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

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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 ...
6
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2answers
474 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 ...
3
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1answer
146 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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593 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
284 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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221 views

Weyl & Riemann curvature tensors and gravitational “physical” quantities in Einstein vacuum equations

If we look at the Einstein vacuum equations, that is without matter (there is the possibility or curvature without matter), for instance we may consider gravitational waves. The question is: Is there ...
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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
429 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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143 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
128 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
120 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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135 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
564 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
225 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
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
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
302 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
147 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
319 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
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0answers
113 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
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2answers
579 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
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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
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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 ...
3
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1answer
202 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
463 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 $. ...
6
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1answer
163 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
223 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, ...
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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 ...
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423 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 ...
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2answers
246 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
240 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
106 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
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1answer
138 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
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1answer
84 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 ...
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2answers
208 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 ...
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1answer
220 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
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1answer
547 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 ...
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1answer
203 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 ...
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0answers
243 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
122 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 ...
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1answer
874 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.
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1answer
253 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 ...
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1answer
198 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 ...
7
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2answers
342 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 ...
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6answers
617 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
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2answers
113 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 ...
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1answer
130 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}), ...