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

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120 views

Angle sum of triangle in Schwarzschild solution

Curvature of space is often intuitively explained as angles of a triangle not adding up to 180 degrees. My questions concerns that. Suppose you have a perfectly spherical star of uniform density - so ...
6
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1answer
148 views

Where does the “Supersymmetry” in Witten's proof of the Morse inequalities come from?

Where does the "Supersymmetry" in Witten's proof of the Morse inequalities (original paper and outline of proof for mathematicians) come from? Hopefully someone can provide an intuitive understanding? ...
3
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1answer
194 views

Maxwell's equations in integral form using differential geometry

So I've been trying to convert from Maxwell's equations in terms of differential forms to the integral versions of Maxwell's equations that we know from vector calculus. We have, in vector calculus $...
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1answer
95 views

Covariant derivative commutator on spinors [closed]

What is this object $[\nabla_{\mu},\nabla_{\nu}]\epsilon$ in terms of curvature tensor $R_{\mu\nu}$? Where $\nabla_{\mu}$ is the covariant derivative on a four sphere and $\epsilon$ is spinor. PS: I ...
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1answer
45 views

Elementary question about distributive property of variation operator on an exterior product

I am trying to work out the equations of motion of a 11-dimensional supergravity action $$S = \frac{1}{2\kappa^2}\left(\gamma\int d^{11}x\sqrt{|g|}\mathcal{R} - \frac{\alpha}{2}\int G \wedge \star G -...
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1answer
112 views

Is EM interpreted in a principal or vector bundle?

I've read in a few places that EM is a $U(1)$-principal bundle; but is this correct? Isn't it rather an associated vector bundle using the adjoint representation of $U(1)$?
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votes
2answers
343 views

How does one write Newtons 2nd Law using the language of forms?

Newton's second law says that $F=ma$. Supposing that the force is conservative and can thus be expressed in terms of a potential $V$ we have that $F=-dV$. We have that $V$, being a function, can ...
3
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2answers
97 views

Telling if geometry is curved without Riemann tensor

If you're only interested in telling whether a certain geometry is flat or curved, and you do not need to know in which way it is curved, do you still need the Riemann tensor? When I try to visualize ...
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0answers
87 views

Normal of a null surface and null junction conditions in general relativity

I am trying to use the null junction formalism in general relativity (as explained in eg http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.43.3763&rep=rep1&type=pdf, "Junctions and thin ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

What are the equations of motion for the scalar field in the tetrad formalism?

The action of a massless scalar field in curved spacetime is given by: \begin{equation} S(\phi)=\int d^{4}x \sqrt{-g}\left(g^{\mu\nu}\phi_{,\mu}\phi_{,\nu}\right) \end{equation} Now the action can ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Gradient in the Frenet-Serret coordinate

I was simply thinking that the gradient in the Frenet-Serret coordinate at a particular point is similar to the gradient in the Cartesian coordinate. I simply assumed that Frenet space is an ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Does spacetime position not form a four-vector?

When one starts learning about physics, vectors are presented as mathematical quantities in space which have a direction and a magnitude. This geometric point of view has encoded in it the idea that ...
2
votes
1answer
543 views

Variation of Christoffel symbol and Lie derivative

I've also asked this question on Math Overflow; I hope that asking in two separate fora is not a solecism. Under an infinitesimal diffeomorphism the Riemann metric changes by the Lie derivative $$ \...
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vote
0answers
27 views

The null geodesic for given geodesic [duplicate]

What is null geodesic equation for the static and spherically symmetric line element in $$ds^{2}=-K^{2}dt^{2}+\frac{dr^{2}}{K^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+\sin^{2}\theta{d\phi^{2}})$$ where $$K^{2}=1-\...
1
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0answers
74 views

What is the null geodesic equation? [duplicate]

What is null geodesic equation for the static and spherically symmetric line element in $$ds^{2}=-K^{2}dt^{2}+\frac{dr^{2}}{K^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+\sin^{2}\theta{d\phi^{2}})$$ where $$K^{2}=1-\...
2
votes
2answers
263 views

Gaussian integral on a Riemannian manifold

How do I estimate the Gaussian integral $\int d^nx \sqrt{g(x)}~e^{-x^2} $ on a Riemannian manifold $(M,g=det~g_{\mu\nu})$? I've tried to consider $\sqrt{g(x)}$ as an analytic function and expanded it. ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

When can a $k$-cycle wrap around a manifold?

According to the paper ``Heterotic and Type I String Dynamics from Eleven Dimensions'' (page 7): Even when the topology is wrong -- for instance on $\mathbb{R}^{11}$ where there is no two-cycle ...
1
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1answer
172 views

What is a “local” lorentz transformation of vielbein? How does it transform?

I'm struggling with Anthony Zee's chapter on differential forms in Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell, page 600. He asks us to prove that $$\omega= \Lambda \omega' \Lambda^{-1} - (d\Lambda) \Lambda^{-1}$$ ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Calculation of Einstein tensor for weak gravitational field

I am studying A First Course in General Relativity (2nd Ed.) by Bernard Schutz. I have some difficulty in deriving Eq.(8.32) on P.193, the form of Einstein tensor for weak gravitational field, which ...
1
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1answer
117 views

Difference of connections in the Killing vector equation

For the Killing vector equation, I sometimes see it written in terms of spin connection $\omega$ and other times in terms of the affine connection $\Gamma$. More clearly $$\nabla_{\mu}V_{\nu}+\nabla_{...
6
votes
0answers
180 views

What exactly is the relationship between the symplectic 2-form and the frequency of leaves of integrable systems in classical mechanics?

In classical mechanics we equip a differential manifold with a closed symplectic 2-form $\omega$. The symplectic leaves of integrable systems also have a unique frequency, in literature denoted $\...
5
votes
3answers
166 views

Is there a way to see that $ \nabla_\mu g_{\nu \rho} = 0 $ without explicit computation, where $\nabla_\mu$ refers to the covariant derivative?

In books, it is usually said that this is a consequence of the fact that parallel transport preserves dot product. How ?
2
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0answers
37 views

How does one show that asymptotically $AdS_3$ spacetimes are locally $AdS_3$?

Time and again I keep reading that any asymptotic $AdS_3$ spacetime is locally isomorphic to $AdS_3$. I tried to find proof of this by analyzing the Riemann tensor $R_{\rho\sigma\mu\nu} $ in Ricci ...
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5answers
2k views

Why do we need coordinate-free descriptions?

I was reading a book on differential geometry in which it said that a problem early physicists such as Einstein faced was coordinates and they realized that physics does not obey man's coordinate ...
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1answer
50 views

Interpretation for negative energy of curves

Let $(M,g)$ be a Lorentz manifold and $\gamma :[a,b] \to M$ a differentiable curve. I understand we define the energy of $\gamma $ as: $$E[\gamma] = \frac{1}{2} \int_a^b g_{\gamma(t)}(\gamma'(t),\...
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2answers
145 views

Why acceleration cannot vanish everywhere?

In attempt to introduce gr concepts When there are gravitational accelerations present, as for example in the gravitational field of the earth, the space cannot be the flat Minkowski space. Indeed, ...
3
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2answers
2k views

What is a Null Geodesic? [duplicate]

What is a Null Geodesic? My textbook only explains it as the Minkowski metric which equals to zero, but I'd appreciate a more detailed explanation.
2
votes
2answers
240 views

Different signatures

I was working out the christoffel symbols, once where the metric that I am using has (+---) signature and another time where it has (-+++) signature because two books had different signatures and I ...
3
votes
0answers
84 views

Projector and delta function on a cycle $\Sigma$ of a manifold $\mathcal{M}_6$

In the paper ``Hierarchies from Fluxes in String Compactifications'' by Giddings, Kachru and Polchinski, the following example is considered for a localized source that may have negative tension (my ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Spherical Symmetric Metrics

In the case where all books try to illustrate a spherical metric, the procedure goes this way: First they impose isotropy in terms of polar coordinates so that one can write: $$ds^2=-A(r)dt^2 + B(r)...
-1
votes
1answer
355 views

Is a planets orbit really a straight line through curved spacetime? [duplicate]

My understanding is that general relativity concludes that gravity isn't real because it does not exist in all frames of reference. Also that mass and energy warp spacetime into a curved geometry. ...
0
votes
2answers
118 views

How to show flat FRW metric has a time-like conformal Killing vector?

I would like to derive the fact that the flat FRW metric has a time-like conformal Killing vector. Is there an easy way to do this? @ValterMoretti showed how one can do this for metrics with a ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

What exactly is a dimension?

How do you exactly define what is and isn't a dimension? I heard somewhere that it is "anything you can move through" but if that is right, why wasn't time and space considered a dimension before ...
5
votes
3answers
434 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 ...
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0answers
75 views

Conformal time-like Killing vector near null geodesics in all spacetimes?

Is it true that in all spacetimes there is some conformal time-like Killing vector $\tau^a$ in the vicinity of null geodesics? If the above statement is true then can one argue that, for all ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

How are FRW metric and Minkowski metric physically different?

According to GR, matrices are coordinate invariant. Does this mean we can transform FRW metric to Minkowski metric with a coordinate transformation like $$dx'=dx\cdot a(t), dy' = dy\cdot a(t), dz' = ...
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1answer
254 views

Fiber bundle understanding of the wavefunction

Usually people say that given a wavefunction $\Psi$ although $|\Psi(\cdot, t)|^2$ is the probability density for the position random variable at time $t$, the wavefunction $\Psi$ itself has no ...
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1answer
134 views

Covariant derivative ordering

I was working on a problem involving Bianchi identities, in a particular case I have to take the covariant derivative of the following, which indeed is the Ricci tensor in linearised limit $$r^{\mu}_{\...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Topological strings: Why is the complex structure for $T^2$ denoted as $\tau$ in string theory?

In these notes by Vafa on topological string theory he says in page 7 that the moduli of the 2-torus can be repackaged into two quantities: $$A=iR_1/R_2 \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, \tau=iR_2/R_1$$ where $A$ ...
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1answer
101 views

Relationship between those two “exponentials”

Let $G$ be a Lie group and $L(G)$ it's Lie algebra. We know that every left-invariant vector field $X$ in $G$ is complete, and so one can consider the integral curve defined for all $t\in \mathbb{R}$ ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Origin of integral of field strength tensor in path-ordered exponential in gauge field theory

When studying some gauge theories approach to problems in Mechanics, I've found the following integral $$P\exp\left[\oint A \ dt\right]=1+\dfrac{1}{2}\oint_{\partial D}\sum_{\mu,\nu}F_{\mu\nu}\gamma^{...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

How are these two Riemann tensor equations equivalent?

Poisson in A Relativist's Toolkit defines the Riemann tensor as$$A_{\,;\alpha\beta}^{\mu}-A_{\,;\beta\alpha}^{\mu}=-R_{\phantom{\mu}\nu\alpha\beta}^{\mu}A^{\nu}.$$ Foster and Nightingale's A Short ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

How can the D'Alembertian of a field be interpreted intuitively?

The D'Alembertian operator is defined as $$ \Box = g^{\nu\mu}\nabla_\nu\nabla_\mu $$ For the Minkowski metric in Cartesian coordinates that is $$ \Box=\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} - \...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

How can I make two separate equations for Christoffel symbols give the same answer?

I have been studying the covariant derivative and I'm confused by the calculation of the Christoffel symbols $\Gamma$. The equation for computing $\Gamma$ is given as: $${\Gamma^c}_{ab} = \frac12 g^{...
3
votes
3answers
149 views

$SO(3)$ vs 3-Torus ${(S_1)}^3$

From rigid body rotations point of view, why are $SO(3)$ and 3-Torus not the same. Every rigid rotation is rotation about three axes. So how come $SO(3)$ is not ${(S_1)}^3$? It seems it should be. Is ...
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vote
2answers
91 views

First fundamental form in the Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term

Let me expose my problem, I am trying to perform the explicit variation of the Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term, $$S_{GH}=\int_{\partial M} d^{n-1}x\sqrt{\left|h\right|}K$$ The problem I have is ...
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vote
3answers
191 views

Technical question about 2-forms

A technical question about the electromagnetic tensor, but before that, it is know if, say, instead of being $$F_{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\mu}A_{\nu} - \partial_{\nu}A_{\mu}$$it were $$F_{\mu\nu}=(...)_{\mu\...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Confusion about two forms of connection coefficients

I am new to GR. In one book I found that the connection coefficient expression is given by $$ \Gamma^\mu_{\nu\lambda} = -\frac{1}{2} g^{\mu\rho} (\partial_\nu g_{\lambda\rho} + \partial_\lambda g_{\...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

“Shortest” path in general relativity

My professor in mechanics course sneakily teach us some basic idea of general relativity. Which one of the basic assumption is particle walks in shortest world line. I understand shortest path in ...