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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
2answers
231 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
264 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
340 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

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? ...
6
votes
1answer
530 views

Riemannian manifold: Integration by parts of Lie derivative

How can we apply integration by parts to the Lie derivative? Background: In the Hamiltonian formulation of general relativity, we have the momentum constraint (using abstract index notation, $D_a$ is ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
347 views

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 $S_{EH}(e)=\int \frac{1}{2}\epsilon_{IJKL}~e^I\wedge e^J\wedge F^{KL}(\omega(e))$, ...
6
votes
1answer
459 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
282 views

E&M and geometry - a historical perspective

Recently, I was contemplating the beautiful formulation of electromagnetism (specifically Maxwell's equations) in terms of differential forms: $$F=\mathrm{d} A\implies \mathrm{d}F=0 ...
6
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
320 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
526 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
712 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
261 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Maxwell's equations in microscopic and macroscopic forms, and quantization

The macroscopic Maxwell's equations can be put in terms of differential forms as $$\mathrm{d}\mathrm{F}=0,\quad\delta \mathrm{D}=j\implies \delta j=0,\quad \mathrm{D}=\mathrm{F}+\mathrm{P}.$$ ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
125 views

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: ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
207 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

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} ...
6
votes
1answer
865 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
107 views

Trajectories in Rindler space with zero net time dilation

I've discovered a family of curves in Rindler space that have zero net time dilation. However I struggle to see why this should be so, i.e. what the physical significance of these curves is. My ...
6
votes
1answer
420 views

What kind of object is the Landau--Lifshitz pseudotensor?

I understand that it's called a pseudotensor because it's not a tensor. Wikipedia says most pseudotensors are sections of jet bundles, which are perfectly valid objects in GR. ...
6
votes
0answers
105 views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
96 views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
104 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
560 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
154 views

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 ?
5
votes
1answer
748 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
345 views

Error in books of conformal field theory?

If you look at the book Conformal Field Theory (by Philippe Francesco, Pierre Mathieu and David Senechal) or the lecture notes Applied Conformal Field Theory (by Paul Ginsparg), and many other places: ...
5
votes
6answers
255 views

In GR, why should the spacetime manifold be differentiable?

In general relativity (GR), spacetime is viewed as a differentiable manifold of dimension $D$ with a metric of Lorentzian signature $(-,+,+,...,+)$. My question is why differentiable?
5
votes
2answers
180 views

Metric tensor in SRT

I just read on this webpage that we have (click me) $g_{\alpha \beta} = g_{\alpha}^{\beta} = g^{\alpha \beta}.$ Now, although I understand that the first and the last one are equal, I don't think ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

Do partial derivatives commute on tensors?

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?
5
votes
1answer
332 views

Does magnetic monopole violate $U(1)$ gauge symmetry?

Does a magnetic monopole violate $U(1)$ gauge symmetry? In what sense and why? Insofar as I know, there are at least two types of magnetic monopoles. One is the Dirac monopole while the other is the ...
5
votes
3answers
359 views

Confusion about 1-forms as introduced in “Gravitation” (Kip S. Thorne,…)

In the book Gravitation in chapter 2, paragraph 5, they introduce the concept of 1-forms by thinking about the momentum 4-vector differently. They first introduce the de Broglie 1-form as follows (I ...
5
votes
3answers
167 views

Integral in different coordinate systems

In Griffiths' electrodynamics book, he uses the equation, $$\nabla^2\mathbf{A}=-\mu_0 \mathbf{J},$$ to state that $$\mathbf{A}(\mathbf{r}) = ...
5
votes
3answers
591 views

Integral form of Gauss's law for magnetism from Stokes' theorem?

How can the integral form of Gauss's law for magnetism be described as a version of general Stokes' theorem? How does it follow?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Geodesics equations via variational principle

I would like to recover the (timelike) geodesics equations via the variational principle of the following action: $$ \mathcal{S}[x] = -m \int d\tau = -m \int \sqrt{-g_{\mu\nu}\,dx^{\mu}\,dx^{\nu}} $$ ...
5
votes
3answers
632 views

Does spacetime in general relativity contain holes?

Are there physical models of spacetimes, which have bounded (four dimensional) holes in them? And do the Einstein equations give restrictions to such phenomena? Here by holes I mean ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
337 views

How does one write Newtons 2nd Law using the language of forms?

Newton's second law says that $F=ma$. Supposing that the force is conservative and can thus be expressed in terms of a potential $V$ we have that $F=-dV$. We have that $V$, being a function, can ...
5
votes
2answers
229 views

Momentum is a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
5
votes
1answer
265 views

What is the relationship between Cyclic Coordinates and Killing Vector Fields?

My question is related to this question. There are three or four other questions on Killing Vector Fields here, however none of them that I have seen address my question. $\\$ I've been studying ...
5
votes
2answers
400 views

Exterior (covariant) derivatives and electromagnetism

I'm porting Maxwell's equations to curved spacetime and am having trouble reconciling the tensor and forms treatments. I think the problem boils down to a misunderstanding on my part concerning the ...
5
votes
3answers
333 views

What are some mechanics examples with a globally non-generic symplecic structure?

In the framework of statistical mechanics, in books and lectures when the fundamentals are stated, i.e. phase space, Hamiltons equation, the density etc., phase space seems usually be assumed to be ...