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

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Penrose diagram (Reissner-Nordstrom metric)

I try to derive the Penrose diagram for the Reissner-Nordstrom metric $$ \text d s^2 = -\frac{(r-r_+)(r-r_-)}{r^2}\text d t^2 + \frac{r^2}{(r-r_+)(r-r_-)}\text d r^2 + r^2 \text d \Omega^2\;,\qquad ...
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31 views

Assigning an asymptotic power to the volume form?

I was reading about the covariant theory of asymptotic symmetries in this review: http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0111246 I have a question about eq. (1.8), but before I ask I should describe what the ...
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1answer
131 views

Are the Jacobi equation and the geodesic deviation equation related?

On page 111 in his book Riemannian Geometry, Manfredo Do Carmo states what he calls the Jacobi equation \begin{equation} \frac{D^2J}{dt^2} + R(\gamma'(t),J(t))\gamma'(t) = 0 \end{equation} ...
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1answer
91 views

Spin connection and covariant derivative

How to prove explicitly (i.e., to don't postulate it) that by including Lorentz indices $a$ the covariant derivative $D_{\mu}$ looks like $$ D_{\mu}A^{\nu a} = \partial_{\mu}A^{\nu a} + ...
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1answer
76 views

What does this Hodge dual symbol $\star_3$ mean?

We know that in this $$\star {f(...)}$$ the $\star$ represents the Hodge dual. But in this: $\star_3 f(...)$ what does specifically the $\star_3$ symbol mean?
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2answers
134 views

Properties of Hodge Duality

So we know that Hodge duality works this way $$⋆(dx^i_1 \wedge ... \wedge dx^i_p)= \frac{1}{(n-p)!} \epsilon^{i_1..i_p}_{i_{p+1}..i_n} dx^{i_{p+1} } \wedge dx^{i_n}$$ where $p$ represents the $p$ in ...
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671 views

Can a metric in General Relativity, Supergravity, String Theory, etc., be asymmetric?

Why is it that all problems I encountered until now have metrics that when represented in a matrix form turn out to be symmetric? Aren't there asymmetric matrices representing some metrics?
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56 views

Duality and 1 forms

If a Killing vector is equal to: $$X= -\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\partial _t + \frac{\alpha}{\sqrt{2}}\partial_1.$$ But as far as I know is that the dual of a vector is a 1-form, so can I represent that ...
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3answers
114 views

If a Killing vector field is timelike, can it be set to $\partial/\partial t$?

If one has a Killing vector that turned out to be a timelike Killing vector field because of negative norm. Can we set this Killing vector field equal to $\partial/\partial t$?
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157 views

Is $ds^2$ just a number or is it actually a quantity squared?

I originally thought $ds^2$ was the square of some number we call the spacetime interval. I thought this because Taylor and Wheeler treat it like the square of a quantity in their book Spacetime ...
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1answer
118 views

What is the covariant basis around a Schwarzschild black hole?

First of all, I'm not interested in time for this question. So lets consider a 3-manifold whose metric is the spatial part of the Schwarzschild metric, so it has the event horizon and the singularity ...
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1answer
77 views

components of mixed tensor with same indices

If my tensor $a^{\mu\nu}=$ matrix of 4*4 size (let's say, in 1+3 dimensions with mostly negative convention for the metric), what is $a^{\mu}_{\mu}$ ? Is it the trace or the vector of diagonal ...
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3answers
356 views

Why do the Einstein field equations (EFE) involve the Ricci curvature tensor instead of Riemann curvature tensor?

I am just starting to learn general relativity. I don't understand why we use the Ricci curvature tensor. I thought the Riemann curvature tensor contains "more information" about the curvature. Why is ...
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2answers
164 views

Metric tensor in SRT

I just read on this webpage that we have (click me) $g_{\alpha \beta} = g_{\alpha}^{\beta} = g^{\alpha \beta}.$ Now, although I understand that the first and the last one are equal, I don't think ...
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0answers
55 views

Norm of Killing vector field

Let us suppose we have a Killing vector field with $X^a = 1/2$ and $X^b = 1/3$ and $g_{ab}=1$ where the other $c$ and $d$ components are zero. Now we want to find its norm: The formula for finding ...
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1answer
68 views

Geodesic deviation

In S. Carroll Lecture Notes on General Relativity, chapter 6, pages 152-153 we have equation (6.62) $$\tag{6.62} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} S^\mu=\frac{1}{2} S^\sigma \frac{\partial^2}{\partial ...
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1answer
104 views

How to find a metric of a general observer?

Yes, that's it. How to find a particular metric of an observer in general relativity? Let's say we have a static metric: ...
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1answer
87 views

Naturalness of tensor fields in general relativity?

In the third chapter of the book The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, the authors say regarding the matter fields in general relativity: These fields will obey equations which can be expressed ...
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2answers
158 views

Locally flat coordinate and Locally inertial frame

I am having some doubts on myself regarding the above concepts in General Relativity. First, I want to point out how I understand them so far. A male observer follows a timelike worldline ($\gamma$) ...
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1answer
72 views

Can I simply find the Christoffel symbols by dividing by $g$?

Given the following equation \begin{equation} g_{\alpha\delta} \Gamma^{\delta}_{\beta\gamma} = \frac{1}{2} \left(\partial_\gamma g_{\alpha\beta} + \partial_\beta g_{\alpha\gamma} - \partial_\alpha ...
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1answer
68 views

Generalized spin connection and dreibein in higher spin gravity

I am studying 3D higher spin gravity and I would like to know the mathematical and physical meaning of generalized spin connection and generalized dreibein that appear in this theory. It is well known ...
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1answer
275 views

What kind of object is the Landau--Lifshitz pseudotensor?

I understand that it's called a pseudotensor because it's not a tensor. Wikipedia says most pseudotensors are sections of jet bundles, which are perfectly valid objects in GR. ...
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1answer
71 views

Lapse function definition

Let $t$ be a time function and $t^a$ the time flow vector such that $t^a\nabla_a t=0$. Let $\Sigma_t$ be a hypersurface of constant $t$ with unit normal $n^a$, $n^a n_a=-1$. Wald (1984), p. 255 ...
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78 views

Are there relativistic theories with spacetime modelled on $\mathbb C^4$ rather than real Minkowski space $\mathbb R^4$?

Does anybody know of references to theories where relativity & spacetime is modelled on a (complex/Kähler) manifold which is locally diffeomorphic to $\mathbb C^4$ rather than $\mathbb R^4$, hence ...
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1answer
77 views

Physical interpretation of diffeomorphism from $SO(3)$ to $\mathbb R \mathbb P^3$

I am not good at picturing either $SO(3)$ or $\mathbb R \mathbb P^3$, the latter denoting the real projective space. Can someone give me a rough physical understanding of the geometry and implication ...
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1answer
200 views

What is an “Einstein transformation” in general relativity?

When introducing the vielbein formalism in general relativity, I came across the use of an infinitesimal general transformation, or Einstein transformation. The latter term seems not to be covered on ...
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3answers
178 views

What besides the metric do you need to set up the EFEs and the geodesic equation?

One of my professors wrote on the board (1) Mass tells spacetime how to curve $\to$ Metric/Einstein Field Equations (2) Spacetime tells mass how to move $\to$ Geodesic equation Suppose I am given ...
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3answers
125 views

Is a metric tensor field the same thing as $ds² = -dt² + dx²+ dy² + dz²$?

I am having trouble understanding the nature of the metric tensor field on spacetime manifolds. In particular, a Riemannian manifold $(M,g)$ is defined as a real smooth manifold $M$ equipped with an ...
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0answers
70 views

Are Laplace Operator and mean curvature exactly the same thing for 2D function?

Let's assume we study 2D function/surface f(x,y). Then Laplace Operator is defined as: $$\nabla^2 f=\frac{\partial^2f}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2f}{\partial y^2}$$ And the mean curvature: let ...
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1answer
91 views

Geodesic equation from the proper time integral

This is something that has been bothering me for a little while. The usual procedure that I've seen is to write the proper time as the line integral $$\tau=\int_\gamma d\tau$$ along some curve ...
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2answers
190 views

Difference between the metric tensor in general relativity and the metric tensor in mathematics?

Is the metric tensor in general relativity the same as the metric tensor in maths, or is there a difference?
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105 views

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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535 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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0answers
85 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 ...
4
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3answers
164 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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2answers
350 views

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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2answers
115 views

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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3answers
113 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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73 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
142 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
274 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
50 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 ...
2
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1answer
77 views

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
110 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
70 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
56 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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0answers
86 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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2answers
200 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
381 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
117 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 ...