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

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1answer
134 views

Differentiating the Lagrangian to find geodesic equations?

I'm stuck pretty much at the first hurdle trying to follow the derivation of the geodesic equations from the Lagrangian ...
2
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1answer
246 views

Spinors and Möbius strips

I asked this question on Math.SE as I thought the perspective of representation theory might be enlightening. But since the question was provoked by a description of Spinors describing the spin of ...
3
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0answers
77 views

Branes wrapping curves in M-theory. What does it mean?

What does it mean that a M5-branes wraps a holomorphic curve in M-theory? In specific a lot of Vafa's paper involve various branes (not only M5) wrapping some cycles. What does this really mean ...
2
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1answer
515 views

Null geodesic equation

For a null geodesic curve $X^i$, $$0=g_{ij}V^iV^j.$$ When we derive the geodesic equation from E-L equations, will this affine parametrization cause it to blow up? How is it justified to use the ...
2
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4answers
629 views

Any tips on evaluating Riemann tensor?

I am calculating the Riemann tensor for the Schwarzschild solution. I've calculated all 9 non-vanishing Christoffel symbols already. Now I need to evaluate the Riemann tensor and I find no easy way to ...
18
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4answers
857 views

Lie derivative vs. covariant derivative in the context of Killing vectors

Let me start by saying that I understand the definitions of the Lie and covariant derivatives, and their fundamental differences (at least I think I do). However, when learning about Killing vectors I ...
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2answers
182 views

A couple of questions on the ADM formalism in general relativity

I've been reading up on the ADM formalism in general relativity and have been stuck on a couple of concepts. The first is to do with the foliation of spacetime into space-like hypersurfaces. I ...
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1answer
51 views

Determinant of the curved space scalar wave operator

I am reading a paper titled 'Analogue Gravity' (http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2011-3 or http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0505065) In the paper (page 15/159) they say this: $$\det(\sqrt{-g} g^{\mu \nu}) ...
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2answers
183 views

Making sense out of covariance and contravariance

I just read about co- and contravariant vectors and I am not sure that I got it right: If we imagine that we have a n-dimensional manifold $M$ then a tangent space is spanned by the vectors ...
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1answer
266 views

Why a timelike geodesic maximizes path length?

I'm studying some GR and my book says that in Pseudo-Riemannian manifolds geodesics may even maximize the path locally. That's what happen to the timelike geodesics, for example. My first question: Is ...
2
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0answers
88 views

Lagrangian, geodesics and relativity [closed]

My background is in maths, but I have been studying some basic physics with occasional input from a friend who is studying for a physics PhD. Due to my background, I am keen to visualize things ...
0
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1answer
76 views

General Relativity - Four Velocity Derivative Question

I am trying to get my head around a small point used in a book I am reading about General Relativity. The book states that because $u_au^a = c^2$ it follows that $u_a \nabla_b u^a = 0 $ The first ...
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1answer
168 views

Spinor notation in general relativity

I have a somewhat broad/big question, and I know that there are many references for it available out there. However, so far I couldn't find anything that I can really understand, that's why here is my ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Parallel Transported Orthonormal Basis

The following argument results in a conclusion that I find strange, and makes me suspect there is something wrong with the reasoning. First, consider a timelike geodesic $\gamma$ with normalized ...
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2answers
146 views

Deriving the geodesic equation [closed]

I having been reading a general relativity book, but when in comes to the geodesic equation, it is not derived. How does one go about doing this?
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0answers
540 views

metric determinant and its partial and covariant derivative

question : $\nabla_a \nabla_b \sqrt{g} \phi =\partial_a \sqrt{g} \partial_b \phi$ is true ? because $\nabla_a \sqrt{g}=0$ so we can write $\sqrt{g} \nabla_a \nabla_b \phi$ , but because metric ...
1
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1answer
107 views

Varying wrt metric [closed]

I saw people write $\frac{\partial( F^{ab} F_{ab})}{\partial g^{ef}}$ as $\frac {\partial (g^{ca}g^{db}F_{cd}F_{ab})}{\partial g^{ef}}$ in a way that exposes the dependence on the metric. but ...
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0answers
50 views

Books or papers recommendation on orbifold and CFT [duplicate]

Could you recommend some references on orbifold CFT? I have found this paper "The conformal field theory of orbifolds"(1987)(http://inspirehep.net/record/230342) is very useful for me, so I want to ...
1
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1answer
36 views

Why does this allegedly Hermitian Kähler metric have non-zero diagonal terms?

In string theory, the Kähler potential of Kähler moduli (e.g. - the volume of a Calabi-Yau manifold) is given by (see, for instance, Becker, Becker, Schwarz: "String Theory and M Theory" p. 498) $$K ...
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1answer
123 views

Show that a solenoidal field is always a curl of a vector field [closed]

Can someone prove that: $$\nabla \cdot \mathbf{B} = 0 \implies \mathbf{B} = \nabla \times \mathbf{A}~?$$ I know that $$\nabla \cdot (\nabla \times \mathbf{A}) = 0$$ identically. But can one prove ...
5
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2answers
274 views

Momentum is a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
10
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1answer
382 views

What is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket [duplicate]

Apologies if this is a really basic question, but what is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket in classical mechanics? In particular, how should one interpret the relation between the ...
3
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2answers
131 views

Under what representation do the Christoffel symbols transform?

I often read the statement, that the Christoffel symbols aren't tensors. But then, under which representation do they transform?
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2answers
175 views

Differential operators in curvilinear coordinates

In the appendix A of Griffith's Electrodynamics text, he cites Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds as a reference more a more complete treatment of taking the gradient, curl, divergence, and Laplacian in ...
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2answers
191 views

Phase space Lagrangian?

Reading out of this lecture series we define a phase space Lagrangian $\mathcal L$ to be a function of $4n+1$ variables namely $q,\dot q,p,\dot p,t$. My question is, what space is this function ...
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0answers
184 views

Can the universe be round but still infinite?

Can the universe still be infinite in space if its curvature is > 1? Is a manifold of positive curvature necessarily compact? Does the Tarski paradox have any bearing on the finite or infinite ...
8
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1answer
146 views

What does Ricci tensor do with two vectors?

I have found it easier to understand the meaning of a particular tensor if I can find out what does it do if I cancel all its lower indices with vectors in short: $g_{ij} u^i v^j$: dot product of ...
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0answers
69 views

Is the Weyl Postulate correct?

The Weyl postulate in cosmology states that worldlines do not intersect but it can be shown in GR that using Raychaudhuri equation that geodesics can intersect if there is curvature so I'm really ...
3
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1answer
166 views

Local translations in curved spacetime

A global Poincare transformation on a scalar field induces $$\delta(a, \lambda)\phi(x) = [a^{\mu}+\lambda^{\mu\nu}x_{\nu}]\partial_{\mu}\phi(x). \tag{11.46}$$ In curved spacetime we replace $a^{\mu} ...
2
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1answer
486 views

Prove Christoffel Symbol Identity

In a book I am reading, the following identity is claimed and then "left to the reader to prove." $g_{ij}$ is the metric tensor, and $\Gamma$ is the Christoffel symbol of the second kind with the ...
3
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0answers
310 views

Maxwell's equation in curved spacetime - how come? And experimental evidence?

I'm trying to understand the generalization of Maxwell's equations to curved spacetime. In FLAT (Minkowski) SPACETIME: If we define the "four-potential" as $$\ ...
3
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1answer
103 views

When can an autonomous system be written using a Hamiltonian?

If I have an autonomous series of differential equations $$\tag{1} \frac{dx_i}{dt} ~=~ A_i(x_1,...,x_n)$$ with the condition that $$\tag{2} \sum_{i=1}^n\frac{\partial A_i}{\partial x_i}~=~0$$ in all ...
2
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0answers
135 views

How is Infinitesimal coordinate transformation related to Lie derivatives?

I am reading the book "Gravitaion and Cosmology" by S. Weinberg. In section 10.9, while discussing Lie derivatives of tensors of different ranks, he makes a general comment: The effect of an ...
3
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1answer
175 views

In continuum mechanics, why is the stress vector $T=\sigma\cdot n$ not a covector?

In continuum mechanics, the stress vector (see Cauchy stress tensor) $T=\sigma\cdot n$ is the surface density of a force. Forces are covectors, since they map a displacement vector to a scalar energy. ...
1
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1answer
78 views

EM Field tensor of a point charge [closed]

If I say the Reissner-Nordstrom metric $$ ds^2=-\left(1-\frac{2m}{r}+\frac{e^2}{r^2}\right)\text d t^2 + \left( 1-\frac{2m}{r}+\frac{e^2}{r^2}\right)^{-1}\text d r^2 + r^2 \text d \Omega^2 $$ is the ...
3
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1answer
99 views

What is the physical cause that circulation on a closed surface is zero?

This is quoted from Feynman's Lectures: We would like to see what happens when the loop shrinks down to a point, so that surface boundary disappears - the surface becomes closed. Now, if the ...
1
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2answers
155 views

Question about basic formalism of GR and the metric tensor

I really don't know much about GR, but I've come across a few rough sketches of its formalism in my DG books. I'm trying to piece it together to get a very basic intuition of what spacetime is in GR. ...
1
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2answers
135 views

Metric and the Lagrangian [duplicate]

Does the Lagrangian formalism require a metric on the configuration manifold $Q$ in order to define a Lagrangian $L$ on the tangent bundle $TQ$? Further, if we specify a metric on the tangent bundle ...
1
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0answers
61 views

Ricci tensor of Metric black holes with nils and solv geometries of Horizon

The metric of black holes with nils and solv geometries of the horizon is generically represented by $$\mathrm{d}s^2=-r^{2z}\mathrm{d}t^2+\frac{\mathrm{d}r^2}{r^2}+\sum_{I=1}^3 r^{2q_I}(w^I)^2$$ How ...
0
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1answer
295 views

What are the mathematical models for force, acceleration and velocity?

In mechanics, the space can be described as a Riemann manifold. Forces, then, can be defined as vector fields of this manifold. Accelerations are linear functions of forces, so they are covector ...
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2answers
258 views

$\nabla^{\mu}\nabla_{\mu}$ in general relativity [closed]

I am trying to work out $\square=\nabla^{\mu}\nabla_{\mu}$ in the metric $ ds^{2}=-A(r)dt^{2}+B(r)^{-1}dr^{2}+r^{2}d\Omega^{2} $$ My work: when applying $\square$ to a scalar $\phi$, then $ ...
2
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1answer
111 views

Rindler and Minkowski space future/past infinity

In my black holes course, we are looking at the Penrose diagram for 1+1 D Minkowski space. My notes don't specifically describe $i^{\pm}$ (future/past timelike infinity) but do say all timelike curves ...
1
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0answers
40 views

SR: vector field and change of reference [closed]

If $U$ and $V$ are vector fields, then the derivative of $U$ along $V$ is the vector field $\nabla _V U$ with components $$\nabla _V U^a=V^b \frac{\partial U^a}{\partial x^b}.$$ I would like to verify ...
3
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1answer
109 views

Can the N-body problem be solved numerically using the geodesic equation of mass-distorted spacetime?

I would like to write a program that solves the trajectories of objects (think rockets) that are influenced by mass of other objects (think planets). I saw that I can do this using Newton's laws, but ...
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0answers
58 views

Connection one-form and suppressed indices

I am reading Sean Carroll's notes on GR, which states (Page 91): Using our freedom to suppress indices on differential forms, we can write the defining relations for these two tensors as: $$ T^a ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Lagrangian vector field expression

The Lagrangian vector field $X_L$ on the tangent bundle is given in page 4 of Marco Mazzucchelli's "critical Point Theory for Lagrangian systems" to be; \begin{equation} ...
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2answers
92 views

Allowable spacetime deformations [closed]

What deformations are possible with spacetime? By 'deformation' I am referring to the kind of change in spacetime caused by the presence of a mass which deforms spacetime sufficiently to deflect ...
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0answers
32 views

Singular points of an orbit space

I am wondering what, precisely, the singular point of an orbit space is. Specifically, I am looking at quantum statistics and the orbit space $M^N/S_N,$ where $M^N$ is the classical configuration ...
0
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3answers
321 views

Definition of non-degenerate metric tensor

We know that a metric has a property which is called non-degeneracy. I was searching for what does that mean and saw it associated with the fact that $det(g_{\mu\nu})\neq0$. How does this relate to ...
1
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2answers
113 views

Can someone explain how Weinberg's definition of the affine connection for the geodesic equation matches the definition of an affine connection?

Consider the geodesic equation \begin{equation} 0=\frac{d^2 x^\lambda}{d\tau^2}+ \Gamma^\lambda_{\mu\nu} \frac{d x^\nu}{d\tau}\frac{d x^\mu}{d\tau} \end{equation} In Gravitation and Cosmology, on page ...