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

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2answers
64 views

Expand metric $g_{ij}$ about flat space

I expand metric $g_{ij}$ about flat space $\delta_{ij}$ $$g_{ij}=\delta_{ij}+h_{ij}$$ where $|h_{ij}|\ll 1$. I would like to find $R_{ij}$, to linear order, in terms of $h_{ij}$, but I dont know ...
7
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3answers
396 views

Geometric interpretation of Electromagnetism

For gravity, we have General Relativity, which is a geometric theory for gravitation. Is there a similar analog for Electromagnetism?
3
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0answers
131 views

Dirac equation in curved space-time with Torsion

I am looking for pedagogical references in which Dirac equation in space-time with curvature and torsion were discussed.
3
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1answer
123 views

Twist of null Killing fields

I have a (hopefully) quick question: is it possible to have a null Killing field $\xi ^ \mu$ such that the twist 1-form $\omega_{\mu} = \epsilon_{\mu\nu\alpha\beta}\xi^\nu \nabla^\alpha \xi^\beta \neq ...
2
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0answers
117 views

On “the geometry of free fall and light propagation” paper by Ehlers

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)), I reach to an axiom which says: There exists a ...
5
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0answers
128 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 ...
2
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1answer
475 views

How to derive the metric for a 2-sphere

I have a question in Polchinski's string theory vol I p 167. It is said For example, $$ds^2= \frac{ 4 r^2 dz d \bar{z} }{(1+ z \bar{z})^2} = \frac{ 4 r^2 du d\bar{u}}{ (1+ z \bar{z})^2} ...
-1
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1answer
219 views

Metric tensor in General Relativity or otherwise [closed]

What is the metric tensor? How can this be a covariant and contravariant tensor, or a mixed tensor, by raising and lowering indices? How it relates to distance function (metric) and angles? How ...
1
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2answers
98 views

Time evolution of the worldlines of 2 particles

Suppose I have a lab frame that is freely falling in a gravitational field of the Earth -- assume non-homogeneity-- and a uniform constant electric field. There are 2 test particles in the frame -- ...
1
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1answer
57 views

A question about variation of metric under Weyl and coordinate transformations

I have a question about deriving variation of metric under Weyl and coordinate transformations in Polchinski's string theory (3.3.16). Under transformation $$\zeta: g \rightarrow g^{\zeta}, \,\,\, ...
1
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1answer
82 views

How much does the global structure of a Lorentzian spacetime restrict the metric? And vice versa

E.g. if I know that my topology is that of a hyperboloid, how much freedom do I have left for my choice of the metric? And the other way around: if my metric is some conformal factor times the unit ...
6
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2answers
283 views

Is there any physics behind covariance and contravariance of indices of tensors?

Is there any physics behind covariance and contravariance (up and down) of indices of tensors?
2
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2answers
141 views

Tensors in general relativity

This is a question on the nitty-gritty bits of general relativity. Would anybody mind teaching me how to work these indices? Definitions: Throughout the following, repeated indices are to be summed ...
6
votes
1answer
292 views

Hodge star operator on curvature?

I've a question regarding the Hodge star operator. I'm completely new to the notion of exterior derivatives and wedge products. I had to teach it to myself over the past couple of days, so I hope my ...
2
votes
0answers
102 views

Path integral measure and symmetry

For a generic field theory the path integral measure is defined as, \begin{equation} \mathcal{D}\Phi = \prod_i d\Phi(x_i), \end{equation} where $\Phi$ is a generic field (i.e. it may be scalar, ...
8
votes
2answers
543 views

Covariant derivative of connection coefficients

Is there a meaningful way to define the covariant derivative of the connection coefficients, $\Gamma^a_{bc}$? As in, does it make sense to define the object $\nabla_d\Gamma^a_{bc}$? Since the ...
5
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
284 views

Restriction of a Lagrangian

I'm wondering if anyone could help me with the following questions. Let $M$ be the Minkowski spacetime, given $f\in C^{\infty}(M) ; f(m)=x^{0}(m)$, with $\{x^{\mu}\}$ being a global Cartesian ...
3
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1answer
177 views

Deriving the transformation under Weyl rescaling in Polchinski eq. (1.2.31)

I have another question in Polchinski's string theory book volume 1, namely how to derive Eq. (1.2.32)? $$(-\gamma')^{1/2} R'=(-\gamma)^{1/2} (R-2 \nabla^2 \omega) \tag{1.2.32}$$ I have awared his ...
1
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0answers
73 views

Preservation of a scalar along geodesic trajectory

Let $u^\mu$ be the velocity of a particle , and $\xi^\mu$ be a killing vector. would taking a contravariant derivative of to scalar product $\xi_\mu u^\mu$ , and showing that it equals to 0 shows that ...
1
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0answers
94 views

Can universe be a closed manifold?

I had a question at MSE which gave a rise to another question. Maxwell equations can be written in form $$d\star F = J$$ Then by Stokes theorem we have $$ \int_U J = \int_U d \star F = ...
10
votes
3answers
428 views

Equation of motion of a photon in a given metric

I have this metric: $$ds^2=-dt^2+e^tdx^2$$ and I want to find the equation of motion (of x). for that i thought I have two options: using E.L. with the Lagrangian: $L=-\dot t ^2+e^t\dot x ^2 $. ...
5
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1answer
146 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 $S_{EH}(e)=\int \frac{1}{2}\epsilon_{IJKL}~e^I\wedge e^J\wedge F^{KL}(\omega(e))$, ...
4
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0answers
216 views

What are endomorphism bundle valued $p$-forms and exterior covariant derivatives and their use in Chern-Simons theory?

Chern-Simons Forms appears in several places in physics for examples, Fractional Quantum Hall Effect, response of Topological Insulator, invariant of knot, electromagnetism in 2+1 space-time, ...
1
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2answers
85 views

What is a geometrical object?

From the Wikipedia link for Geometry: Geometry (Ancient Greek: γεωμετρία; geo- "earth", -metron "measurement") is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position ...
3
votes
2answers
362 views

Orthochronous Lorentz transformations are time-preserving and $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$

Let's consider the psuedosphere/hyperboloid in $\mathbb{R}^{1,2}$ given by $$x^2+y^2-z^2=-R^2.$$ We know that the Lorentz group $$O(1,2)=\{ A \in Mat(3,\mathbb{R}): A^tGA=G \},$$ where ...
1
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2answers
223 views

Triple-right triangle experiment: what's the minimum distance?

Among the other ways, one way to prove the Earth is round is the triple-right triangle. The idea is simple: Starting from point A you move in a straight line for a certain distance. At point B, ...
1
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1answer
219 views

Finding the Basis vectors of a Killing field vector space

I have solved the Killing vector equations for a 2-sphere and got the following answer. $A,B,C$ are three integration constants as expected. $$\xi_{\theta}=A \sin{\phi}+B\cos{\phi}$$ ...
2
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1answer
94 views

From Euler-Lagrange equation to non affine geodesic equation

I have some problems to demonstrate the non affine geodesic equation from Euler-Lagrange's equations. I start defining the Lagrangian $L=\sqrt f$, but then I'm not able to find the Christoffel ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

How can I express the Riemann tensor of the 4-metric in terms of quantities derived from the 3-metric and the normal to it?

I want an expression for the Riemann tensor of the four metric in terms of extrinsic curvature, normal, lie derivative of the normal, etc. The first Einstein-Codacci eq. gives the Riemann tensor of ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Are there any restrictions on building the topology of spacetime out of the complement of open balls?

I assume that for a Lorentzian manifold (i.e. with Minkowski signature), the analog of an open ball is the interior of a light cone. My question is motivated by the observation that whereas any point ...
6
votes
2answers
203 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 ...
1
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1answer
210 views

Curvature tensor of 2-sphere using exterior differential forms (tetrads)

$ds^2= r^2 (d\theta^2 + \sin^2{\theta}d\phi^2)$ The following is the tetrad basis $e^{\theta}=r d{\theta} \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, e^{\phi}=r \sin{\theta} d{\phi}$ Hence, $de^{\theta}=0 ...
3
votes
1answer
518 views

Problem with calculating the curvature tensor of the $n$ dimensional sphere

I am calculating the Riemann curvature tensor, Ricci curvature tensor, and Ricci scalar of the $n$ sphere $$x_0^2 + x_1^2 + ....+x_n^2=R^2,$$ whose metric is $$ds^2=R^2(d\phi_1^2 + \sin{\phi_1}^2 ...
1
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1answer
190 views

Vector analysis in curvilinear coordinates using the metric tensor

In Weinberg's Gravitation, the formula for the volume element in curviliniar coordinates is given by $$dV=h_1 h_2 h_3 dx^1 dx^2 dx^3.$$ The metric is given by $ds^2=h_1^2 dx_1^2+h_2^2 ...
2
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0answers
233 views

Trouble with calculating Christoffel symbols of FLRW metric using Lagrangian method

The FLRW metric which I am using is $$ds^2 = dt^2 - \frac{a(t)^2}{c^2} \left( dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2 \right)$$ where $a(t)$ is the so-called 'scale factor'. I did not want to calculate the Christoffel ...
2
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1answer
121 views

Can the vanishing of the Riemann tensor be determined from causal relations?

Given a Lorentzian manifold and metric tensor, "$( M, g )$", the corresponding causal relations between its elements (events) may be derived; i.e. for every pair (in general) of distinct events in set ...
1
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1answer
760 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
249 views

Ricci tensor of the orthogonal space

While reading this article I got stuck with Eq.$(54)$. I've been trying to derive it but I can't get their result. I believe my problem is in understanding their hints. They say that they get the ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

Center of mass of a body on an incline

I am trying to reproduce a calculation by Carre et al. (1995) in which they calculate the shape of a droplet on an incline. My issue is in the derivation of the potential energy (essentially the ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

Tensor equations in General Relativity

In the context of general relativity it is often stated that one of the main purposes of tensors is that of making equations frame-independent. Question: why is this true? I'm looking for a ...
9
votes
6answers
571 views

In coordinate-free relativity, how do we define a vector?

Relativity can be developed without coordinates: Laurent 1994 (SR), Winitzski 2007 (GR). I would normally define a vector by its transformation properties: it's something whose components change ...
3
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
1
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1answer
129 views

Killing vector argument gone awry?

What has gone wrong with this argument?! The original question A space-time such that $$ds^2=-dt^2+t^2dx^2$$ has Killing vectors $(0,1),(-\exp(x),\frac{\exp(x)}{t}), ...
12
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1answer
508 views

Is there a “covariant derivative” for conformal transformation?

A primary field is defined by its behavior under a conformal transformation $x\rightarrow x'(x)$: $$\phi(x)\rightarrow\phi'(x')=\left|\frac{\partial x'}{\partial x}\right|^{-h}\phi(x)$$ It's fairly ...
3
votes
2answers
383 views

Geodesic equations

I am having trouble understanding how the following statement (taken from some old notes) is true: For a 2 dimensional space such that $$ds^2=\frac{1}{u^2}(-du^2+dv^2)$$ the timelike geodesics ...
3
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0answers
121 views

Curvature and spacetime

Suppose that it is given that the Riemann curvature tensor in a special kind of spacetime of dimension $d\geq2$ can be written as $$R_{abcd}=k(x^a)(g_{ac}g_{bd}-g_{ad}g_{bc})$$ where $x^a$ is a ...
1
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1answer
169 views

Evaluating the Ricci tensor effectively

If given a metric of the form $$ds^2=\alpha^2(dr^2+r^2d\theta^2)$$ where $\alpha=\alpha(r)$, then can one immediately conclude that $$R_{\theta\theta}=r^2R_{rr}$$ where $R_{ab}$ is the Ricci tensor, ...
3
votes
1answer
476 views

Derivation of the volume element (which uses the metric tensor)?

I have often seen $\sqrt{-g}$ in integrals, especially actions, where $g=\mathrm{det}(g_{\mu \nu})$. Does anyone know of a derivation that shows that this is indeed the volume element which must be ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Parallel transport of a vector along a closed curve in curvilinear coordinates

There is an expression indicating the change of the vector parallel translation along a closed infinitesimal curve in curvilinear coordinates (one way of introducing curvature tensor): $$ \Delta A_{k} ...