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

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Dimensions of strings in string theory

In the above image taken from wikipedia, at the string level the strings have been shown as some loops, the article in wikipedia says that in string theory the particles at lower level are broken ...
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180 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 ...
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196 views

Why do we require manifolds to be a topological space?

Roughly speaking, we define a manifold $M$ to be covered by a set of charts $\{(U_i , \varphi_i)\}$ such that locally the $n$-dimensional manifolds looks like $\mathbb{R}^n$. One of the conditions is ...
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199 views

Geodesics equations via variational principle

I would like to recover the (timelike) geodesics equations via the variational principle of the following action: $$ \mathcal{S}[x] = -m \int d\tau = -m \int \sqrt{-g_{\mu\nu}\,dx^{\mu}\,dx^{\nu}} $$ ...
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656 views

Christoffel symbols and affine connection

What is the difference between the "affine connection" (S. Weinberg, Cosmology) and "Christoffel symbols?"
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160 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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1answer
217 views

Do partial derivatives commute on tensors?

For example; is $$\partial_{\rho}\partial_{\sigma}h_{\mu\nu} - \partial_{\sigma}\partial_{\rho}h_{\mu\nu}=0$$ correct?
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126 views

Real, non-constant scalar field with special properties in class of 4-dimensional spacetimes

David Deutsch (Oxford University) asked the following question which I think is an interesting one: In what class of 4-dimensional spacetimes does there exist a real, non-constant scalar field φ with ...
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1answer
947 views

Covariant derivative and Leibniz rule

I read the Wikipedia page about the covariant derivative, my main problem is in this part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covariant_derivative#Coordinate_description Some of the formulas seem to lead ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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1answer
81 views

Question about exterior derivatives

I know from Carroll that the integration in GR is basically a mapping from n-form to the real number. And it's given that $$d^nx=dx^0\wedge\ldots\wedge ...
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1answer
116 views

“WLOG” re Schwarzschild geodesics

Why, when studying geodesics in the Schwarzschild metric, one can WLOG set $$\theta=\frac{\pi}{2}$$ to be equatorial? I assume it is so because when digging around the internet, most references seem ...
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128 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 ...
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1answer
160 views

Computing Curvature via Cartan Formalism

Given a metric $g_{\mu \nu}$, one can select an orthonormal basis $\omega^{\hat{a}}$ such that, $$ds^2= \omega^{\hat{t}}\otimes\omega^{\hat{t}} - \omega^{\hat{x}} \otimes \omega^{\hat{x}} - ...$$ By ...
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1answer
109 views

Extent of coordinate freedom to set metric components along a spacetime path

If we describe spacetime with a Lorentzian manifold, it is always possible to choose a coordinate system such that at any particular point $x^\alpha$, the components of the metric are: $$ ...
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131 views

Proof that higher genus surface admits a metric of negative Ricci scalar everywhere

In the Green, Schwarz and Witten Superstring Theory textbook, the paragraph below equation 3.3.15 says, For genus greater than one, it can be shown that the surface admits a metric of everywhere ...
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220 views

What are the generators of spherical symmetry?

The title says it all. I think this should be a pretty simple question but I just couldn't find the answer. Ok -- I'll give a bit more context to my question. I'm encountering this in the context of ...
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714 views

What's the idea behind the Riemann curvature tensor?

The Riemann curvature tensor can be expressed using the Christoffel symbols like this: $R^m{}_{jkl} = \partial_k\Gamma^m{}_{lj} - \partial_l\Gamma^m{}_{kj} + \Gamma^m{}_{ki}\Gamma^i{}_{lj} ...
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371 views

Could metric expansion create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime?

Is it possible for metric expansion to create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime? According to the Schwarzschild metric, the metric expansion of space around a black hole goes to infinity ...
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154 views

How should one interpret the de Sitter slicings?

When 'constructing' the usual de Sitter space in $\mathcal{M^5}$ by invoking the contraint $-X^{2}_{0} +X^{2}_{1} +X^{2}_{2} +X^{2}_{3} + X^{2}_{4} = \alpha^2$ we quickly see that we end up with a ...
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1answer
276 views

Relativistic space-time geometry

What subject (suggest book titles, etc.) should I study to get a clear grasping of hypersurfaces, 2-surfaces, and integration on them, mostly in special relativity (I'm not messing with general ...
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1answer
94 views

The properity of $\mathbb{R}^4$ that has infinitely many differential structures is related to Yang-Mills field?

I heard a saying that $\mathbb{R}^4$ having infinitely many differential structures which are not diffeomorphic to each other has a relationship with Yang-Mills field. Does anyone can explain it, and ...
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117 views

What is the notion of a spatial angle in general relativity?

Is there a notion of spatial angles in general relativity? Example: The world line of a photon is given by $x^{\mu}(\lambda)$. Suppose it flies into my lab where I have a mirror. I align the mirror ...
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152 views

Hilbert action's invariance under general coordinate changes

In an article, when considering invariance of the Hilbert action under a general coordinate change this formula appears for how the metric changes ...
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1answer
106 views

Sign of $dr$ in Schwarzschild geodesics

There is an equation that relates energy $E$, angular momentum $L$ and other constants and variables to find $\left(\frac{dr}{d\tau}\right)^2$ in a plane. ...
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1answer
90 views

Metric of a manifold foliated by maximally symmetric submanifold

I am reading the last chapter (Schwarzchild solution and Black Holes) of Sean Caroll's GR notes (http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/9712019). While talking about spherical symmetry, he says how the ...
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1answer
436 views

How does (or can) SR/GR extend to phase space or symplectic manifolds?

I'm asking this question because of an article in New Scientist about a recent preprint by a group including Lee Smolin. I haven't taken the time to comprehend the paper completely. My knowledge of ...
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1answer
204 views

Is there a simple way to define/solve for a null cone for a general spacetime geometry?

I'm wondering if there's any simple way to define and solve for a null cone for a general spacetime geometry in $n+1$ dimensions, given its vertex $p^\mu$. I can't seem to find a simple way to do it ...
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1answer
108 views

Why is $D$ a $2$-form and $E$ a $1$-form?

Usually in electrostatics we start by introducing the vector field $\mathbf{E}$ representing the electric field due to some charge distribution. Later when we study fields in materials we consider the ...
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82 views

Invariants of Connection Form

I am somewhat going out "on a limb" here, since I am much more grounded in the physics side of things than I am in mathematics. Nonetheless, I am wondering if someone is able to comment on the ...
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1answer
413 views

Lie derivative of Riemann tensor along killing vector ( = 0 )

I'm currently learning the mathematical framework for General Relativity, and I'm trying to prove that the Lie derivative of the Riemann curvature tensor is zero along a killing vector. With the ...
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1answer
136 views

Flat space metrics

This question concerns the metric of a flat space: $$ds^2=dr^2+cr^2\,\,d\theta^2$$ where $c$ is a constant. Why is it necessary to set $c=1$ to avoid singularities and to restrict $r\ge 0$? Thanks.
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557 views

Electromagnetism for Mathematician

I am trying to find a book on electromagnetism for mathematician (so it has to be rigorous). Preferably a book that extensively uses Stoke's theorem for Maxwell's equations (unlike other books that on ...
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85 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 ...
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56 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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85 views

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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84 views

Why is the Ricci tensor diagonal for isotropic spacetime?

I'm reading Zee's Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell and while calculating the Ricci tensor for FRW spacetime he claims that because the spacelike slices of constant $t$ are rotationally invariant, the ...
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73 views

Intuitively what's the relationship between forces and connections?

In Einstein's General Relativity we relate the effects of gravity with the curvature of the Levi-Civita connection on the spacetime manifold. Also, when we get the electromagnetic tensor $F = dA$ ...
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74 views

Is it possible to build up holography in a closed manifold, i.e., in a manifold with a mathematical boundary?

I was wondering about the AdS/CFT correspondence basics. It is constructed on the idea of conformal compactification, in which a open manifold $M$ is homeomorphic related to a closed one $N$ through a ...
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105 views

Lie derivative of a scalar and PDE

I am reading about differential geometry, and in particular the Lie derivative and its relation to (relativistic) hydrodynamics. In particular, I was wondering if, given two scalar functions ...
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75 views

Timelike Loop Spaces as Projective Null Twistor Spaces

Let $\mathcal{M}$ be a spacetime, and let $\Omega\mathcal{M}$ denote the loop space of the spacetime. My idea is that the set of all closed timelike curves of $\mathcal{M}$ forms the projective null ...
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339 views

How to prove that Weyl tensor is invariant under conformal transformations?

I need to verify that the solution for vanishing Weyl tensor is conformally flat metric $g_{\mu\nu} = e^{2\varphi}\eta_{\mu\nu}$. The most convenient way to show this is to prove that Weyl tensor is ...
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49 views

Does heat kernel factorize on product spaces?

I have a doubt regarding whether the trace of the vector heat kernel on a product space factorizes into the corresponding heat kernel traces on each manifold in the product space. I know this holds ...
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90 views

Path Integral on Einstein Cartan Manifold

In condensed matter, crystal with disclination and dislocation has both curvature and torsion. I am looking for a reference in which path integral quantization of Dirac equation on manifold with ...
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0answers
216 views

What are endomorphism bundle valued $p$-forms and exterior covariant derivatives and their use in Chern-Simons theory?

Chern-Simons Forms appears in several places in physics for examples, Fractional Quantum Hall Effect, response of Topological Insulator, invariant of knot, electromagnetism in 2+1 space-time, ...
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1answer
289 views

Tensor equations in General Relativity

In the context of general relativity it is often stated that one of the main purposes of tensors is that of making equations frame-independent. Question: why is this true? I'm looking for a ...
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3answers
335 views

Why Hausdorff and Paracompact manifold in GR?

What can we say about the transition map if the manifold is a Hausdorff space? Why do we need the manifolds to be Hausdorff and paracompact in General Relativity?
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161 views

Is the apparent lack of (Ricci) curvature in the Schwarzschild metric due to a choice of coordinates?

I've been lightly studying GR lately. Something that has been bothering me has been the lack of (Ricci) curvature produced from the Schwarzschild metric in the few lectures I've watched, as well as ...
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334 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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169 views

Partial Differentiation of a Tensor

I have doubts in the statement that the partial or ordinary differentiation of tensor is not a tensor. The argument for this is that the partial differentiation of the tensor involves evaluating the ...