometry, Separability and Twistors

One of the remarkable properties of the Kerr black hole geometry is that scalar field equations separate and are exactly solvable (reducible to quadrature), even though naively it does not have enough ...
4
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1answer
451 views

How does (or can) SR/GR extend to phase space or symplectic manifolds?

I'm asking this question because of an article in New Scientist about a recent preprint by a group including Lee Smolin. I haven't taken the time to comprehend the paper completely. My knowledge of ...
9
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1answer
226 views

Can Fermionic symmetries be fully integrated into geometric deformation complexes or symplectic reduction?

How should a geometer think about quotienting out by a Fermionic symmetry? Is this a formal concept? A strictly linear concept? A sheaf theoretic concept? How does symplectic reduction work with odd ...
7
votes
1answer
390 views

The role of metric in the Wave Equation

The wave equation is often written in the form $$(\partial^2_t-\Delta)u=0,$$ involving the Laplace-Beltrami operator $\Delta$. However, the Laplace-Beltrami operator $\Delta$ is defined only in the ...
15
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6answers
857 views

Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...
11
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5answers
1k views

What does a frame of reference mean in terms of manifolds?

Because of my mathematical background, I've been finding it hard to relate the physics-talk I've been reading, with mathematical objects. In (say special) relativity, we have a Lorentzian manifold, ...
11
votes
2answers
598 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
209 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
147 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
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2answers
671 views

Christoffel symbols and affine connection

What is the difference between the "affine connection" (S. Weinberg, Cosmology) and "Christoffel symbols?"
3
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3answers
288 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
373 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
281 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
3answers
433 views

Curvature of Conical spacetime

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 ...
5
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
363 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. :-) ...
7
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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
705 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
670 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
308 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 ...
12
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 ...
18
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
150 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
4k 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 ...
9
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
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1answer
2k 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 ...
23
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
191 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
498 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 ...
51
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...