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

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From Manifold to Manifold?

Tensor equations are supposed to stay invariant in form wrt coordinate transformations where the metric is preserved. It is important to take note of the fact that invariance in form of the tensor ...
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D'Alembertian for a scalar field

I have read that the D'Alembertian for a scalar field is $$ \Box = g^{\nu\mu}\nabla_\nu\nabla_\mu = \frac{1}{\sqrt{-g}}\partial_\mu (\sqrt{-g}\partial^\mu). $$ Exactly when is this correct? Only for ...
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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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Conservative vector fields

I was always told that to find whether or not a vector field is conservative, see if the curl is zero. I have now been told that just because the curl is zero does not necessarily mean it is ...
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559 views

Why isn't invariant notation common?

In principle, one can write quantities in a manifestly invariant - rather than covariant - fashion in e.g. special relativity. For example, rather than writing just $x^\mu$, we could write the basis ...
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Coordinate Transformation of Scalar Fields in QFT

By definition scalar fields are independent of coordinate system, thus I would expect a scalar field $\psi [x]$ would not change under the transformation $x^\mu \to x^\mu + \epsilon^\mu $. Correct? ...
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In the static spacetime, the extrinsic curvature of hypersurface $t=constant$ is zero

How can I prove that in the static spacetime, the extrinsic curvature of hypersurface $t=constant$ is zero? My efforts all are failed. Any hint would be greatly appreciated.
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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 ...
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Extending General Relativity with Kahler Manifolds?

Standard general relativity is based on Riemannian manifolds. However, the simplest extension of Riemannian manifolds seems to be Kahler manifolds, which have a complex (hermitian) structure, a ...
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Two Robertson-Walker observers, at what time will a light signal be received?

Here is a question I have that is inspired by this question here. The spacetime metric of a radiation-filled, spatially flat ($k = 0$) Robertson-Walker universe is given by$$ds^2 = - dT^2 + T[dx^2 + ...
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423 views

How does one write density as a form?

In vector calculus, given the density $\rho$ of a body with volume $V$, it's total mass $M$ is simply $M=\int_V \rho dV$. If density $\rho$ is a form, say dm it would need to be a volume form to ...
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What's the basic premise of General Relativity?

What is the basic assumption(s) required to explore general relativity? For example, if one merely assumes that the speed of light $c$ is the same for all observers, and the laws of physics are the ...
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Stokes' theorem in GR

I read this formula in Sean Carroll's book of GR: $$\int_{\Sigma}\nabla_{\mu}V^{\mu}\sqrt{g}d^nx~=~\int_{\partial\Sigma}n_{\mu}V^{\mu}\sqrt{\gamma}d^{n-1}x$$ where n is the 4-vector orthogonal to ...
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What manifold is spacetime?

In General Relativity, spacetime is a $4$-dimensional manifold with one Lorentzian metric tensor defined on it. In the Special Relativity case what manifold is spacetime is quite clear: it is ...
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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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Mathematical probabilistic interepretation of probability amplitude

As a warning, I come from an "applied math" background with next to no knowledge of physics. That said, here's my question: I'm looking at the possibility of using probability amplitude functions to ...
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Is 4-volume element a scalar or a pseudoscalar in special relativity?

In general relativity 4-volume element $\mathrm{d}^4 x = \mathrm{d} x^0\mathrm{d} x^1 \mathrm{d} x^2\mathrm{d} x^3$ is clearly a pseudoscalar (or scalar density) of weight 1 since it transforms as ...
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Two “Robertson-Walker observers,” velocity of baseball as seen by second observer right before it's caught?

The spacetime metric of a spatially flat ($k = 0$) radiation dominated FLRW universe is given by$$ds^2 = -dT^2 + T[dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2].$$Consider two "Robertson-Walker observers," i.e., observers with ...
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how affine connection follows from Two derivative operator

IN wald's GR book in chapter 3 This is stated behind the definition of affine connection : First He showed that if we have two derivative operator $\nabla_a , \tilde\nabla_a$ (both of which ...
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What happens if the holonomy group lies in $SU(2)$ for a CY 3-fold?

I am a mathematician and reading a physics paper about the holonomy group of Calabi-Yau 3-folds. In that paper, a Calabi-Yau 3-fold $X$ is defined as a compact 3-dimensional complex manifold with ...
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718 views

Deriving the transformation under Weyl rescaling in Polchinski eq. (1.2.31)

I have another question in Polchinski's string theory book volume 1, namely how to derive Eq. (1.2.32)? $$(-\gamma')^{1/2} R'=(-\gamma)^{1/2} (R-2 \nabla^2 \omega) \tag{1.2.32}$$ I have awared his ...
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Sewing together flat spacetime pieces = flat spacetime?

I'm trying to imagine the geometry "operations" here: Angular deficit and Conical spacetime of cosmic string If we sew flat spacetime pieces together, what is the requirement for the sewing to not ...
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174 views

Continuity Equation in Differential Geometry

I'm looking for a derivation of the mass continuity that applies in general on symplectic manifolds. In particular the "the amount of change in the mass in a volume is just amount that flows in or ...
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Where does the “Supersymmetry” in Witten's proof of the Morse inequalities come from?

Where does the "Supersymmetry" in Witten's proof of the Morse inequalities (original paper and outline of proof for mathematicians) come from? Hopefully someone can provide an intuitive understanding? ...
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Geodesic deviation equation - why does the ordinary second derivative give the correct answer?

I've calculated the correct answer to my problem, but don't understand one of the assumptions I made when doing so. I used the geodesic deviation equation ...
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In which field theories with fermions do string- and fivebrane structures not come up?

A year ago, username @Greg Graviton asked in a thread here about the Spin group as covering of the spatial rotations. A subquestion was: What other groups, even larger than SU(2) are there that ...
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Einstein action as a functional of the tetrad (first order formulation of gravity)

Let the Einstein-Hilbert action be rewritten as a functional of the tetrad $e$ (units shall be set to $1$) such that $S_{EH}(e)=\int \frac{1}{2}\epsilon_{IJKL}~e^I\wedge e^J\wedge F^{KL}(\omega(e))$, ...
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470 views

Diffeomorphisms and boundary conditions

I am trying to find out how did the authors in this paper (arXiv:0809.4266) found out the general form of the diffeomorphism which preserve the boundary conditions in the same paper. I found this ...
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How do we measure Schwarzschild coordinates?

In special relativity, we make a big fuss about setting up inertial frames of reference, and then constructing coordinate systems using networks of clocks and rulers. This gives an unambiguous ...
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387 views

What is discrete phase space?

I've been reading a little about the usual, continuous Wigner functions and phase space quasi-distributions in general, and I believe I understand the idea behind them. The Wigner function arises when ...
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310 views

Are conformal, Killing and homothetic vector fields the same in pseudo-riemannian manifolds?

I work in the Lorentzian manifolds, more generally in pseudo Riemannian manifolds and applications to general relativity. I know the definitions of conformal, Killing and homothetic vector fields in ...
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A simple conjecture on the Chern number of a 2-level Hamiltonian $H(\mathbf{k})$?

For example, let's consider a quadratic fermionic Hamiltonian on a 2D lattice with translation symmetry, and assume that the Fourier transformed Hamiltonian is described by a $2\times2$ Hermitian ...
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Use partial or covariant derivatives when deriving equations of a field theory?

I feel like this question has been asked before but I can't find it. would the Euler Lagrange equation for, say, the standard model Lagrangian be $$\frac{\partial L}{\partial \phi}=\partial_\mu ...
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Why are the quantum observables defined on opens sets a presheaf and not a sheaf?

In local quantum field theory or AQFT one can mathematically describe over each open set $U$ of a spacetime $M$ the quantum states or observables of the theory. This structure is commonly referred as ...
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Resources showing how to use differential forms in Physics

I've been learning for a while about multivectors and forms and how they simplify many things that in simple vector calculus seems to be complicated. The only problem until now is that differently ...
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Two formulas for a particle's acceleration

While on a class my teacher was taking about particle's motion in space. At some point she said the following: Consider that the particle's path is described by a curve in space defined by the ...
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Are Poisson brackets of second-class constraints independent of the canonical coordinates?

Say we have a constraint system with second-class constraints $\chi_N(q,p)=0$. To define Dirac brackets we need the Poisson brackets of these constraints: $C_{NM}=\{\chi_N(q,p),\chi_M(q,p)\}_P$ . Is ...
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Maxwell's equations in microscopic and macroscopic forms, and quantization

The macroscopic Maxwell's equations can be put in terms of differential forms as $$\mathrm{d}\mathrm{F}=0,\quad\delta \mathrm{D}=j\implies \delta j=0,\quad \mathrm{D}=\mathrm{F}+\mathrm{P}.$$ ...
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If a fundamental theory exibits e.g. a mirror symmetry, in what sense it the underlying geometry real?

Are the more recently discovered symmetries in string theory such that the theories based on mirroring geometries are absolutely the same from an observable point of view? I have mirror symmetry ...
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How does a geodesic equation on an n-manifold deal with singularities?

My general premise is that I want to investigate the transformations between two distinct sets of vertices on n-dimensional manifolds and then find applications to theoretical physics by: ...
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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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Akin to gauge field, why GR's lagrangian is not $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$? What's the mathematical or physical meaning of $R_{abcd}R^{abcd}$?

For gauge field theory, the Lagrangian of the gauge field is $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}\mathrm{tr}(\mathcal{F}_{\mu\nu}\mathcal{F}^{\mu\nu})=-\frac{1}{8}F_{a\ \mu\nu}F^{a \ \mu\nu}$$ The field ...
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Does nature of singularity in black hole depend on material that fell in?

Electromagnetic waves have a tracesless stress energy tensor, and therefore if they are the only fields in a region of spacetime, the Ricci curvature scalar $R=0$ according to GR. However $R^{\mu\nu} ...
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962 views

Fourier Transform on a Riemannian Manifold

The question is quite simple: What would be the definition of Fourier Transform (and it's inverse) on a Riemannian Manifold? I've found that a similar question has been asked at Mathematics.SE but ...
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Can some components of metric be Finslerian while the others be Riemannian?

A Finsler metric reduces to a Riemann metric in case it loses its dependence on velocities. Now, my question is this: Can we have a Finsler metric in which some components of the metric have velocity ...
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Is there a null incomplete spacetime which is spacelike and timelike complete?

Geodesic completeness, the fact we can make the domain of the geodesic parametrized with respect an affine parameter the whole real line, is an important concept in GR. Especially, because the lack of ...
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Is it possible to have fermions in Schwarzschild spacetime?

To my understanding Geroch proved that on 4-dimensional non-compact manifold a necessary and sufficient condition for a manifold to have a notion of spinors is to be parallelizabe .1 (General ...
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Does the universe obey the holographic principle due to Stokes' theorem?

Does the universe obey the holographic principle due to Stokes' theorem? \begin{equation} \int\limits_{\partial\Omega}\omega = \int\limits_{\Omega}\mathrm{d}\omega. \end{equation} Can this ...
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Is there a way to see that $ \nabla_\mu g_{\nu \rho} = 0 $ without explicit computation, where $\nabla_\mu$ refers to the covariant derivative?

In books, it is usually said that this is a consequence of the fact that parallel transport preserves dot product. How ?
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Step by step algorithm to solve Einstein's equations

I cannot completely understand what is a regular method to solve Einstein's equations in GR when there are no handy hints like spherical symmetry or time-independence. E.g. how can one derive ...