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
1answer
63 views

What's the definition of incompleteness of a coordinate system and a spacetime?

I always see in GR textbooks that some coordinates or some spacetime is incomplete, such as Rindler spacetime and spacetially flat FRW universe with only positive cosmological constant. This ...
5
votes
2answers
191 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
572 views

6 independent Einstein field equations?

I can't understand the comment on page 409, Gravitation, by Misner, Thorne, Wheeler It follows that the ten components $G_{\alpha\beta} =8\pi T_{\alpha\beta}$ of the field equation must not ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Can anyone please explain Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems and geodesic incompleteness?

Can anyone please explain Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems and geodesic incompleteness? In easy to understand plain English please.
5
votes
1answer
114 views

What do we exactly mean by a “topological object” in physics?

I have been working on topological defects like monopoles, etc. for some time. One think that I have not been able to understand is the physical meaning of the phrase "topological object". I have ...
5
votes
3answers
438 views

Is there a natural (suitable) definition for functional derivative in Curved space time

If $$\delta S = \int \sqrt g F[\phi] \delta \phi\tag{1}$$ Then is it natural to define the functional derivative as follows, $$\frac{\delta S}{\delta \phi} = F[\phi].\tag{2}$$ In particular does ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Help with the understanding of boundary conditions on $AdS_3$

So I am trying to reproduce results in this article, precisely the 3rd chapter 'Virasoro algebra for AdS$_3$'. I have the metric in this form: $$ds^2=-\left(1+\frac{r^2}{l^2}\right)dt^2+\left(1+\frac{...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
38 views

Confusion with conclusion to positive mass theorem

I am trying to understand the positive mass theorem as it is presented in the survey paper by Corvino and Pollack http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.5050 I am fundamentally confused by the structure of their ...
5
votes
0answers
124 views

Geometric point of view of configuration space and Lagrangian mechanics

Even though (I think) I understand the concept of a tangent bundle, I have trouble assimilating the idea of the configuration space being one and in relation to what that is the case. How can I ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Coupling a spinor field to a preexisting scalar field?

So I'm not a physicist, but I'm thinking about a mathematical problem where I think physical insight might be useful. We're working on a Riemannian manifold $(M,g)$ (positive definite metric) with a ...
5
votes
0answers
37 views

Conformal Connections in Physics [closed]

For my diploma thesis in Mathematics I investigate conformal connections (as an example of Cartan connections). All in all the thesis should deal with geometric aspects (associated bundles, (pseudo)-...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Variations of actions of (lie algebra valued) differential forms

I have always found it a bit difficult to understand the variation of an action written in differential form language. For example, take the action $$\int tr A\wedge A\wedge A$$ where $A=A_\mu dx^\...
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
120 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
230 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
169 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
228 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
247 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
354 views

Timelike Boundary

I was reading in a paper (see 1st paragraph of introduction section in http://arxiv.org/pdf/1510.00709.pdf) that in AdS space, waves can reach the boundary in finite time and, since said boundary is ...
4
votes
3answers
485 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
759 views

Space-Time Curvature Depends on Relative Speed

When the mass of a planet causes the curvature of space-time we see that an approaching free-falling object deviates its path towards the planet. We also see the amount of that deviation depends on it'...
4
votes
3answers
611 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
212 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
255 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
619 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
3answers
140 views

Textbook on Differential Geometry for General Relativity [duplicate]

I'm going to start self-studying General Relativity from Sean Caroll's Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity. I'd like to have a textbook on Differential Geometry/Calculus on ...
4
votes
2answers
154 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
267 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
786 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
328 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
167 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
150 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
336 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
299 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
893 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
413 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
211 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
63 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
94 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
213 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
429 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
291 views

Geometric mechanics - Symplecticity

I am just trying to wade through literature on classical mechanics and I really don't know where to start, everything is Fibre bundle this or manifold that, and doesn't really ease you in to the topic....