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)

5
votes
0answers
53 views

What is the status of gauged gravity [duplicate]

The Standard Model of elementary particles is a gauge theory with gauge group $SU(3)\times SU(2)\times U(1)$, which is really a successful theory. We might be able to quantize gravity similarly. ...
5
votes
0answers
119 views

Why is the Taub-NUT instanton singular at $\theta=\pi$?

Consider the following metric $$ds^2=V(dx+4m(1-\cos\theta)d\phi)^2+\frac{1}{V}(dr+r^2d\theta^2+r^2\sin^2\theta{}d\phi^2),$$ where $$V=1+\frac{4m}{r}.$$ That is the Taub-NUT instanton. I have been ...
5
votes
0answers
226 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
168 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 $F = dA$ ...
5
votes
0answers
2k views

Further explanation of the Penrose Conjecture

I'm currently a third year maths undergrad, writing a dissertation on the application of minimal surfaces in space. I have recently come across the Penrose Conjecture that the mass of a spacetime is: ...
5
votes
0answers
222 views

Heat kernel expansion for entanglement entropy

Can somebody please let me know where I can find a reference for calculating heat kernel coefficients on a manifold with conical singularities? I am trying to compute the entanglement entropy for ...
5
votes
0answers
242 views

An introductory resource for learning AdS space

Can someone please point me to introductory resources about the geometry of Anti DeSitter Space ? What are some examples of other spaces used in theoretical physics ?.I'm learning Differential ...
4
votes
3answers
483 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?
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Why does light always travel in a straight line?

No matter the frame light is in, it always moves in a straight line in that frame. Why is that? It doesn't seem like something to me that should necessarily be true. If some one runs forward and sends ...
4
votes
3answers
605 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
210 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
254 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
610 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 $\mathbb{R} \to M$, $...
4
votes
2answers
146 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 $$\nabla_a f= \partial_a f,$$ ...
4
votes
3answers
256 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 $\partial/\partial t$?
4
votes
1answer
778 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
325 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 down ...
4
votes
2answers
999 views

Christoffel symbols and affine connection

What is the difference between the "affine connection" (S. Weinberg, Cosmology) and "Christoffel symbols?"
4
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
328 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
296 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

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 $$\partial_{[\lambda}\partial_{[\mu}A_{\nu]]}=0$$ ...
4
votes
4answers
883 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
387 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). ...
4
votes
1answer
207 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, $$H^p(M)=C^p(...
4
votes
2answers
138 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

How can you tell if spherical-like coordinates are locally flat across the origin?

In general relativity, with spherical-like coordinates in a radial gauge, I have a metric that looks like: $$-g_{tt}\mathrm{d}t^2 + g_{rr}\mathrm{d}r^2 + r^2(\mathrm{d}\theta^2 + \sin^2\theta\ \...
4
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
426 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
351 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
162 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
200 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
votes
1answer
604 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 = \frac{1}{\sqrt{-...
4
votes
1answer
417 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
512 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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 dx^{n-1}=\frac{1}{n!}\epsilon_{\mu_1\ldots\...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
305 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?
4
votes
3answers
126 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
308 views

Einstein-Yang-Mills Connections

I am playing around with coupling a classical $SU(2)$ Yang-Mills theory to Einstein's equations. Assuming spherical symmetry, the $SU(2)$ connection can be written \begin{equation} A = \omega(r)\...
4
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
223 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 \phi)}\...