# Tagged Questions

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

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### Why do we need connections, if we have the Lie derivative?

When I learned about the covariant derivative, it was motivated as a way of defining a good differentiation operation on tensors. To do this, we had to define a connection on the manifold, which was a ...
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### What do we exactly mean by a “topological object” in physics?

I have been working on topological defects like monopoles, etc. for some time. One think that I have not been able to understand is the physical meaning of the phrase "topological object". I have ...
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### Extrinsic curvature components

I'm trying to understand how to derive the extrinsic curvature (in order to understand some calculation on fluid/gravity dynamics). But I hit a wall in my progress. I stuck at trying to verify the ...
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### How do we measure Schwarzschild coordinates?

In special relativity, we make a big fuss about setting up inertial frames of reference, and then constructing coordinate systems using networks of clocks and rulers. This gives an unambiguous ...
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### A question regarding $f(R)$ Lagrangians

Consider the class of Lagrangian known as $f(R)$ Lagrangians where the Lagrangian is some function $f(R)$, $$S=\int\sqrt{g}d^4x\ f(R)$$ assuming there are no (or ignoring)...
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### Complex tetrad vs. Real metric

I asked this question almost a month ago on mathoverflow (http://mathoverflow.net/q/228138/) but received no response. I thought I could have better luck here: I have a question on the relationship ...
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### Is it possible to integrate a function over a null hypersurface?

For $f$ a compactly supported function on a spacetime $(\mathcal{M},g)$, one may define its integral over $\mathcal{M}$ by $$f\longmapsto \int_\mathcal{M}\star f,$$ where $\star$ is the Hodge star of ...
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### How do you know what kind of space(time) you have when solving the Einstein Field Equations?

I'm experimenting with the EFE, and I ''invented'' a metric; a diagonal non-zero metric, and I discovered that the Riemann tensors are equal to zero which implies the Einstein tensor $G_{mn}$ equals ...
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### Physical meaning of the Morse functions? [closed]

What is the physical correspondence of the Morse functions in a physical system? Currently I am studying Mirror symmetry but I can not get a physical intuition out of it.
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### Why only gauge transformations in electromagnetism?

first of all, I need to say that I'm a mathematician, so this question may sound a little stupid. Keeping this is mind, please, try to use coordinate-free notations. Along this question, I will use ...
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### Stokes theorem in Lorentzian manifolds

I've fallen accross the following curious property (in p.10 of these lectures): in order to be able to apply Stokes theorem in Lorentzian manifolds, we must take normals to the boundary of the volume ...
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### Geometric derivation of quantum mechanics from Lagrangian mechanics

I have used classical Lagrangian mechanics for quite a while, and what I like about it is that everything can be derived from a very small number of geometric principles. There are just three things ...
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### Why is the Ricci tensor defined as $R^\mu _{\nu \mu \sigma}$?

The Ricci tensor is defined as the contraction of the Riemann tensor in its upper and the second lower index. I was wondering why it is defined this way. What happens if the Ricci tensor is defined ...
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### Black hole singularity from collapsing light vs dust

Consider two black holes, one formed from a spherical cloud of electromagnetic radiation, and one formed from a non-interacting dust solution. The stress energy tensor is traceless for ...
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### Meaning of $R=0$, $R_{ab}=0$. $R_{abcd}=0$

First let me state some definition The Einstein tensor is given by \begin{align} G_{\mu\nu} = R_{\mu\nu} - \frac{1}{2} g_{\mu\nu} R \end{align} and note that \begin{align} G^{\mu}_{\phantom{\mu} \...
### Identity $\epsilon_{abcd} R^{cd}_{\phantom{cd}mn} = \epsilon_{mncd} R^{cd}_{\phantom{cd}ab}$ in vacuum
If $\omega_i$ are dual basis one forms corresponding to an orthonormal tetrad basis $e_i$, and given that the commutation coefficients $C_{ij}^k$ are defined by [e_i,e_j]=C_{ij}^k ...