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

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Path integral measure and symmetry

For a generic field theory the path integral measure is defined as, \begin{equation} \mathcal{D}\Phi = \prod_i d\Phi(x_i), \end{equation} where $\Phi$ is a generic field (i.e. it may be scalar, ...
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2answers
770 views

Covariant derivative of connection coefficients

Is there a meaningful way to define the covariant derivative of the connection coefficients, $\Gamma^a_{bc}$? As in, does it make sense to define the object $\nabla_d\Gamma^a_{bc}$? Since the ...
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3answers
7k views

Why does light always travel in a straight line?

No matter the frame light is in, it always moves in a straight line in that frame. Why is that? It doesn't seem like something to me that should necessarily be true. If some one runs forward and sends ...
3
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2answers
291 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 ...
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1answer
430 views

Deriving the transformation under Weyl rescaling in Polchinski eq. (1.2.31)

I have another question in Polchinski's string theory book volume 1, namely how to derive Eq. (1.2.32)? $$(-\gamma')^{1/2} R'=(-\gamma)^{1/2} (R-2 \nabla^2 \omega) \tag{1.2.32}$$ I have awared his ...
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88 views

Preservation of a scalar along geodesic trajectory

Let $u^\mu$ be the velocity of a particle , and $\xi^\mu$ be a killing vector. would taking a contravariant derivative of to scalar product $\xi_\mu u^\mu$ , and showing that it equals to 0 shows that ...
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0answers
100 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 = ...
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3answers
762 views

Equation of motion of a photon in a given metric

I have this metric: $$ds^2=-dt^2+e^tdx^2$$ and I want to find the equation of motion (of x). for that i thought I have two options: using E.L. with the Lagrangian: $L=-\dot t ^2+e^t\dot x ^2 $. ...
6
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1answer
283 views

Einstein action as a functional of the tetrad (first order formulation of gravity)

Let the Einstein-Hilbert action be rewritten as a functional of the tetrad $e$ (units shall be set to $1$) such that $S_{EH}(e)=\int \frac{1}{2}\epsilon_{IJKL}~e^I\wedge e^J\wedge F^{KL}(\omega(e))$, ...
4
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279 views

What are endomorphism bundle valued $p$-forms and exterior covariant derivatives and their use in Chern-Simons theory?

Chern-Simons Forms appears in several places in physics for examples, Fractional Quantum Hall Effect, response of Topological Insulator, invariant of knot, electromagnetism in 2+1 space-time, ...
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2answers
92 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 ...
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614 views

Orthochronous Lorentz transformations are time-preserving and $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$

Let's consider the psuedosphere/hyperboloid in $\mathbb{R}^{1,2}$ given by $$x^2+y^2-z^2=-R^2.$$ We know that the Lorentz group $$O(1,2)=\{ A \in Mat(3,\mathbb{R}): A^tGA=G \},$$ where ...
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2answers
498 views

Triple-right triangle experiment: what's the minimum distance?

Among the other ways, one way to prove the Earth is round is the triple-right triangle. The idea is simple: Starting from point A you move in a straight line for a certain distance. At point B, ...
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1answer
459 views

Finding the Basis vectors of a Killing field vector space

I have solved the Killing vector equations for a 2-sphere and got the following answer. $A,B,C$ are three integration constants as expected. $$\xi_{\theta}=A \sin{\phi}+B\cos{\phi}$$ ...
2
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1answer
150 views

From Euler-Lagrange equation to non affine geodesic equation

I have some problems to demonstrate the non affine geodesic equation from Euler-Lagrange's equations. I start defining the Lagrangian $L=\sqrt f$, but then I'm not able to find the Christoffel ...
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1answer
183 views

How can I express the Riemann tensor of the 4-metric in terms of quantities derived from the 3-metric and the normal to it?

I want an expression for the Riemann tensor of the four metric in terms of extrinsic curvature, normal, lie derivative of the normal, etc. The first Einstein-Codacci eq. gives the Riemann tensor of ...
4
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1answer
97 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 ...
6
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2answers
251 views

What's the basic premise of General Relativity?

What is the basic assumption(s) required to explore general relativity? For example, if one merely assumes that the speed of light $c$ is the same for all observers, and the laws of physics are the ...
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1answer
277 views

Curvature tensor of 2-sphere using exterior differential forms (tetrads)

$ds^2= r^2 (d\theta^2 + \sin^2{\theta}d\phi^2)$ The following is the tetrad basis $e^{\theta}=r d{\theta} \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, e^{\phi}=r \sin{\theta} d{\phi}$ Hence, $de^{\theta}=0 ...
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1answer
753 views

Problem with calculating the curvature tensor of the $n$ dimensional sphere

I am calculating the Riemann curvature tensor, Ricci curvature tensor, and Ricci scalar of the $n$ sphere $$x_0^2 + x_1^2 + ....+x_n^2=R^2,$$ whose metric is $$ds^2=R^2(d\phi_1^2 + \sin{\phi_1}^2 ...
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1answer
284 views

Vector analysis in curvilinear coordinates using the metric tensor

In Weinberg's Gravitation, the formula for the volume element in curviliniar coordinates is given by $$dV=h_1 h_2 h_3 dx^1 dx^2 dx^3.$$ The metric is given by $ds^2=h_1^2 dx_1^2+h_2^2 ...
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372 views

Trouble with calculating Christoffel symbols of FLRW metric using Lagrangian method

The FLRW metric which I am using is $$ds^2 = dt^2 - \frac{a(t)^2}{c^2} \left( dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2 \right)$$ where $a(t)$ is the so-called 'scale factor'. I did not want to calculate the Christoffel ...
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1answer
137 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 ...
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2answers
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Can anyone please explain Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems and geodesic incompleteness?

Can anyone please explain Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems and geodesic incompleteness? In easy to understand plain English please.
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1answer
257 views

Ricci tensor of the orthogonal space

While reading this article I got stuck with Eq.$(54)$. I've been trying to derive it but I can't get their result. I believe my problem is in understanding their hints. They say that they get the ...
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1answer
270 views

Center of mass of a body on an incline

I am trying to reproduce a calculation by Carre et al. (1995) in which they calculate the shape of a droplet on an incline. My issue is in the derivation of the potential energy (essentially the ...
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2answers
401 views

Tensor equations in General Relativity

In the context of general relativity it is often stated that one of the main purposes of tensors is that of making equations frame-independent. Question: why is this true? I'm looking for a ...
9
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6answers
875 views

In coordinate-free relativity, how do we define a vector?

Relativity can be developed without coordinates: Laurent 1994 (SR), Winitzski 2007 (GR). I would normally define a vector by its transformation properties: it's something whose components change ...
2
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1answer
188 views

Derivation of Weyl tensor

I want to derive the Weyl tensor along the lines of this derivation, but I am unable to complete it. (I am only interested in $4$ dimension for now.) Every contraction I perform gives either $0=R + 3 ...
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2answers
190 views

5D Ricci Curvature

As part of a hw problem for a class, we're supposed to be deriving the equivalence given in equation 2.3 of this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.5563. I was wondering if there is some special ...
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1answer
141 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}), ...
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1answer
739 views

Is there a “covariant derivative” for conformal transformation?

A primary field is defined by its behavior under a conformal transformation $x\rightarrow x'(x)$: $$\phi(x)\rightarrow\phi'(x')=\left|\frac{\partial x'}{\partial x}\right|^{-h}\phi(x)$$ It's fairly ...
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votes
2answers
676 views

Geodesic equations

I am having trouble understanding how the following statement (taken from some old notes) is true: For a 2 dimensional space such that $$ds^2=\frac{1}{u^2}(-du^2+dv^2)$$ the timelike geodesics ...
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Curvature and spacetime

Suppose that it is given that the Riemann curvature tensor in a special kind of spacetime of dimension $d\geq2$ can be written as $$R_{abcd}=k(x^a)(g_{ac}g_{bd}-g_{ad}g_{bc})$$ where $x^a$ is a ...
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1answer
203 views

Evaluating the Ricci tensor effectively

If given a metric of the form $$ds^2=\alpha^2(dr^2+r^2d\theta^2)$$ where $\alpha=\alpha(r)$, then can one immediately conclude that $$R_{\theta\theta}=r^2R_{rr}$$ where $R_{ab}$ is the Ricci tensor, ...
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1answer
732 views

Derivation of the volume element (which uses the metric tensor)?

I have often seen $\sqrt{-g}$ in integrals, especially actions, where $g=\mathrm{det}(g_{\mu \nu})$. Does anyone know of a derivation that shows that this is indeed the volume element which must be ...
2
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1answer
268 views

Parallel transport of a vector along a closed curve in curvilinear coordinates

There is an expression indicating the change of the vector parallel translation along a closed infinitesimal curve in curvilinear coordinates (one way of introducing curvature tensor): $$ \Delta A_{k} ...
3
votes
1answer
421 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 (-+++) ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

“WLOG” re Schwarzschild geodesics

Why, when studying geodesics in the Schwarzschild metric, one can WLOG set $$\theta=\frac{\pi}{2}$$ to be equatorial? I assume it is so because when digging around the internet, most references seem ...
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0answers
210 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
2answers
563 views

Ricci tensor for a 3-sphere without Math packets

Let's have the metric for a 3-sphere: $$ dl^{2} = R^{2}\left(d\psi ^{2} + sin^{2}(\psi )(d \theta ^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta ) d \varphi^{2})\right). $$ I tried to calculate Riemann or Ricci tensor's ...
6
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2answers
584 views

First and second fundamental forms

I'm writing notes about the 3+1 formalism in general relativity, for myself. Inevitably I came across the notions of first and second fundamental forms. Mathematically, it is clear how these objects ...
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1answer
783 views

Contraction of the metric tensor

This is perhaps a simple tensor calculus problem -- but I just can't see why... I have notes (in GR) that contains a proof of the statement In space of constant sectional curvature, $K$ is ...
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2answers
403 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 ...
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2answers
455 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 ...
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3answers
219 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 ...
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0answers
201 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, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
120 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, ...
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2answers
175 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 ...