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

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Clarifying what metric counts as flat space

In (2D) Cartesian coordinates, the Euclidean metric... $$\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix}$$ ...is flat space. If the diagonal elements are exchanged for other real numbers ...
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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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Do $\vec r$ and $d \vec r$ have the same direction?

One question is bugging me for a long time but I couldn't make out anything nor could my friends. Here it goes: We know, $\vec r$ is regarded as the position vector. So we can say, $$\vec r \cdot\vec ...
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249 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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Is the scalar curvature of the Schwarzschild solution 0?

The Schwarzschild solution is meant to be a solution of the vacuum Einstein equations. That is $$R_{\mu\nu}=0.$$ So, the Ricci tensor must be null for $r>0$. Now, if the scalar curvature is ...
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547 views

Geodesic Equation from variation: Is the squared lagrangian equivalent?

It is well known that geodesics on some manifold $M$, covered by some coordinates ${x_\mu}$, say with a Riemannian metric can be obtained by an action principle . Let $C$ be curve $\mathbb{R} \to M$, ...
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117 views

Why is the covariant derivative of the determinant of the metric zero?

This question, metric determinant and its partial and covariant derivative, seems to indicate $$\nabla_a \sqrt{g}=0.$$ Why is this the case? I've always learned that $$\nabla_a f= \partial_a f,$$ ...
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238 views

If a Killing vector field is timelike, can it be set to $\partial/\partial t$?

If one has a Killing vector that turned out to be a timelike Killing vector field because of negative norm. Can we set this Killing vector field equal to $\partial/\partial t$?
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761 views

How do we know the geodesic is a minimum?

The geodesic equation is derived from the Euler-Lagrange equation, which (as I understand it) is a necessary but not sufficient condition to ensure that the geodesic is a minimum. The introductory GR ...
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96 views

Aside from experimental evidence, is there any reason to model space as Euclidean?

Obviously experiment is the end-all-be-all of any science, but I'm curious if there's any a priori reason to model space as Euclidean three-space (from a pre-relativity viewpoint, of course; I'm ...
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321 views

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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Christoffel symbols and affine connection

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

When does causal separation imply no spacelike separation?

(See here for notation.) In Minkowski space, if $p\prec q$, then there is no spacelike curve $c:[0,1]\to \mathbb{R}^{n-1,1}$ with $c(0)=p$ and $c(1)=q$. This is obvious from a spacetime diagram. Here ...
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Is a metric tensor field the same thing as $ds² = -dt² + dx²+ dy² + dz²$?

I am having trouble understanding the nature of the metric tensor field on spacetime manifolds. In particular, a Riemannian manifold $(M,g)$ is defined as a real smooth manifold $M$ equipped with an ...
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317 views

Can Minkowski spacetime be redefined as a non-flat riemannian manifold?

Minkowski space time is defined in terms of a flat pseudo-Riemannian manifold. I have wondered if it can be redefined as Riamannian manifold and in the case what type of curvature would there appear. ...
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288 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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What exactly is the connection between the Jacobi and Bianchi identities

While reviewing some basic field theory, I once again encountered the Bianchi identity (in the context of electromagnetism). It can be written as $$\partial_{[\lambda}\partial_{[\mu}A_{\nu]]}=0$$ ...
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867 views

Are the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy independent of one another?

Einstein in deriving the Lorentz transformations, used the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy. Does space-time isotropy follow from space-time homogeneity or are they completely ...
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299 views

Tetrad formalism vs coordinate formalism example

Sources I have been reading Chapter 11 and 25 of Andrew Hamilton's amazing notes which has some material on tetrad formalism in general relativity (formulating GR in coordinate-free fashion). ...
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197 views

de Rham Cohomology of Schwarzschild Manifold

Let $C^p(M)$ denote the group of closed $p$-forms on the manifold $M$, and $Z^p(M)$ the group of all exact $p$-forms on the manifold $M$. The de Rham cohomology is given by the quotient, ...
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137 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
91 views

Why do we need connections, if we have the Lie derivative?

When I learned about the covariant derivative, it was motivated as a way of defining a good differentiation operation on tensors. To do this, we had to define a connection on the manifold, which was a ...
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195 views

field solutions for covariant derivative of vector field constrained to zero

Question: What do the solutions of $\nabla_\mu A^\nu = 0 $ look like? And is it possible for spacetime curvature to somehow restrict the solution to $A^\nu = 0$? Here is my current ...
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420 views

Angular momentum in curved spacetime

It is known that the angular momentum components are also a representation of the $SU(2)$ generators. Given a non-trivial spacetime, say a black hole of some kind or AdS space, how can one define the ...
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332 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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Linear independence of the Covariant Derivative

What's the easiest way to show that the covariant derivative $\nabla U^{\mu}$ is linearly independent to $U^{\mu}$, which is a vector? I mean I'm assuming they are since I'm proving the second ...
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192 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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573 views

Calculate divergence of vector in curvilinear coordinates using the metric

In a curved $(3+1)$ dimensional spacetime with metric components $g_{\mu \nu}$, the covariant derivative of a $4$ vector $\mathbf V = (V^0, \vec V)$ is given by $$\nabla_\mu~ V^\mu = ...
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404 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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486 views

Vanishing of Weyl Tensor Contraction

Within the context of Einstein space-times, we know that the contraction of the Weyl tensor across a set of indices always vanishes, like so : $$C{^{\alpha }}_{\mu \alpha \nu }=0$$ From a purely ...
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101 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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Riemann tensor in 2d and 3d

Ok so I seem to be missing something here. I know that the number of independent coefficients of the Riemann tensor is $\frac{1}{12} n^2 (n^2-1)$, which means in 2d it's 1 (i.e. Riemann tensor given ...
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165 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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124 views

Can space and time separately be curved?

How can I imagine curved time, if it is not a part of four dimensional spacetime? Similarly for space. What are the measurable, observable consequences of these two phenomena in a laboratory or in ...
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71 views

How to obtain initial conditions to image Kerr black hole?

I'm reading Gravitational Lensing by Spinning Black Holes in Astrophysics, and in the Movie Interstellar to make a raytracer code to image Kerr black holes. The paper introduces a Fiducial Observer ...
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127 views

How does one express a Lagrangian and Action in the language of forms?

In Lipschitzs Classical Mechanics a Lagrangian is defined as: $L(q,q',t)$ for some trajectory $q(t)$ of a particle And the action is defined as: $S:=\int^a_b L(q,q',t) dt$ How does one ...
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82 views

Does Birkhoff's theorem apply to rotating collapsing stars?

Birkhoff's theorem states that every spherically symmetric vacuum solution to $R_{\alpha\beta} = 0$ is static, which greatly assists in the solution to the Schwarzschild solution by eliminating time ...
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207 views

Total derivative in action of the field theory

Consider a classical field theory. When applying the least action I see that a term is considered total derivative. We say that $$\int \partial_\mu (\frac {\partial L}{\partial(\partial_\mu ...
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229 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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251 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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392 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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2answers
249 views

5D Ricci Curvature

As part of a hw problem for a class, we're supposed to be deriving the equivalence given in equation 2.3 of this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.5563. I was wondering if there is some special ...
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531 views

Local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates

It is said that we can introduce local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates for any timelike geodesic. But why only for timelike geodesics? What about null geodesics? Perhaps it has to do ...
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Change of coordinates from an arbitrary frame to a locally inertial frame in General Relativity

If I have the following metric: $$ds^2=(1-2\phi)c^2 dt^2 - (1-2 \phi)(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2)$$ $\phi$ being the gravitational potential with $|\phi| << 1$ everywhere. How do I find a coordinate ...
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438 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
191 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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311 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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258 views

What's the difference between the diffeomorphism invariance and reparametrization invariance?

Can somebody tell me what's the difference between the diffeomorphism invariance and reparametrization invariance?
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75 views

Negative mass thin shell collapse

Suppose we have a collapsing light-like (ingoing) shell with negative mass and decreasing further. The shell is radiating and so the exterior region is that of the outgoing Vaidya solution. $$ds^2 = ...
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135 views

Gradient one-form [duplicate]

I am trying to understand what gradient one-form means actually. In the book that I'm following (A first course on General Relativity by Schutz) it's told that gradient is a one-form and it's ...