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

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Is there any reason (other than convenience) to assume the universe is paracompact?

In this discussion on MathOverflow, it is mentioned that the universe, being a Riemannian manifold, must be paracompact. But is there any reason to assume the universe is globally 'small enough'? In ...
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42 views

Variation of Bazanski Lagrangian

The Bazanski Lagrangian is defined as $$ L=g_{\alpha \beta }U^{\alpha }\frac{D\psi ^{\beta }}{Ds} $$ and $$ U^{\alpha }=\frac{\mathrm{d} x^{\alpha }}{\mathrm{d} s} $$ $x^{\alpha }$ is the ...
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1answer
371 views

What, to a physicist, are instantons and the Donaldson invariants?

I study gauge theory from a mathematical perspective. To me, one of the most fundamental ideas is the notion of an instanton on a 4-manifold. To be precise, I have a Riemannian 4-manifold and a ...
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1answer
63 views

Possible inconsistency of mixed index tensor notation

I am posting this here, because in my experience, this sort of thing exists in physics-related works only. Given a local frame $\{e_{(i)}\}$ on some $n$-dimensional manifold $M$, and given a local ...
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1answer
47 views

Local Coordinate Expressions for Lie Derivatives

I'm currently working through the math chapters of Norbert Straumann's book on General Relativity. I have trouble understanding the coordinate expression of the Lie derivative of a basis vector. The ...
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1k views

Equation of a torus

In the recent paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.03612, page 37. They say that a torus can be described by the equation $$y^2=x(z-x)(1-x)$$ where $x$ is a coordinate on the base $\mathbb{P}_1$. Could ...
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4answers
162 views

Which tensor describes curvature in 4D spacetime?

I heard these two statements which don't work together (in my mind): In 4D spacetime the curvature is encoded within the Riemann tensor. He holds all the information about curvature in spacetime. ...
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1answer
174 views

Null geodesic equations

If one is constrained to the $xt$ plane, one can define the intersection with that plane of the null hypersurfaces originating at some point $P$ as $$ g_{tt} \frac{d P^t}{d \lambda}\frac{d P^t}{d ...
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88 views

Variations of actions of (lie algebra valued) differential forms

I have always found it a bit difficult to understand the variation of an action written in differential form language. For example, take the action $$\int tr A\wedge A\wedge A$$ where $A=A_\mu ...
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59 views

Notation: tetrad indices

I am trying to understand the meaning of upper and lower indices as used in the Newman-Penrose formalism. The tetrad is $\lbrace l^{a},n^{a},m^{a},\overline{m}^{a}\rbrace$, where the upper index ...
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76 views

Magnetic monopole using differential forms

I'm trying to understand the different variations of the Maxwell's equations using differential forms. The Maxwell's equations are $$dF=0\\ *d*F=J$$ where $F$ is the electromagnetic tensor ($F=dA$) ...
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1answer
97 views

Geodesic equation (free particle)

How to find a coordinate system whose geodesic equation does not have the "Christoffel symbol" term? (i.e. free particle - generalized Newton's second law.)
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122 views

How the Poisson bracket transform when we change coordinates?

I'm studying the book Geometric Mechanics by Darryl D. Holm and there's one exercise in the book I'm not quite getting what has to be done. The same discussion the author makes in the book is made on ...
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1answer
104 views

Are all maximally symmetric spacetimes constant curvature spacetimes?

A $d$ dimensional maximally symmetric spacetime is a spacetime with the maximum allowed number of Killing vectors. This number is $\frac{d(d+1)}{2}$. Constant curvature spacetimes are spacetimes ...
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14 views

Global angular forms

In the study of anomaly inflow due to an M5 brane (see for instance the paper by Freed, Harvey, Minasian and Moore), one regularizes the $\delta$ function near a source as $$\delta^{(5)} \rightarrow ...
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50 views

How to visualize a sphere bundle?

In the paper ``Gravitational Anomaly Cancellation for M Theory Fivebranes", the authors consider removing a tubular region of radius $\epsilon$ around the M5 brane (in order to make sense of the three ...
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1answer
87 views

Time independent Kerr metric

The Kerr metric expressed in terms of polar coordinates $r,\theta,\phi$, such that $x = r\sin(\theta)\cos(\phi)$, $y = r\sin(\theta)\sin(\phi)$, $z = r\cos(\theta)$. Then the Kerr metric is given as ...
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48 views

Existence of a solution for geodesic differential equations for a singular metric

In order to determine the geodesics, one must solve the following set of differential equations \begin{align} \frac{d^2 x^j}{ds^2} + {j\brace h\,\,k}\frac{dx^h}{ds}\frac{dx^k}{ds} = 0, \end{align} ...
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1answer
178 views

Finding diffeomorphism given vector fields [closed]

Given a vector field how do you find the associated diffeomorphisms? Say I am given a vector field in Minkowski space $$\xi = x \frac{\partial}{\partial t} + t \frac{\partial}{\partial x}.$$ How do ...
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1answer
113 views

What is the sum of the angles of a triangle on Earth orbit?

Gauss went out and measured triangles made up of mountain peaks to show that the angles sum up to 180 degree. However, general relativity leads to non-Euclidian space and I would like to get a better ...
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31 views

Non-time orientable quotient of de Sitter space

Examples of non-time orientable spacetimes are pretty scarce, but it seems the big one is quotients of de Sitter space of the form $dS^n/\pi_1$, where $\pi_1$ is some subgroup of the isometries of de ...
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78 views

Two dimensional spacetime and the Gauss Bonnet theorem

Generally two dimensional spacetimes are deemed to be static, as the Gauss Bonnet theorem implies that the Einstein Hilbert action would be a constant independent of $g$. But as far as I can tell, ...
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2answers
79 views

If curved paths imply that the vehicle is accelerated, how come do we assume that light gets curved whilst its speed is constant?

I don't understand how we can accept these two sentences at the same time: Light speed is constant, therefore experiences no acceleration. On the presence of a gravitation field, light path is ...
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5answers
163 views

Local inertial frame

In general relativity we introduce local inertial frames to be such frames where the laws of special relativity holds. Let $\xi^{\alpha}$ the coordinates in the local inertial frame, so we get ...
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0answers
137 views

Cones with deficit angle 2$\pi$ and euler characteristics

I've managed to confuse myself with cones and deficit angles. Let's consider a conical defect in 2 dimensions. So the metric is the usual one in polar coordinates, $$ ds^2 = dr^2 + r^2 d\phi^2,$$ ...
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70 views

Integral curves in null hypersurfaces [closed]

Let be $(M^{n+1},g)$ a spacetime (Lorentz manifold, connexe and time-oriented), $n\ge 2$, and $S\subset M$ a null hypersurface (codim $S=1$ and the restriction of $g$ to each tangent space $T_p S$ ...
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90 views

What are the implications of integrating the Poisson bracket? [closed]

Reading Ref. 1 I admit I am a little lost in some places. I was hoping that someone in this area could explain the basic premise of integrating the Lie bracket and further is it connected to nlab's ...
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52 views

How does the expanding of null hypersurface orthogonal geodesic congruence imply a particular result?

Sorry that I do not know how to summarize my problem in the title. First, please go to the website here (free access, even though it looks otherwise) to download the paper done by R. Sashs on ...
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68 views

Trajectories in AdS

On page 2 of this paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.6073), Maldacena explains (and has a very nice picture) showing the trajectories that a timelike and null particle would take in AdS space. Of ...
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1answer
78 views

Operational Definition of Reference Frame in General Relativity

Most treatments of GR begin with the assumption that spacetime is a pseudo-Riemannian manifold (or, sometimes, that it is a more general manifold). But this entails quite a few tacit assumptions about ...
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1answer
41 views

Expanding the Ricci tensor by summing over indices

I had an attempt at deriving the Schwarzschild metric. This is a 4-dimensional problem where the indices are being summed from 0 to 3. I got up to the part where I calculate the Ricci tensor which is ...
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0answers
34 views

How to derive the relation satisfied by “gravitational magnetic field” from an equation of the Weyl tensor?

Let us call the spacetime $M$ with a metric $g_{ab}$. There is a unit spacelike vector field $\eta^a$ orthogonal to a hypersurface. So that we can define the so-called gravitational electric and ...
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81 views

Noether's theorem clarification

There is wonderful explanation of the derivation of Noether's theorem here: Noether's current expression in Peskin and Schroeder However, I would like to dig a little deeper because I am still ...
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2answers
67 views

Local Lorentz transformations

If $\gamma^m$ denotes a tangent space gamma matrix, and $\gamma^\mu$ denotes a curved space gamma matrix, then they are related by $$\gamma^\mu(x) = \gamma^m e_{m}^{\mu}(x)$$ where $e_{m}^{\mu}(x)$ ...
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31 views

How many degrees of freedom to diagonalize the metric?

In A. Zee's Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell, he starts with the following expansion of the metric at some point $P$ of a Riemannian manifold, with coordinates $x^\mu$ that have the origin at $P$: $$ ...
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1answer
89 views

How to get null tetrad by metric?

How to get null tetrads ${l^a,n^a,m^a,\overline{m}^a}$ for this metric? This on is from Ryder's book (Introduction to general relativity) page 268 $g^{\mu\nu}=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & \frac{1}{c} ...
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1answer
106 views

Maxwell equations in 2+1 D

I have a problem with the Maxwell equations in (2+1) dimensions using differential form. Following J. Baez "Gauge Fields, Knots and Gravity" page 93 (or any other book), the equations are ...
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1answer
214 views

Homotopy proof of the lack of foliation of the Gödel metric

A common proof of the lack of foliation of the Gödel universe, apparently mostly copy pasted from Hawking and Ellis, goes thusly : A closed timelike curve must cross a spacelike hypersurface ...
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36 views

Local Translation of frame field- Geometric Picture

In order to phrase my question I review my geometrical picture of the first order formulation of gravity: Given some d-dimensional manifold $\mathcal{M}$ one constructs the Frame bundle $FM$, a ...
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1answer
114 views

Does $g_{\mu\mu}$ in an expression follow the Einstein summation convention?

Assume that I have the expression for a Christoffel symbol: $$ \Gamma^\mu_{\alpha \beta}=\frac{1}{2}g^{\mu \lambda}(\partial_\alpha g_{\beta \lambda}+\partial_\beta g_{\alpha \lambda} - ...
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2answers
110 views

What does naturally mean here?

We often cross the sentence "Kahler geometry emerges naturally in sugra". I have always wondered what does this mean; actually what does naturally mean in that sentence?
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3answers
138 views

GR: Pseudo Riemannian or Riemannian?

Is General Relativityy described by Pseudo-Riemannian manifold or Riemannian manifold? I cannot understand the vast difference between the two manifolds. In books, General Relativity is looked as a ...
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1answer
82 views

Are fully raised/lowered versions of Kronecker delta tensors?

I am confused. I have two textbooks contradicting each other, at least, it seems to me so. The first one – "Field theory" by Landau & Lifshitz says that by lowering or raising one index of ...
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0answers
109 views

Constructing Killing tensors from Killing vectors

Background: After reading about Carter constant and symmetries in GR, I became interested in Killing tensors. I tried reading this paper by Alan Barnes, Brian Edgar and Raffaele Rani, discussing ...
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2answers
302 views

Gauge theory for mathematicians?

I'm looking for a textbook or set of lecture notes on gauge theory for mathematicians that assumes only minimal background in physics. I'd prefer a text that uses more sophisticated mathematical ...
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0answers
47 views

A Lie derivative $\mathcal{L}_{\alpha^A}$ with respect to a spinor $\alpha^A$?

Suppose we work with Minkowski flat space $M$ (just to make things easy). If $\textbf X$ is a Killing vector field it is possible to define the Lie derivative of an spinor $\alpha^A$ with respect to ...
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219 views

Derivation of one-form/vector equation in Carroll confusion

I don't understand the derivation of Equation 2.14$$\mathrm{d}f\left(\frac{d}{d\lambda}\right)=\frac{df}{d\lambda} \tag{2.14}$$ in Carroll's Lecture Notes on General Relativity ...
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2answers
85 views

Field theory where fields are differential forms, other than electromagnetism [closed]

I am looking for a few examples of field theories (classical or quantum) that can be formulated taking the fields to be differential forms at least of degree 1 (not counting 0-forms) excluiding ...
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2answers
83 views

Maintaining symmetry? [closed]

Minkowski metric is found to be $$ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2d\Omega^2$$ where $d\Omega^2$ is the metric on a unit two-sphere. Why should we keep track of the $d\Omega^2$ so that spherical symmetry holds ...
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2answers
96 views

Textbook for mathematical Lagrangian mechanics [duplicate]

I'm looking for a textbook or online notes or a review article etc on a rigerous formulation of Lagrangian mechanics. I'm well aware of the book by Arnold but I would like something to accompany it. ...