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

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What is the motivation for the definition of a manifold?

In Wald's General Relativity, an $n$-dimensional $C^{\infty}$ manifold $\mathit{M}$ is defined as a set, with subsets $\lbrace{O}_{\alpha}\rbrace$, which satisfies 3 properties. In particular, the ...
12
votes
3answers
518 views

Is force a contravariant vector or a covariant vector (or either)?

I don't understand whether something physical, like velocity for example, has a single correct classification as either a contravariant vector or a covariant vector. I have seen texts indicate that ...
2
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0answers
52 views

Why can any pair of master coordinates be used to calculate a nonlinear mode of a nonlinear dynamical system?

This is a question I have been asking myself for some time since the following technique is often used in the nonlinear dynamics community, but never managed to get an answer why it could be applied. ...
2
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0answers
56 views

Deformation of light-cone

In the paper The geometry of free fall and light propagation by Ehlers and his colleagues (Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 44 no. 6, pp. 1587–1609 (2012)), when the authors introduce the differentiable ...
2
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0answers
32 views

Using Polyakov-Alvarez Anomaly Formula [closed]

Take $\Sigma=\mathbb{D}$ to be the unit disk with metric $g=\frac{4}{(1+|z|^2)^2}\,|dz|^2$. If $\phi$ is a nice enough function on $\mathbb{D}$, then I want to compute $$\int_{\partial \Sigma} k_g ...
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1answer
112 views

If a point r lies in the boundary of the chronological future of another point p, why does the chronological future of r belong to that of p?

I am studying the global causality of the spacetime. Here, I come across a problem. Suppose a point $r\in \partial I^+(p)$. $I^+(p)$ is the chronological future of a different point $p$ in ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

How does a spatial covariant derivative act on tensors that are not purely spatial?

I have a possibly dumb question on ADM formalism. Starting with a metric in ADM form \begin{equation} ds^2 = -N^2dt^2 + q_{ij}(dx^i + N^idt)(dx^j + N^jdt) \end{equation} where $i,j$ only run over the ...
1
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0answers
86 views

How to test that a flat metric represents a global three-torus geometry

When introducing Robertson-Walker metrics, Carroll's suggests that we consider our spacetime to be $R \times \Sigma$, where $R$ represents the time direction and $\Sigma$ is a maximally symmetric ...
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0answers
93 views

Riemann curvature of a unit sphere

The Riemann curvature of a unit sphere is shown in many textbooks to be sine-squared theta where theta is the azimuthal angle of spherical co-ordinates. But what is the significance of the angle and ...
-1
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1answer
69 views

Length in polar coordinates

Say we are in 3 dimensions and use $(-++)$. If we have the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2df^2(t),$$ then what is the third coordinate if the first two were $t$ and $r$? $$X^iX_i=-t^2+r^2+?$$
2
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3answers
207 views

Configuration manifolds and constraints

In Classical Mechanics there's this notion of configuration manifold. Although I've heard about that a lot and although I often use that concept, I'm not sure I really understand them well because ...
5
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1answer
320 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, ...
2
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0answers
92 views

Electrodynamics using exterior calculus

Can anyone suggest resource for full course of electrodynamics using exterior calculus?
7
votes
2answers
254 views

Does a 4-current J determine a unique maxwell-faraday F tensor up to isometry?

Maxwell's equations on a pseudo-Riemannian manifold $(M,g_{ab})$ say, $$d_a F_{bc} = \nabla_{[a}F_{bc]} = 0,$$ $$\nabla_a F^{ab} = J^b,$$ where $d_a$ is the exterior derivative, $\nabla_a$ is the ...
2
votes
0answers
105 views

Interesting Hamiltonian System

The definition of a Hamiltonian system I am working with is a triple $(X,\omega, H)$ where $(X,\omega)$ is a symplectic manifold and $H\in C^\infty(X)$ is the Hamiltonian function. I am wondering if ...
0
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0answers
77 views

Caustic and Singularities in General Relativity

What is the relation between the formation of caustics of a family of null geodesics and the existence of an incomplete null geodesic?
1
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2answers
86 views

Static geodesics in GR

Can we find static geodesics of the type $$x^{\nu}=x_0^{\nu}+\delta_0^{\nu}\tau$$ in some space-time other than Minkowski's?
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Why do we do partial and not covariant differentiation with $x^{\nu}$?

Why when taking the velocity vector we make $$u^{\nu}=\frac{d}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ and not $$u^{\nu}=\frac{\nabla}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ where in the last equation I meant the covariant derivative. Why?
4
votes
2answers
252 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. ...
3
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0answers
87 views

Is the “Force” of Gravity Simply Hamilton's Principle on a Curved Spacetime?

It's my understanding that General Relativity abstracts away the concept of gravity as a force, and instead describes it as a feature of spacetime by which massive objects cause curvature. Then it ...
1
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1answer
111 views

Interpretations of (r,s) tensors [duplicate]

A tensor of type (r,s) on a vector space V is a C-valued function T on V×V×...×V×W×W×...×W (there are r V's and s W's in which W is dual space of V) which is linear in each argument. We take (0, 0) ...
1
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1answer
176 views

The commutator of Killing vectors

I'm going over an assignment for my general relativity course. My solution to the question below strikes me as too short, considering that it appeared in the "longer questions" section of the ...
24
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4answers
1k views

Is topology of universe observable?

There is an idea that the geometry of physical space is not observable(i.e. it can't be fixed by mere observation). It was introduced by H. Poincare. In brief it says that we can formulate our ...
3
votes
1answer
331 views

Instantons in Witten's supersymmetry and Morse theory

I'm reading Witten's paper on supersymmetry and Morse theory and am confused about the details of the instanton calculation which he uses to define a Morse complex (beginning at page 11 of the pdf) . ...
4
votes
2answers
741 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 ...
2
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0answers
75 views

Avoiding Pseudo-tensors when addressing global conservation of energy in GR

Discussions about global conservation of energy in GR often invoke the use of the stress-energy-momentum pseudo-tensor to offer up a sort of generalization of the concept of energy defined in a way ...
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0answers
88 views

Laplacian in tensor [closed]

Find $\vec \nabla^2\phi $ when $$ds^{2}=-dt^{2}+a^{2}(t)[dx^{2}+dy^{2}+dz^{2}] $$ or $$g_{ij}=\begin{bmatrix} -1 & 0 &0 &0 \\ 0 &a^{2}(t) &0 &0 \\ 0&0 ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3)$ isometry group?

As the title says, is it possible to have a Riemannian Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3) $ isometry group?
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Show that getting parallel transported does not change angle between them- Tensors [closed]

I must tell you that I have never seen this kind of question in Tensor Analysis. Our professor had set up this question in our exam, but I don't know whether it belongs to tensors or not. The question ...
2
votes
1answer
373 views

How to properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time?

How do I properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time? I have my curved spacetime metric $(+,-,-,-)$ and my magnetic vector potential $A$. I tried two ways but not sure which is ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Formular for interior product, example

In Nakahara's Geometry,Topology and Physics, the interior product is defined like this : $$i_X: \Omega^{r}(M) \rightarrow \Omega^{r-1}(M).$$ Where $ X \in X(M)$ and $\omega \in \Omega^{r}(M)$ ...
2
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1answer
206 views

Computing the Christoffel symbols with the geodesic equation

I would like to compute the Christoffel symbols of the second kind using the geodesic equation. To practice, I have tried the Schwarzschild Ansatz $$ g_{00} = \mathrm e^\nu,\quad g_{11} = - \mathrm ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

Is the apparent lack of (Ricci) curvature in the Schwarzschild metric due to a choice of coordinates?

I've been lightly studying GR lately. Something that has been bothering me has been the lack of (Ricci) curvature produced from the Schwarzschild metric in the few lectures I've watched, as well as ...
1
vote
0answers
131 views

Variation of the purely covariant Riemann tensor

I need to find the variation of the purely covariant Riemann tensor with respect to the metric $g^{\mu \nu}$, i.e. $\delta R_{\rho \sigma \mu \nu}$. I know that, $R_{\rho \sigma \mu \nu} = g_{\rho ...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

Geodesics in AdS3

I'm having some trouble doing an easy computation with the AdS space. I'm considering $\text{AdS}_3$ space with the Poincaré coordinates, so the metric reads $$ds^2 = \frac{R^2}{z^2}(dz^2 - dt^2 + ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Has a metric formulation of electromagnetism ever been attempted? [duplicate]

I understand that electromagnetic fields carry energy, and this energy curves spacetime gravitationally. That's not my question. I'm asking if anyone has tried to formulate electromagnetism in such ...
2
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0answers
54 views

How to prove that a time-oriented spacetime possesses a nowhere vanishing timelike vector field?

Penrose gave a very brief proof to this question. Since the spacetime is paracompact, there exists a positive definite metric called $h_{ab}$. Then, the nowhere vanishing time-like vector field $V^a$ ...
11
votes
3answers
447 views

What kind of manifold can be the phase space of a Hamiltonian system?

Of course it should have dimension $2n$. But any more conditions? For example, can a genus-2 surface be the phase space of a Hamiltonian system?
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0answers
30 views

freedom of choice of 1-form in canonical representation of generic local field corresponds to gauge choice?

So it is a question in Gravitation Wheeler, Thorne and Misner 4.2 Exercise. Given F=$dp_{i}\wedge dq^{i}$. Using canonical transformation from p to $\bar{p}$ and q to $\bar{q}$, one gets ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

A question on 1 form [closed]

If $d\,\sigma=0$ and $\sigma$ is non trivially with basis' coefficient 0, then $\sigma$ is a exterior derivative of a scalar function. I knew $d^{2} =0$. So it seems that all I am quoting is that ...
6
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

The Einstein-Hilbert Action On-Shell

If one consider the Maxwell action as $$S=-\int \mathrm{d^{4}}x\! \ \frac{1}{4}F_{ab}F^{ab} \,$$ one find the usual Maxwell equation $$\partial_{a}F^{ab}=0$$ Then one can simply arrive the following ...
5
votes
3answers
414 views

Global vs. local gauge group in mathematical sense - physics examples?

Upon reading about the principal bundle picture of (quantum) field theory I encountered two different definitions of the gauge group: Local gauge group $G$. Corresponds to the fibers of the ...
4
votes
4answers
212 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 ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Angular diameter distance in an inhomogeneous universe?

Computing the angular diameter distance $D_{A}$ is a well known academic exercise in an homogeneous Universe. But now suppose that we are in an inhomogeneous Universe and that I am interested in ...
3
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0answers
67 views

Asymtotically flat spacetime applicable for spacetimes which are not diffeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^4$

I wanted to investigate changes on a compact 4-manifold $M$. More specifically it is the K3-surface. I follow a paper by Asselmeyer-Maluga from 2012. The idea there was to make sure that the manifold ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Duality in arbitrary finite dimension using the Levi-Civita tensor

In 4-D flat metric E&M context, given a rank $p$ tensor, one can construct dual of $4-p$ rank tensor by Levi-Civita tensor. Here dual is not in the same sense of mathematical dual. I do not know ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Sign convention with the $AdS$ metric

One would say that $AdS_n$ satisfies the equations for the scalar curvature (R) and Ricci tensor ($R_{\mu \nu}$), $R = - \frac{n(n-1)}{L^2}$ and $R_{ab} = - \frac{n-1}{L^2}g_{ab}$. But do the signs ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Scalar product of torsional forms - how are the standard identities modified?

It is known that for any smooth, orientable, compact manifold $X$ without boundary and $\alpha \in \Omega^{r}(X), \beta \in \Omega^{r-1}(X)$ it holds \begin{equation} (d\beta,\alpha)= (\beta, ...
8
votes
2answers
283 views

Fluid Mechanics with calculus on manifolds

Fluid Mechanics is a branch of physics that uses a lot of vector calculus in $\mathbb{R}^3$ to describe phenomena mathematically. Calculus on manifolds, however, is the straightforward generalization ...