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

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Christoffel symbols and affine connection

What is the difference between the "affine connection" (S. Weinberg, Cosmology) and "Christoffel symbols?"
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4answers
149 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
214 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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2answers
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
939 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 ...
4
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1answer
59 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 ...
4
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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 ...
4
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1answer
114 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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1answer
150 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
100 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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2answers
125 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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1answer
217 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 ...
4
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2answers
642 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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3answers
365 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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1answer
150 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
273 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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2answers
116 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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2answers
148 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
105 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
89 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 ...
4
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1answer
425 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
199 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
107 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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1answer
81 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
134 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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499 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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0answers
49 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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0answers
78 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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54 views

Recommendation on mathematical physics book of Symplectic geometry

I want to learn the applications of symplectic geometry in physics. Which mathematical physics textbook will have a detailed and heuristic explanation of this aspect?
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77 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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66 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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101 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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69 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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319 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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47 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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87 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
212 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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242 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
326 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?
3
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1answer
149 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 ...
3
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2answers
162 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 ...
3
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4answers
341 views

Formulation of general relativity

EDIT: I think I can pinpoint my confusion a bit better. Here comes my updated question (I'm not sure what the standard way of doing things is - please let me know if I should delete the old version). ...
3
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1answer
282 views

Vector potential $A$ on a 2-sphere $S^2$ of radius $R$ with some points removed

I am preparing myself for an exam and I got stuck with the following problem. If I wanted to calculate the vector potential $A$ on a sphere (not off or in), where some points are removed, how would I ...
3
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1answer
193 views

Etale bundles and sheaves

Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please try to give substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book or paper (or ...
3
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4answers
700 views

Topology needed for Differential Geometry [duplicate]

I am a physics undergrad, and need to study differential geometry ASAP to supplement my studies on solitons and instantons. How much topology do I need to know. I know some basic concepts reading from ...
3
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1answer
109 views

Can geodesics in a Lorentzian manifold change their character?

From a physics perspective, it's pretty easy to see why a a massive particle will be restricted to timelike paths, etc. but does the math guarantee that on its own or do we have to impose it? More ...
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4answers
357 views

Complete set of observables in classical mechanics

I'm reading "Symplectic geometry and geometric quantization" by Matthias Blau and he introduces a complete set of observables for the classical case: The functions $q^k$ and $p_l$ form a complete ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Why are totally antisymmetric tensors more useful than totally symmetric tensors?

In an arbitrary number of dimensions, one can naturally define two tensors, Kronecker delta and Levi-Civita epsilon tensor. However, why isn't it advantageous to define some totally symmetric tensor ...