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

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Why is the cosmological constant a scalar?

Maybe my understanding is just off, but the cosmological constant is just a scalar, right? What are it's units? Why a scalar? - was a tensor 'cosmological constant' ever considered or is it just not ...
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453 views

Is there a physical interpretation of a tensor as a vector with additional qualities?

What is a tensor? has been asked before, with the most highly up-voted answer defining a tensor of rank $k$ as a vector of a tensor of rank $k-1$. But if a scalar is defined as a physical quantity ...
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56 views

Quantum phase space

Classical phase space is defined as a space in which all possible states are represented. Every state corresponds to a unique point in the phase space. On the other hand, in quantum mechanics every ...
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3answers
158 views

What is the evidence of interpreting $g_{\mu\nu}$ as the metric of space-time?

I think if we don't mention the meaning of $g_{\mu\nu}$ as the metric of space-time, we can still construct the equation of motion and Einstein field equation in a way such that $g_{\mu\nu}$ is just a ...
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Feynman's statement of the Einstein Field Equations

In Feynman's Lectures on Physics (Volume 2, chapter 42) he states that Einstein's field equation is equivalent to the statement that in any local inertial coordinate system the scalar curvature of ...
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Is Differential Geometry used in Solid State?

I'm an undergraduate in physics interested in a career in solid state. While I know that any additional math is helpful--I am on time constraints, and can only take a few supplemental classes. That ...
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107 views

Is there any use for non-orthogonal frames? [closed]

In regular three dimensional space we always limit ourselves to Cartesian (i. e. orthonormal) frames. This has lots of advantages: dot products are easy, no need to distinguish between vectors and ...
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52 views

Hodge dual and the Moyal bracket? Any link? [closed]

I have already asked this on the mathematics Stack exchange but I thought I'd try it here too! The Hodge star operator $\star$ is a linear map between $\bigwedge ^pV$ and $\bigwedge ^{n-p}V$ for an ...
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2answers
89 views

Curved space-time VS change of coordinates in Minkowski space

I'm looking for a rather intuitive explanation (or some references) of the difference between the metric of a curved space-time and the metric of non-inertial frames. Consider an inertial reference ...
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2answers
255 views

Examples of applications of real-valued closed 1-forms in physics [closed]

Closed 1-forms are well-studied in foliation topology, algebraic geometry, and theory of manifolds. What are examples of their most typical or most interesting applications in physics? I do not mean ...
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1answer
45 views

Why can you treat coordinates as vector in flat spacetime?

In a manifold there is a distinction between points and vectors, but in flat spacetime this seems to disappear. For example in Minkowski spacetime you can define a coordinate 4-vector ...
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1answer
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Proof of the relation $d^4 \xi = \sqrt{|g|} \,\, d^4x$ switching between local and non-inertial coordinates

Denoting with $d\xi^m$ and $dx^\mu$ respectively flat and non-inertial coordinates, we have the following relation between the volume elements in the two coordinate systems: $$ d^4 \xi = \sqrt{|\det ...
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1answer
94 views

Physical visualisation of curvature

I was wondering-how do you visualise curvature in the context of general relativity. The gravity well and trampoline analogies are quite wrong, so I want a more realistic approach to it (say, the way ...
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1answer
57 views

Spacetime Metrics and Quantifying Length of a Spacetime Curve

On page 247 in Gravitation by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler, they state: "No metric means no way to quantify length; nevertheless, parallel transport gives a way to compare length!" Three questions: ...
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1answer
41 views

How can we see that the Riemann curvature tensor is covariant?

The Riemann curvature tensor, using the conventions of wikipedia, is written in terms of Christoffel symbols as: $$ \tag{1} R^\lambda_{\,\,\mu \nu \rho} = \partial_\nu \Gamma^\lambda_{\,\,\rho \mu} - ...
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60 views

Kleppner derivation of Lorentz transformation

I am reading Kleppner.(Lorentz transformations) He said,we take the most general transformation relating the coordinates of a given event in the two systems to be of the form $$x'=Ax +Bt, y'=y, z'=z, ...
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151 views

Is a local Lorentz frame a coordinate chart on a spacetime manifold?

I am just starting to learn GR. I'm alternating between studying physics books and studying math books. I keep seeing the term Lorentz frame and I'm not sure what it means mathematically. Is a ...
2
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3answers
286 views

If gravitation is due to space-time curvature, how can a body free-fall in a straight line?

According to general relativity, Gravity is due to space-time curvature. Then all paths must be curved. If so, how can there be any straight line motion? The body must follow a curved path. So, there ...
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1answer
82 views

Can a spacetime solution in GR have no Killing vector fields?

Sometimes Killing vector fields in a given spacetime are described as giving information about a symmetry of that particular spacetime solution. If I look at the requirement of a Killing vector field ...
3
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87 views

Time functions in general relativity

In my general relativity notes a function $f$ is called time function, if $\nabla f$ is time-like past-pointing. Say that we are in Schwarzschild spacetime and I want to check if $f=t$ is a time ...
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1answer
57 views

Norm of summation of vectors

If we have a vector $\partial_v$ and we want o find its norm, we easily say (According to the given metric) that the norm of that vector is:$ g^{vv}\partial_v\partial_v$. My question what if we have ...
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1answer
58 views

Do the concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic curvatures imply that all spaces are embedded in a higher dimensional space?

The concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic curvature seem to imply that all spaces must be embedded in a higher dimensional space? What does this imply for physical reality?
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1answer
103 views

Conformal Killing fields on Schwarzschild

I am trying to understand which are the conformal Killing Fields on the Schwarzschild spacetime. I say that $X$ is a conformal Killing field on $S$ ($S$ is Schwarzschild) if there exists a function ...
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2answers
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Akin to gauge field, why GR's lagrangian is not $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$? What's the mathematical or physical meaning of $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$?

For gauge field theory, the Lagrangian of the gauge field is $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}\mathrm{tr}(\mathcal{F}_{\mu\nu}\mathcal{F}^{\mu\nu})=-\frac{1}{8}F_{a\ \mu\nu}F^{a \ \mu\nu}$$ The field ...
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1answer
67 views

Why do we need frame-fields to describe fermions in SUGRA?

I'm learning about the frame formalism and read that to couple fermions to gravity you need to go to the frame-formalism. As a motivation to learn more about frame-fields would someone sketch me why ...
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How does covariant derivative act on Christoffel Symbols?

the question is how the covariant derivative acts on the following? $\nabla_\nu(\Gamma^\alpha_{\mu\lambda}R^{\beta\lambda})=?$ and ...
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34 views

Euclidean AdS space in Poincaré coordinates

I have read anti-de Sitter (AdS) space and its Euclidean version both in Global and Poincaré coordinates. For Lorentzian case it is clear how one Poincaré patch cover only one half of the whole AdS ...
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2answers
158 views

From affine space to a manifold?

One of the several definitions of an affine space goes like this. Let $M$ be an arbitrary set whose elements are called points, let $\mathcal{V}$ be a vector space of dimension $n$, and let ...
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Maps on manifolds

I am reading the SUPERGRAVITY textbook of Freedman and Van Proyen. I am reading that in the sphere we can introduce two patches that their union covers the whole sphere. Ok, I understand why we need ...
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58 views

Coordinate Symbol confusion in general relativity

In a previous post (Finding the metric tensor from the Einstein field equation?), the equation used lambda, rho mu and nu (not sure of the names of the letters!) for the Ricci tensor and swapped to a, ...
2
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2answers
128 views

Geometric interpretation of $\vec v \cdot \operatorname{curl} \vec v = 0$

In this Math.SE question, I asked a question to which I was hoping to get a simple intuitive answer. Instead I received an otherwise perfectly correct but very mathematical one. Obviously, the words ...
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0answers
71 views

Manifold for Schwarzschild and Bertotti-Robinson

In short: what is the manifold in discussion for Schwarzschild metric $$ ds^2 = -(1-\frac {2M}r)dt^2 + \frac1{1-\frac{2M}r} dr^2 + r^2 (d\theta^2 + \sin^2 \theta d\phi^2)$$ and Bertotti-Robinson ...
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1answer
59 views

Integration and Differentiation of Proper Time

My question concerns the general relativity setting. Integration: Proper time is defined by $$\tau = \int_P\sqrt{g_{\mu\nu}dx^\mu dx^\nu}$$ but happens when $g_{\mu\nu}\neq 0$ for $\mu\neq \nu$ ? For ...
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Is the metric-induced topology relevant at all in a (psuedo) Riemannian manifold? [duplicate]

A (pseudo) Riemannian manifold is a tuple: $$(M,g)$$ where $M$ is a smooth manifold (in particular, a topological space with an atlas) and $g$ is a (pseudo) Riemannian metric tensor. It is apparent ...
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0answers
65 views

Free fall coordinates/Fermi (normal) coordinates

It makes sense intuitively given the equivalent principle, and I've seen many times it stated, that for a free fall (geodesic) path in an arbitrary spacetime, we can choose our coordinate system to ...
2
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3answers
301 views

Magnetic monopole and vector potential

Does anyone know how to prove (in a simple way if possible) that it is impossible to define a single-valued globally defined magnetic vector potential $\vec{A}$ on the manifold ...
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0answers
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Can some components of metric be Finslerian while the others be Riemannian?

A Finsler metric reduces to a Riemann metric in case it loses its dependence on velocities. Now, my question is this: Can we have a Finsler metric in which some components of the metric have velocity ...
4
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1answer
92 views

field solutions for covariant derivative of vector field constrained to zero

Question: What do the solutions of $\nabla_\mu A^\nu = 0 $ look like? And is it possible for spacetime curvature to somehow restrict the solution to $A^\nu = 0$? Here is my current ...
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0answers
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Intuition behind $U(1)$-gauge model of Electrodynamics in a general spacetime

As the article Electrodynamics in general spacetime greatly explains, the $U(1)$-gauge theory is a good base for working in non-simply connected spaces. But I wonder whether there is a deep reason to ...
2
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1answer
83 views

The relationship between the structure of spacetime and the existence of spinor field?

We all know that the existence of spinor fields implies that spacetime must be time-orientable. Thus that spacetime is time-orientable is a necessary condition for existence of spinor fields. Geroch, ...
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Geodesic Equation from variation: Is the squared lagrangian equivalent?

It is well known that geodesics on some manifold $M$, covered by some coordinates ${x_\mu}$, say with a Riemannian metric can be obtained by an action principle . Let $C$ be curve $\mathbb{R} \to M$, ...
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1answer
72 views

Why do derivatives act on vector fields on a worldsheet?

The covariant derivative of a vector $A^{\mu}$ at a point $x$ is defined as $$D_z A^{\mu}=\partial_zA^{\mu}+\Gamma^{\mu}_{\rho\sigma}(x)\partial_{z}x^{\rho}A^{\sigma}$$ where Greek symbols are ...
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3answers
82 views

All geodesics are inextendable?

I think the title is true, because geodesics has a tangent vector with a constant length parametrized by an affine parameter. Probably, it is easier to think about timelike or spacelike geodesics. ...
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69 views

Covariant Derivative Chain rule?

I want to prove that a covariant derivative of a vector $A^{\mu}(x(z))$ at the point $x(z)$ in general would be defined as $$D_z ...
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2answers
78 views

Proper time in general relativity

For general relativity, Wald's GR states that timelike curves, with the norm $g_{ab}T^{a}T^{b} < 0$, can be parameterized by the "proper time" $$\tau = \int (-g_{ab}T^{a}T^{b})^{1/2} dt.$$ This ...
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(Scalar) Ricci flatness of a metric

What is the physical meaning to vanishing Ricci scalar $R=0$ of a metric in general relativity? Note that this is not the same questions as the geometric meaning of $R_{\mu\nu}=0$ which has been asked ...
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2answers
132 views

Derivation of the Riemann tensor confusion

I'm trying to understand the derivation of the Riemann curvature tensor as given in Foster and Nightingale's A Short Course In General Relativity, p. 102. They start by giving the covariant derivative ...
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0answers
44 views

Background field expansion in normal coordinates

Background field expansion following form $Y= X+\pi$ where $X$ is my background field and $\pi$ is the fluctuation. From the Normal coordinates we have the expansion of $\pi^{\mu} = ...
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1answer
63 views

Is this covariant derivative identity true?

Trying to work through a textbook derivation of the geodesic deviation equation, I've calculated this identity:$$u_{;\beta}^{\alpha}u_{\alpha}=u_{\alpha;\beta}u^{\alpha}.$$ If this is true, I'm ...
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Examples of warped product manifolds?

Bishop and O'Neil defined warped product manifolds. Space-times are good examples of such warped product manifolds. Is there a famous and important example of space-times $I×M$ where $M$ is itself a ...