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

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E&M and geometry - a historical perspective

Recently, I was contemplating the beautiful formulation of electromagnetism (specifically Maxwell's equations) in terms of differential forms: $$F=\mathrm{d} A\implies \mathrm{d}F=0 ...
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1answer
72 views

The Einstein-Hilbert Action On-Shell

If one consider the Maxwell action as $$S=-\int \mathrm{d^{4}}x\! \ \frac{1}{4}F_{ab}F^{ab} \,$$ one find the usual Maxwell equation $$\partial_{a}F^{ab}=0$$ Then one can simply arrive the following ...
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3answers
173 views

Global vs. local gauge group in mathematical sense - physics examples?

Upon reading about the principal bundle picture of (quantum) field theory I encountered two different definitions of the gauge group: Local gauge group $G$. Corresponds to the fibers of the ...
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4answers
182 views

What makes a coordinate curved?

Bear with me while I try to explain exactly what the question is. The question Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration? is imagining a coordinate system in which the curvature is ...
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22 views

Angular diameter distance in an inhomogeneous universe?

Computing the angular diameter distance $D_{A}$ is a well known academic exercise in an homogeneous Universe. But now suppose that we are in an inhomogeneous Universe and that I am interested in ...
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60 views

Asymtotically flat spacetime applicable for spacetimes which are not diffeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^4$

I wanted to investigate changes on a compact 4-manifold $M$. More specifically it is the K3-surface. I follow a paper by Asselmeyer-Maluga from 2012. The idea there was to make sure that the manifold ...
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1answer
52 views

Duality in arbitrary finite dimension using the Levi-Civita tensor

In 4-D flat metric E&M context, given a rank $p$ tensor, one can construct dual of $4-p$ rank tensor by Levi-Civita tensor. Here dual is not in the same sense of mathematical dual. I do not know ...
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41 views

Sign convention with the $AdS$ metric

One would say that $AdS_n$ satisfies the equations for the scalar curvature (R) and Ricci tensor ($R_{\mu \nu}$), $R = - \frac{n(n-1)}{L^2}$ and $R_{ab} = - \frac{n-1}{L^2}g_{ab}$. But do the signs ...
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49 views

Scalar product of torsional forms - how are the standard identities modified?

It is known that for any smooth, orientable, compact manifold $X$ without boundary and $\alpha \in \Omega^{r}(X), \beta \in \Omega^{r-1}(X)$ it holds \begin{equation} (d\beta,\alpha)= (\beta, ...
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51 views

Why is the Taub-NUT instanton singular at $\theta=\pi$?

Consider the following metric $$ds^2=V(dx+4m(1-\cos\theta)d\phi)^2+\frac{1}{V}(dr+r^2d\theta^2+r^2\sin^2\theta{}d\phi^2),$$ where $$V=1+\frac{4m}{r}.$$ That is the Taub-NUT instanton. I have been ...
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1answer
86 views

Second fundamental form

How do I calculate the integral of the trace of the second fundamental form on a surface? The formula used in the Gibbons, Hawking, York paper Action integrals and partition functions in quantum ...
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481 views

Why isn't invariant notation common?

In principle, one can write quantities in a manifestly invariant - rather than covariant - fashion in e.g. special relativity. For example, rather than writing just $x^\mu$, we could write the basis ...
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153 views

Killing vectors in flat FLRW metric

I have the flat FLRW metric, $$ ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2) $$ and a geodesic $\gamma(s)=(t(s),x(s),y(s),z(s))$ with parameter $s$. Two of the Killing vectors of the metric are $ \partial_x$ ...
11
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1answer
206 views

Conformal/trace anomaly and index theorem

I am reading the chapters on characteristic classes and the index theorems in Nakahara. It is proven in the text that any chiral or gravitational anomaly $\mathcal{A}$ is given by $$\mathcal{A}=\int ...
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2answers
111 views

Why is the anti-symmetric tensor more important than symmetric tensors?

In differential geometry, the differential forms are anti-symmetric tensors. So, why is the anti-symmetric tensor like $ d x_1 \otimes dx_2 - d x_2 \otimes d x_1 $, more important than the ...
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1answer
107 views

The relationship between Lorentz Lie algebra and curvature

Here I transfered the question from the comment The relationship between spin and spinor curvature How $\mathcal{R}_{ab} = \frac{1}{4}R_{abst}\gamma^s \gamma^t$ is from $\Psi \mapsto \Psi + ...
2
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1answer
155 views

Two definitions of Riemann curvature tensor

I am relatively used to the coordinate free expression of the Riemann tensor: $$ R(X, Y)Z=\nabla_X\nabla_Y Z - \nabla_Y\nabla_X Z - \nabla_{[X, Y]} Z, $$ where $\nabla$ is the Levi-Civita connection ...
2
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2answers
158 views

Time-like Killing vector in FRW metric?

The spatially flat FRW metric in cartesian co-ordinates is given by: $$ds^2 = -dt^2 + a^2(t)(dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2)$$ As I understand it there are Killing vectors in the $x$, $y$, $z$ directions implying ...
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3answers
130 views

Why do we need a metric to define gradient?

For me, the gradient of a scalar field (say, in three dimensions) is simply (formally) $\nabla f = \left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial x}, \frac{\partial f}{\partial y},\frac{\partial f}{\partial z} ...
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1answer
82 views

How big or small is a reference frame in Relativity?

What exactly is a frame of reference? Does it have an objective existence and if so what is it? What's the size of a reference frame? Is a reference frame the same size for a stationary frame of ...
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2answers
69 views

Orthogonality in curved space/spacetime

When are two vectors orthogonal in curved spacetime? From wikipedia: "In 2-D or higher-dimensional Euclidean space, two vectors are orthogonal if and only if their dot product is zero, i.e. they ...
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1answer
114 views

How to understand the curvature of this metric?

Suppose we have the metric $ ds^2 = dr^2 + \alpha^2 d\phi^2$, where $\alpha$ is a constant, $0 \leq r \leq \infty$, $ 0 \leq \phi \leq 2 \pi$ and we identify points $\phi = 0$ with points $\phi = ...
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4answers
150 views

Difference between matrix representations of tensors and $\delta^{i}_{j}$ and $\delta_{ij}$?

My question basically is, is Kronecker delta $\delta_{ij}$ or $\delta^{i}_{j}$. Many tensor calculus books (including the one which I use) state it to be the latter, whereas I have also read many ...
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1answer
154 views

Is the scalar curvature of the Schwarzschild solution 0?

The Schwarzschild solution is meant to be a solution of the vacuum Einstein equations. That is $$R_{\mu\nu}=0.$$ So, the Ricci tensor must be null for $r>0$. Now, if the scalar curvature is ...
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Lie derivative of Dirac Delta

In the setting of general relativity, I came across a source term of the wave equation of the following form: $$ \frac{1}{\sqrt{q}}\,\delta^{(3)}(p-\gamma(t)) $$ where $p\in M$ is a point in our 4d ...
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2answers
100 views

Covariant derivative of a covariant tensor wrt superscript

Is it true that when you take the covariant derivative of a covariant tensor, do you always have to do with a subscript? What if you do it wrt a superscript?Does the first term (with the partial ...
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2answers
131 views

Why are totally antisymmetric tensors more useful than totally symmetric tensors?

In an arbitrary number of dimensions, one can naturally define two tensors, Kronecker delta and Levi-Civita epsilon tensor. However, why isn't it advantageous to define some totally symmetric tensor ...
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53 views

Geodesic Deviation between Test Particles from Gravitational Wave

I'm having trouble understanding how Carroll (Spacetime and Geometry p.296) explains the effect of a passing gravitational wave on test particles. If we have two geodesics with tangents $\vec{U}$, ...
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0answers
91 views

Calculate the Riemann tensor and Ricci tensor [closed]

Given a metric tensor $\gamma_{ij}$ (where $i, j = 1, 2, 3$; the metric tensor of 3- dimensional space is denoted by $\gamma_{ij}$ to distinguish it from the metric tensor $g_{\mu\nu}$ of ...
3
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1answer
111 views

The relationship between spin and spinor curvature

The identity, $$ -\gamma^b{\mathcal{R}}_{ab} = {\mathcal{R}}_{ab}\gamma^b = \frac{1}{2}\gamma^b R_{ab}$$ is presented in the answer to the question Dirac Equation in General Relativity. How does ...
2
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1answer
110 views

Are diffeomorphisms a proper subgroup of conformal transformations?

The title sums it pretty much. Are all diffeomorphism transformations also conformal transformations? If the answer is that they are not, what are called the set of diffeomorphisms that are not ...
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43 views

Laplacian in 4 spatial dimensions; 4th dimension warped

How can I prove the form of the Laplacian in four spatial dimensions, using the identification $y = y + 2\pi R$ for the fourth dimension and assuming the others as the usual Cartesian ones? I want to ...
8
votes
2answers
363 views

AdS Space Boundary and Geodesics

I'm new to working with AdS space and am primarily concerned with black holes. I'm just playing round with the metric for AdS$_4$ $$ds^2=-f(r)dt^2+f^{-1}(r)dr^2+r^2d\zeta^2$$ for $f(r)=r^2+m $, ...
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3answers
131 views

Integral in different coordinate systems

In Griffiths' electrodynamics book, he uses the equation, $$\nabla^2\mathbf{A}=-\mu_0 \mathbf{J},$$ to state that $$\mathbf{A}(\mathbf{r}) = ...
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4answers
1k views

Why is the space-time interval squared?

The space-time interval equation is this: $$\Delta s^2=\Delta x^2+\Delta y^2+\Delta z^2-(c\Delta t)^2$$ Where, $\Delta x, \Delta y, \Delta z$ and $\Delta t$ represent the distances along various ...
2
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0answers
93 views

Simple General Relativity Relation [closed]

Given the identity $$\nabla_a(R^{ab}-\frac{1}{2}R g^{ab})=0,$$ how do I then show that $R_{ab}=0$ implies $$\nabla_a R^a_{\space \space \space bcd}=0$$
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4answers
234 views

Where does the idea gravity=curvature of spacetime really come from?

I have been searching for quite a while but mostly found the answer: Einstein's genius. Quite unsatisfactory. I know and understand that the idea gravity=curvature of spacetime works. Furthermore I ...
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1answer
126 views

Recommendation on mathematical physics book of Symplectic geometry

I want to learn the applications of symplectic geometry in physics. Which mathematical physics textbook will have a detailed and heuristic explanation of this aspect?
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73 views

How is foliation of manifolds' theory useful in General Relativity?

I am interested on getting some hints on how Foliations Theory of Manifolds can be used fruitfully on General Relativity. I just started my Ph.D on Mathematics this semester focusing on studying ...
3
votes
3answers
118 views

Linear independence of the Covariant Derivative

What's the easiest way to show that the covariant derivative $\nabla U^{\mu}$ is linearly independent to $U^{\mu}$, which is a vector? I mean I'm assuming they are since I'm proving the second ...
2
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1answer
157 views

Stuck following derivation of geodesic equation

In the book "Reflections on Relativity" by Kevin Brown, there is a chapter called "Relatively Straight", in which he derives the geodesic equations using the Euler equation. Online version Just ...
3
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1answer
276 views

Gregory-Laflamme Instability of Black Strings and $p$-Branes

In a paper by Gregory and Laflamme (http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9301052) in 1993, it was demonstrated that black strings and $p$-branes which were solutions to certain low energy string theories were ...
5
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1answer
116 views

What is the relationship between Cyclic Coordinates and Killing Vector Fields?

My question is related to this question. There are three or four other questions on Killing Vector Fields here, however none of them that I have seen address my question. $\\$ I've been studying ...
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4answers
187 views

GR matter-free equations and Schwarzschild geometry

I am reading some lecture notes on General relativity (undergraduate level) and I do not understand a sequence of statements about the topics in the title. After stating that the for matter-free ...
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1answer
73 views

Knots and singularities

Can space-time singularities be treated as mathematical knots occurring in dimensions greater than four? I just drew an analogy with knots in one-dimensional strings. When a rubber-band is looped over ...
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1answer
73 views

What's the point of a cobasis?

I've been learning about tensor analysis, and things have been going well so far, but I'm a bit stuck when it comes to the idea of a cobasis (by which I mean the reciprocal basis; not sure which term ...
3
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1answer
116 views

Taylor expansion of the metric

Consider a coordinate change $$ x^a\mapsto \tilde x^a=x^a+\epsilon y^a $$ In the note I am reading, the author calculate the change of metric by $$ g_{ab}(x) = \tilde g_{ab}(\tilde x)=\tilde ...
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2answers
247 views

Confusion about Lie derivative on metric

According to this site, the Lie derivative of a $(0,2)$-tensor is $$ \mathcal{L}_XT_{ab}=\partial_XT_{ab}+T_{cb}\partial_aX^c+T_{ac}\partial_bX^c $$ However, according the same website, the Lie ...
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0answers
48 views

What is the Levi--Civita connection of a Wick rotated metric?

A Wick rotation is a transformation that allows to change from a Lorentzian manifold to a Riemaniann manifold. In the cases when this is possible, is the Levi-Civita connection of the Riemaniann ...
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74 views

About the proof of the second Bianchi Identity

The second Bianchi Identity is $$ \nabla_{[a}R_{bc]de}=0 $$ As far as I know, the proof (say, Walfram Mathword) start by stating the representation of Riemann tensor in local inertial coordinates $$ ...