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

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Heat Kernel on Sphere for Vector Laplacian

Can somebody please provide me with a reference where the method of evaluating the heat kernel for spin-1 fields,i.e. vector laplacians on a 2-sphere is given? Please suggest some references ...
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1answer
167 views

Transformation rule of a partial derivative

We know the following transformation rule: $$ \partial'_b = \frac{\partial}{\partial x'^b} = \frac{\partial x^c}{\partial x'^b} \, \frac{\partial}{\partial x^c} = \frac{\partial x^c}{\partial x'^b} ...
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3answers
696 views

Covariant and contravariant vectors

Reading Weinberg's Gravitation and Cosmology, I came across the sentence (p.115, above equation (4.11.8)) The partial derivative operator $\partial/\partial x^\mu$ is a covariant vector, or in ...
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1answer
274 views

Check it the Killing vectors satisfy Killing equation or not

I am going through Kerr/CFT correspondence paper again, and I am at the section where authors specify Killing vectors for near horizon extreme Kerr metric (shortly NHEK). The metric is ...
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2answers
170 views

Raising indices in Killing equation or not?

I'm having issues with computation of Killing equation. I'm using Mathematica to check if the given vectors are Killing vectors or not, and by hand for simple vector like $\xi=\partial_t$ I get the ...
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2answers
417 views

Parallel Transport of a 4-vector

Why does the parallel transported $4$-vector change from $X^a(x)$ to $X^a(x) + \bar{\delta}X^a(x)$ ? This is also discussed in D'Inverno's relativity book [page - 72]; but the reason is not clear.
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2answers
337 views

Weight of a tensor density

Is there any freedom in choosing the weight of a tensor density? I have seen in some papers that they introduce a tensor density made from metric with a special weight. There is a tensor density with ...
2
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1answer
169 views

Can two parallel lines meet? [closed]

My physics teacher talked about the meeting of 2 parallel lines, and he said that it may occur in the infinity or something. I know that 2 parallel lines can meet in spherical geometry, (thanks to ...
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1answer
210 views

Showing that the variation of an affine connection is a tensor

How can i show that $\delta\Gamma_{\mu\nu}^{\rho}$ transforms like a tensor? Metric compatibility is not assumed here. That means 1) First i need to compute $\delta\Gamma$ first. To do that i need ...
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2answers
4k views

Derive vector gradient in spherical coordinates from first principles

Trying to understand where the $\frac{1}{r sin(\theta)}$ and $1/r$ bits come in the definition of gradient. I've derived the spherical unit vectors but now I don't understand how to transform ...
2
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1answer
661 views

'Easy way' of finding out the Killing vector fields?

Is there a way for calculating the Killing vector fields of a given metric in a quick way? Sure I can guess looking at the metric at the symmetries, and then guess some of them, but, for instance, in ...
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1answer
413 views

Can masses move in 2+1 gravity?

I would like to understand basic concepts of the general relativity in 2+1 spacetime. As far as I know, GR predicts that such a spacetime is flat everywhere except for the point masses which create ...
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1answer
2k views

Riemann tensor in 2d and 3d

Ok so I seem to be missing something here. I know that the number of independent coefficients of the Riemann tensor is $\frac{1}{12} n^2 (n^2-1)$, which means in 2d it's 1 (i.e. Riemann tensor given ...
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1answer
123 views

Does Clifford algebra depend on the topology of manifold?

We know the greatest feature of Clifford algebra is coordinate-free. One can do vector operations without knowing the representation of vectors. And due to its very characteristc, Clifford or ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Getting diffeomorphisms from boundary conditions in $AdS_3$

As usual I'm asking a question about boundary conditions for AdS${}_3$, based on the thesis by Porfyriadis. He is solving equations $\mathcal{L}_\xi g_{\mu\nu}$ for AdS${}_3$ metric, with a given ...
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2answers
603 views

Coordinate Transformation of Scalar Fields in QFT

By definition scalar fields are independent of coordinate system, thus I would expect a scalar field $\psi [x]$ would not change under the transformation $x^\mu \to x^\mu + \epsilon^\mu $. Correct? ...
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2answers
2k views

Intuitively, why are bundles so important in Physics?

This question probably seems silly and I don't really know if it fits properly here, but the point is the following: I've seem the notion of bundles, fiber bundles, connections on bundles and so on ...
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0answers
60 views

When is the Fermi surface a surface of constant mean curvature?

Fermi surfaces are surfaces of constant energy in reciprocal space. They provide information about the properties of a material in solid state physics. Constant mean curvature surfaces are a superset ...
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1answer
65 views

Finding superpotentials and central charges in $AdS_3$

In text "Covariant theory of asymptotic symmetries, conservation laws and central charges" is given an example of finding central charges and superpotential (among other things). I am interested in ...
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93 views

Path Integral on Einstein Cartan Manifold

In condensed matter, crystal with disclination and dislocation has both curvature and torsion. I am looking for a reference in which path integral quantization of Dirac equation on manifold with ...
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1answer
83 views

How does the warping of time behave as a fourth dimension?

My problem is that I have a hard time grasping something if I can't conceptualize it, though maybe this can not be conceptualized, just accepted, in which case I thank you for your patience. The ...
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2answers
491 views

Vector Potential for Magnetic field when the field is not in simply-connected region

According to Poincare's Lemma, if $U\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ is a star-shaped set and if $\omega$ is a $k$-form defined in $U$ that is closed, then $\omega$ is exact, meaning that there's some ...
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1answer
149 views

Index raising and lowering - how does it work?

In the context of four-dimensional spacetime, how does the metric turn a tangent vector into a gradient, and vice versa? By this I mean that I know the metric can be used to raise and lower indices: ...
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1answer
624 views

The Role of Active and Passive Diffeomorphism Invariance in GR

I'd like some clarification regarding the roles of active and passive diffeomorphism invariance in GR between these possibly conflicting sources. 1) Wald writes, after explaining that passive ...
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2answers
306 views

How do you show from the index notation that the change of frame formula for a metric must involve the transpose?

Let $x^\mu$ and $x^{'\mu}$ be two coordinate systems related by $$dx^{'\mu}~=~S^\mu{}_\nu~ dx^\mu.$$ In index notation the metric in both systems are related by: ...
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2answers
280 views

How are the Weyl & Riemann curvature tensors related to the stress energy tensor in GR?

Einstein's vacuum equations, that is without matter, allows the possibility of curvature without matter. For instance, we may consider gravitational waves. The question is: Is there some link ...
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2answers
66 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 ...
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3answers
456 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?
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149 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.
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1answer
131 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 ...
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0answers
121 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 ...
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0answers
140 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 ...
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1answer
641 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} ...
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1answer
230 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 ...
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2answers
99 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 -- ...
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1answer
59 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}, \,\,\, ...
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1answer
86 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 ...
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2answers
320 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?
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2answers
148 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 ...
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1answer
332 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 ...
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0answers
116 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, ...
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2answers
624 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 ...
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votes
3answers
4k 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
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2answers
286 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 ...
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1answer
223 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 ...
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0answers
76 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 ...
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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 = ...
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3answers
503 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 $. ...
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1answer
171 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 $S_{EH}(e)=\int \frac{1}{2}\epsilon_{IJKL}~e^I\wedge e^J\wedge F^{KL}(\omega(e))$, ...
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0answers
226 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, ...