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

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9
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2answers
393 views

Forces as One-Forms and Magnetism

Well, some time ago I've asked here if we should consider representing forces by one-forms. Indeed the idea as, we work with a manifold $M$ and we represent a force by some one-form $F \in ...
2
votes
2answers
440 views

Local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates

It is said that we can introduce local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates for any timelike geodesic. But why only for timelike geodesics? What about null geodesics? Perhaps it has to do ...
0
votes
3answers
217 views

Combining metric tensors/curvature tensors

I was thinking about the following scenario: Consider a particle which causes a metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ on an otherwise Minkowski spacetime (or any manifold). Now, consider another particle, somewhere in ...
2
votes
0answers
193 views

Why doesn't this metric cover all of de Sitter space?

This represents a confused attempt to work through a problem in Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry. Supposedly I should be able to use the geodesic equation, ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What is metric of spherical coordinates $(t,r,\theta,\phi)$?

In spherical coordinates the flat space-time metric takes: $$ds^2=-c^2dt^2+dr^2+r^2d\Omega^2$$ where $r^2d\Omega^2$ come from when the signature of metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ is (-,+,+,+)? what is ...
3
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1answer
119 views

Energy Functional

I am a graduate student in pure mathematics, during my study on Ricci Flow I faced some functional known as energy functional. For example Einstein-Hilbert functional is called an energy functional, ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

What is path of light in the accelerating elevator?

Mathematically, (by mathematically I means by equations) what is path of light in the accelerating elevator? What is the difference between an ordinary derivative and covariant derivative (which is ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Geometry for Physics [duplicate]

I am currently a high school student interested in a research career in physics. I have self taught myself single variable calculus and elementary physics upto the level of IPHO . And I am comfortable ...
8
votes
0answers
305 views

Extended Born relativity, Nambu 3-form and ternary (n-ary) symmetry

Background: Classical Mechanics is based on the Poincare-Cartan two-form $$\omega_2=dx\wedge dp$$ where $p=\dot{x}$. Quantum mechanics is secretly a subtle modification of this. By the other hand, ...
2
votes
1answer
560 views

Cartan equations versus Einstein equations in classical gravity

Are Cartan structural equations equivalent to Einstein's equations $$G_{\mu\nu}=T_{\mu\nu}$$ and why (in the case of torsionless geometries, of course)? Does it also apply with a non-null ...
2
votes
1answer
817 views

Ricci identity/Riemann curvature tensor and covectors

Can somebody please explain to me how the following statement is true? The Riemann curvature tensor $R^c_{dab}$ is given by the Ricci identity $$(\nabla_a\nabla_b-\nabla_b\nabla_a)V^c\equiv ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

Electric Field One-Form

I know for instance that we can interpret the electric field as the one-form that given a vector gives the change in potential in the direction of the vector, however I'm very unsure about how to ...
1
vote
0answers
163 views

Why are differential forms on a n-dimensional manifold a Grassmann algebra?

This is stated as an obvious example of a Grassmann algebra on page 32 in this tutorial I am trying to read, but to me it is unfortunately not so obvious. So can somebody expand this comment a bit ...
3
votes
1answer
875 views

Change of coordinates from an arbitrary frame to a locally inertial frame in General Relativity

If I have the following metric: $$ds^2=(1-2\phi)c^2 dt^2 - (1-2 \phi)(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2)$$ $\phi$ being the gravitational potential with $|\phi| << 1$ everywhere. How do I find a coordinate ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Curved space to flat space calculation

When changing the curved space co-ordinate into a flat space co-ordinate if a cone. I got the result transformation that i cannot get a transformation at the vertex(apex) why?
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a dual / cotangent space?

Dual spaces are home to bras in quantum mechanics; cotangent spaces are home to linear maps in the tensor formalism of general relativity. After taking courses in these two subjects, I've still never ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Dirac equation in curved space-time

I have seen the Dirac equation in curved space-time written as $$[i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\frac{\partial}{\partial x^{\mu}}-i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\Gamma_{\mu}-m]\psi=0 $$ This ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Where to read about Minkowski space [duplicate]

When I learned Special Relativity, it was taught in terms of basic linear algebra, without any mention of the Minkowski space, proper time as integration on the metric, etc. However, when I am trying ...
6
votes
1answer
730 views

Fourier Transform on a Riemannian Manifold

The question is quite simple: What would be the definition of Fourier Transform (and it's inverse) on a Riemannian Manifold? I've found that a similar question has been asked at Mathematics.SE but ...
3
votes
2answers
286 views

Differential Forms and Densities

I've heard that differential forms are related to densities, however I'm still a little confused about that. I thought on the case of charge density and I came to that: let $U\subset\mathbb{R}^3$ be a ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Newtonian Gravity on a Riemannian $3$-Manifold

To solve the Poisson equation for the Newton Potential, say $\phi$, one can use the divergence theorem, such that $$\int_U \nabla^2 \phi \sqrt{g}~ dV= \int_{\partial U} <\nabla \phi,n> ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Physical and Geometrical interpretation of Differential Forms

I have a doubt about the physical and geometrical interpretation of differential forms. I've been studying differential forms on Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds, but my real intent is to use those ...
6
votes
2answers
245 views

Are Poisson brackets of second-class constraints independent of the canonical coordinates?

Say we have a constraint system with second-class constraints $\chi_N(q,p)=0$. To define Dirac brackets we need the Poisson brackets of these constraints: $C_{NM}=\{\chi_N(q,p),\chi_M(q,p)\}_P$ . Is ...
3
votes
3answers
518 views

Polyakov action: difference induced metric and dynamical metric

The Polyakov action is given by: $$ S_p ~=~ -\frac{T}{2}\int d^2\sigma \sqrt{-g}g^{\alpha\beta}\partial_{\alpha}X^{\mu}\partial_{\beta}X^{\nu}\eta_{\mu\nu} ~=~ -\frac{T}{2}\int d^2\sigma ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Representing forces as one-forms

First of all, sorry if any of those things are silly or nonsense, I'm just trying to understand better how the concepts of forms, exterior derivative and so on can be used in physics. This question ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Constraint on a metric

Given a metric of the form $$ds^2=dr^2+a^2\tanh^2(r/b)d\theta^2$$ why does it follow that $a=b$? I can't quite spot a constraint condition...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

What is the Willmore energy of the Earth (or the geoid)?

Wikipedia defines the Willmore energy as: $$e[{\mathcal{M}}]=\frac{1}{2} \int_{\mathcal{M}} H^2\, \mathrm{d}A,$$ where $H$ stands for the mean curvature of the manifold $\mathcal{M}$. What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the second-order covariant derivative of a scalar computed?

What is second-order covariant derivative $$\nabla_i\nabla_jf(r)$$ in terms of $r,\theta, g(r)$ and partial derivative, given that the metric takes the form $$ds^2=dr^2+g(r)d\theta^2$$ and $f$ is a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Null geodesic given metric

I (desperately) need help with the following: What is the null geodesic for the space time $$ds^2=-x^2 dt^2 +dx^2?$$ I don't know how to transform a metric into a geodesic...! There is no need to ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Flat space metrics

This question concerns the metric of a flat space: $$ds^2=dr^2+cr^2\,\,d\theta^2$$ where $c$ is a constant. Why is it necessary to set $c=1$ to avoid singularities and to restrict $r\ge 0$? Thanks.
1
vote
1answer
333 views

Interpreting Vector fields as Derivations on Physics

I have a subtle doubt about the physical interpretation of the mathematical definition of vector field as a derivation. In basic physics we understand a vector quantity as a quantity that needs more ...
9
votes
2answers
580 views

Does Kaluza-Klein Theory Require an Additional Scalar Field?

I've seen the Kaluza-Klein metric presented in two different ways., cf. Refs. 1 and 2. In one, there is a constant as well as an additional scalar field introduced: $$\tilde{g}_{AB}=\begin{pmatrix} ...
0
votes
0answers
87 views

Is there a book that discusses General Relativity in terms of Modern Differential Geometry? [duplicate]

All of the physics books that I've seen which discuss General Relativity do so in terms of coordinates - the tensor calculus - even though the naturally relevant entities are invariant under general ...
3
votes
2answers
823 views

Metric coefficients in rotating coordinates

Let $(t,x,y,z)$ be the standard coordinates on $\mathbb{R}^4$ and consider the Minkowski metric $$ds^2 = -dt^2+dx^2+dy^2+dz^2.$$ I am trying to compute the metric coefficients under the change of ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

Kaluza-Klein Christoffel Symbols

I have a question regarding the connection coefficients as they pertain to the following paper: http://www.weylmann.com/kaluza.pdf . When I try to calculate the 4D Christoffel symbols from the 4D part ...
1
vote
2answers
454 views

What is the Riemann curvature tensor contracted with the metric tensor?

Can the Ricci curvature tensor be obtained by a 'double contraction' of the Riemann curvature tensor? For example $R_{\mu\nu}=g^{\sigma\rho}R_{\sigma\mu\rho\nu}$.
5
votes
1answer
325 views

Do partial derivatives commute on tensors?

Do partial derivatives commute on tensors? For example, is $$\partial_{\rho}\partial_{\sigma}h_{\mu\nu} - \partial_{\sigma}\partial_{\rho}h_{\mu\nu}=0$$ correct?
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Help with the understanding of boundary conditions on $AdS_3$

So I am trying to reproduce results in this article, precisely the 3rd chapter 'Virasoro algebra for AdS$_3$'. I have the metric in this form: ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Physical significance of Killing vector field along geodesic

Let us denote by $X^i=(1,\vec 0)$ the Killing vector field and by $u^i(s)$ a tangent vector field of a geodesic, where $s$ is some affine parameter. What physical significance do the scalar quantity ...
3
votes
1answer
582 views

Can one raise indices on covariant derivative and products thereof?

Can the following be true? $g^{\sigma\rho}\nabla_{\rho}\nabla_{\mu} = \nabla^{\sigma}\nabla_{\mu}$ $g^{\sigma\rho}\nabla_{\nu}\nabla_{\sigma} = \nabla_{\nu}\nabla^{\rho}$ ...
1
vote
1answer
424 views

Covariant derivative with upper index

I just need clarification, that is, to see that I'm doing the right thing. When calculating central charge for certain metric, I need to solve an integral that contains Lie brackets etc. And I have ...
6
votes
1answer
716 views

Difference between $\partial$ and $\nabla$ in general relativity

I read a lot in Road to Reality, so I think I might use some general relativity terms where I should only special ones. In our lectures we just had $\partial_\mu$ which would have the plain partial ...
6
votes
1answer
427 views

Diffeomorphisms and boundary conditions

I am trying to find out how did the authors in this paper (arXiv:0809.4266) found out the general form of the diffeomorphism which preserve the boundary conditions in the same paper. I found this ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

Expectation of 2-form field $B_{MN}$ in string theory

In the context of string theory, in particular when we are dealing with a low energy effective action, if we have an effective action of the form, $$S_{\mathrm{eff}} \sim S^{(0)} + \alpha S^{(1)} + ...
2
votes
1answer
247 views

Killing Vectors of BTZ black hole and their calculation in general

I was wondering what are the Killing vectors of BTZ black hole and how to guess them easily? Will it be the same as of AdS? What then will be Killing vectors for AdS-Schwarzschild e.g.?
0
votes
1answer
369 views

How to find the intrinsic covariant derivative component?

How to find the intrinsic covariant derivative component? In general relativity the elements of the acceleration four-vector are related to the elements of the four-velocity through a covariant ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is the covariant derivative of the metric tensor zero?

I've consulted several books for the explanation of why $$\nabla _{\mu}g_{\alpha \beta} = 0,$$ and hence derive the relation between metric tensor and affine connection $\Gamma ^{\sigma}_{\mu ...
7
votes
2answers
622 views

Geometrical interpretation of the Dirac equation

Is there an intuitive geometrical picture behind the Dirac equation, and the gamma matrices that it uses? I know the geometric algebra is a Clifford algebra. Can the properties of geometric algebra, ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

Is there a nice way to write Navier-Stokes equations in exterior calculus

I'm considering to study some high-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations. One problem is to do write the viscous equation for vorticity, helicity and other conserved quantities. I think it might be ...
8
votes
1answer
893 views

Diffeomorphisms, Isometries And General Relativity

Apologies if this question is too naive, but it strikes at the heart of something that's been bothering me for a while. Under a diffeomorphism $\phi$ we can push forward an arbitrary tensor field $F$ ...