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

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80 views

What are Killing spinors?

What are Killing spinors? How can they be motivated? Are they directly related to Killing vectors and Killing tensors and is there an overarching motivation for all three objects? Any answer is ...
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0answers
63 views

Why are Lagrangian subspaces called 'Lagrangian'?

I am wondering what the special role of Lagrangian subspaces (or submanifolds) are in mechanics. Do these subspaces have some sort of special property for which we have some sort of `Lagrangian ...
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0answers
73 views

Equation regarding the Riemann tensor in the Cartan formalism [closed]

I have a problem verifying the following equation (in three dimensions) $$\epsilon_{abc} e^a\wedge R^{bc}=\sqrt{|g|}Rd^3 x$$ where $R$ is the Ricci scalar and $R^{bc}$ is the Ricci curvature ...
3
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1answer
82 views

Ricci curvature of embedded spacetime

If I am not mistaken, there is a theorem which states that every Riemannian manifold can be embedded in the $n$-dimensional Euclidean space for some large-enough $n$. Does it also hold for ...
2
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2answers
170 views

Momentum vector transformation

I am confused about the way momentum vector transforms in the following case: $$q_k \to q_k'= q_k + \epsilon f_k(q)$$ The Jacobian is thus $\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q'_i}{\partial q_j} \approx ...
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1answer
103 views

Derivative chain rule in a triangle, confusing but interesting problem

I asked the question in math.stackexchange. But I think it is better to ask here again. I am new to these sites. Please forgive me if it is not polite. http://math.stackexchange.com/q/921001 You can ...
2
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0answers
66 views

What is elliptic genera?

What is elliptic genera in physics? Reading many relevant papers, they just defined elliptic genus as sort of partition function. I try to find useful materials to explain it, but I couldn't find ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Mathematical books to become a successful mathematical physicists [duplicate]

My understanding of algebraic topology and Riemannian geometry come from Nakahara's Geometry, Topology, and Physics, which I do not think is sufficient. I am first year PhD student, and I want to do ...
1
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1answer
78 views

The Euler-Poincare equation

Can anyone tell me very basically how the Euler-Poincare equation generalises the Euler-Lagrange equation? Further does anyone know if there is an "easy" relationship between the two, i.e. can anyone ...
3
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1answer
170 views

Geometric mechanics - Symplecticity

I am just trying to wade through literature on classical mechanics and I really don't know where to start, everything is Fibre bundle this or manifold that, and doesn't really ease you in to the ...
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1answer
166 views

Geodesic deviation on a unit sphere

Very little interest in the original version of this question so I've rejigged it hoping for a more positive response. I'm trying to use the geodesic deviation ...
1
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0answers
32 views

Supergravity solution, metric for the total space, and connection

In supergravity solutions, one sometimes encounters the case where the manifold may be a bundle over some base space, and one has to write down the explicit metric regarding such bundle. I would like ...
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1answer
109 views

Geodesic curvature and Weyl transformations

The geodesic curvature is given by $$k=\pm t^a n_b\nabla_a t^b,$$ where $t^a$ is a unit vector tangent to the boundary of the string worldsheet and $n_a$ is an outward vector orthogonal to $t^a$. I ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Relationship between Connection and Material Derivative

Suppose $D\subset \Bbb R^3$ contains a fluid and that $f : D\times \mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}$ is a time dependent function defined on the fluid region. In that case, the material derivative is defined ...
3
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2answers
379 views

Which of these two textbook equations of geodesic deviation is correct?

My previous question Geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere - is this the right track? got shot down as “off topic”, so I'm having a second stab at it. Misner et al's Gravitation (p34) gives the geodesic ...
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0answers
133 views

Textbook disagreement on geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere

Apologies if I have this completely wrong (and for the general long-windedness). I've searched online but can't find anything helpful/relevant. I'm trying to use the geodesic equation ...
2
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0answers
66 views

If $S$ is a closed achronal set in a spacetime, any timelike curve starting at a point in $I^+[S]$ and ending at a point in $I^-[S]$ interset $S$?

Suppose $S$ is an achronal set in a spacetime $M$. And $S$ is closed. At the same time, any null geodesic of $M$ intersects $S$. Then, why does any timelike curve from $I^+[S]$ to $I^-[S]$ intersect ...
3
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1answer
95 views

Christoffel symbol

For two nearby points in General Theory of Relativity. The change in the vector components when parallel transported is given by Now, since the parallel transport change must depend on the path ...
4
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0answers
178 views

Tricks for Computing Riemann Curvature Tensor with Levi-Civita connection

I am new to differential geometry, so far it seems to me that computing the Riemann tensor tends to be a rather tedious task, I wanted to know whether there are some tricks that I am missing. In ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Definition of derivative operator on a manifold

I'm hoping to understand the motivation for certain parts of the definition of a derivative operator $\nabla$ on a manifold $M$. In Wald's General Relativity, two clauses of the definition are: ...
4
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1answer
201 views

Wick Rotation in Curved space

So over time I have learned to do exhaustive searches before asking things here. Wick rotations are cool if you are trying to work in qft and make statements about the thermodynamics of some physical ...
3
votes
4answers
126 views

What is the motivation for the definition of a manifold?

In Wald's General Relativity, an $n$-dimensional $C^{\infty}$ manifold $\mathit{M}$ is defined as a set, with subsets $\lbrace{O}_{\alpha}\rbrace$, which satisfies 3 properties. In particular, the ...
11
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3answers
371 views

Is force a contravariant vector or a covariant vector (or either)?

I don't understand whether something physical, like velocity for example, has a single correct classification as either a contravariant vector or a covariant vector. I have seen texts indicate that ...
2
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0answers
51 views

Why can any pair of master coordinates be used to calculate a nonlinear mode of a nonlinear dynamical system?

This is a question I have been asking myself for some time since the following technique is often used in the nonlinear dynamics community, but never managed to get an answer why it could be applied. ...
2
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0answers
54 views

Deformation of light-cone

In the paper The geometry of free fall and light propagation by Ehlers and his colleagues (Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 44 no. 6, pp. 1587–1609 (2012)), when the authors introduce the differentiable ...
2
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0answers
29 views

Using Polyakov-Alvarez Anomaly Formula [closed]

Take $\Sigma=\mathbb{D}$ to be the unit disk with metric $g=\frac{4}{(1+|z|^2)^2}\,|dz|^2$. If $\phi$ is a nice enough function on $\mathbb{D}$, then I want to compute $$\int_{\partial \Sigma} k_g ...
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1answer
88 views

If a point r lies in the boundary of the chronological future of another point p, why does the chronological future of r belong to that of p?

I am studying the global causality of the spacetime. Here, I come across a problem. Suppose a point $r\in \partial I^+(p)$. $I^+(p)$ is the chronological future of a different point $p$ in ...
2
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1answer
56 views

How does a spatial covariant derivative act on tensors that are not purely spatial?

I have a possibly dumb question on ADM formalism. Starting with a metric in ADM form \begin{equation} ds^2 = -N^2dt^2 + q_{ij}(dx^i + N^idt)(dx^j + N^jdt) \end{equation} where $i,j$ only run over the ...
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0answers
80 views

How to test that a flat metric represents a global three-torus geometry

When introducing Robertson-Walker metrics, Carroll's suggests that we consider our spacetime to be $R \times \Sigma$, where $R$ represents the time direction and $\Sigma$ is a maximally symmetric ...
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0answers
71 views

Riemann curvature of a unit sphere

The Riemann curvature of a unit sphere is shown in many textbooks to be sine-squared theta where theta is the azimuthal angle of spherical co-ordinates. But what is the significance of the angle and ...
-2
votes
1answer
66 views

Length in polar coordinates

Say we are in 3 dimensions and use $(-++)$. If we have the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2df^2(t),$$ then what is the third coordinate if the first two were $t$ and $r$? $$X^iX_i=-t^2+r^2+?$$
2
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3answers
166 views

Configuration manifolds and constraints

In Classical Mechanics there's this notion of configuration manifold. Although I've heard about that a lot and although I often use that concept, I'm not sure I really understand them well because ...
4
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1answer
180 views

Bondi-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) symmetry of asymptotically flat space-times

I started studying the BMS symmetry in connection with the paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.2229 and there are a few strange things I noticed. First of all, from reading the original papers by Bondi, ...
2
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0answers
87 views

Electrodynamics using exterior calculus

Can anyone suggest resource for full course of electrodynamics using exterior calculus?
7
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2answers
246 views

Does a 4-current J determine a unique maxwell-faraday F tensor up to isometry?

Maxwell's equations on a pseudo-Riemannian manifold $(M,g_{ab})$ say, $$d_a F_{bc} = \nabla_{[a}F_{bc]} = 0,$$ $$\nabla_a F^{ab} = J^b,$$ where $d_a$ is the exterior derivative, $\nabla_a$ is the ...
2
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0answers
95 views

Interesting Hamiltonian System

The definition of a Hamiltonian system I am working with is a triple $(X,\omega, H)$ where $(X,\omega)$ is a symplectic manifold and $H\in C^\infty(X)$ is the Hamiltonian function. I am wondering if ...
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0answers
59 views

Caustic and Singularities in General Relativity

What is the relation between the formation of caustics of a family of null geodesics and the existence of an incomplete null geodesic?
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2answers
81 views

Static geodesics in GR

Can we find static geodesics of the type $$x^{\nu}=x_0^{\nu}+\delta_0^{\nu}\tau$$ in some space-time other than Minkowski's?
3
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1answer
105 views

Why do we do partial and not covariant differentiation with $x^{\nu}$?

Why when taking the velocity vector we make $$u^{\nu}=\frac{d}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ and not $$u^{\nu}=\frac{\nabla}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ where in the last equation I meant the covariant derivative. Why?
4
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2answers
223 views

Can Minkowski spacetime be redefined as a non-flat riemannian manifold?

Minkowski space time is defined in terms of a flat pseudo-Riemannian manifold. I have wondered if it can be redefined as Riamannian manifold and in the case what type of curvature would there appear. ...
3
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0answers
81 views

Is the “Force” of Gravity Simply Hamilton's Principle on a Curved Spacetime?

It's my understanding that General Relativity abstracts away the concept of gravity as a force, and instead describes it as a feature of spacetime by which massive objects cause curvature. Then it ...
1
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1answer
96 views

Interpretations of (r,s) tensors [duplicate]

A tensor of type (r,s) on a vector space V is a C-valued function T on V×V×...×V×W×W×...×W (there are r V's and s W's in which W is dual space of V) which is linear in each argument. We take (0, 0) ...
1
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1answer
117 views

The commutator of Killing vectors

I'm going over an assignment for my general relativity course. My solution to the question below strikes me as too short, considering that it appeared in the "longer questions" section of the ...
23
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4answers
1k views

Is topology of universe observable?

There is an idea that the geometry of physical space is not observable(i.e. it can't be fixed by mere observation). It was introduced by H. Poincare. In brief it says that we can formulate our ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

Instantons in Witten's supersymmetry and Morse theory

I'm reading Witten's paper on supersymmetry and Morse theory and am confused about the details of the instanton calculation which he uses to define a Morse complex (beginning at page 11 of the pdf) . ...
4
votes
2answers
493 views

Metric tensor in special and general relativity

I'm having trouble understanding the metric tensor in general relativity. What I've understood so far has come from my course lecture notes used in conjunction with "The Road to Reality" by Roger ...
2
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0answers
62 views

Avoiding Pseudo-tensors when addressing global conservation of energy in GR

Discussions about global conservation of energy in GR often invoke the use of the stress-energy-momentum pseudo-tensor to offer up a sort of generalization of the concept of energy defined in a way ...
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0answers
56 views

Laplacian in tensor [closed]

Find $\vec \nabla^2\phi $ when $$ds^{2}=-dt^{2}+a^{2}(t)[dx^{2}+dy^{2}+dz^{2}] $$ or $$g_{ij}=\begin{bmatrix} -1 & 0 &0 &0 \\ 0 &a^{2}(t) &0 &0 \\ 0&0 ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3)$ isometry group?

As the title says, is it possible to have a Riemannian Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3) $ isometry group?
3
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1answer
67 views

Show that getting parallel transported does not change angle between them- Tensors [closed]

I must tell you that I have never seen this kind of question in Tensor Analysis. Our professor had set up this question in our exam, but I don't know whether it belongs to tensors or not. The question ...