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

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1answer
82 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
204 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
216 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
524 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
196 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
237 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 ...
1
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1answer
807 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
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1answer
251 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
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1answer
184 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
290 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
588 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
112 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
vote
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}), ...
12
votes
1answer
523 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
402 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
122 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
499 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} ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

The most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time

What is the most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time? For the first 2 criteria, the Robertson-Walker metric springs to mind. (I shall adopt the (-+++) ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

“WLOG” re Schwarzschild geodesics

Why, when studying geodesics in the Schwarzschild metric, one can WLOG set $$\theta=\frac{\pi}{2}$$ to be equatorial? I assume it is so because when digging around the internet, most references seem ...
1
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0answers
153 views

Do we expect that the universe is simply-connected? [duplicate]

I heard recently that the universe is expected to be essentially flat. If this is true, I believe this means (by the 3d Poincare conjecture) that the universe cannot be simply-connected, since the ...
2
votes
2answers
376 views

Ricci tensor for a 3-sphere without Math packets

Let's have the metric for a 3-sphere: $$ dl^{2} = R^{2}\left(d\psi ^{2} + sin^{2}(\psi )(d \theta ^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta ) d \varphi^{2})\right). $$ I tried to calculate Riemann or Ricci tensor's ...
6
votes
2answers
376 views

First and second fundamental forms

I'm writing notes about the 3+1 formalism in general relativity, for myself. Inevitably I came across the notions of first and second fundamental forms. Mathematically, it is clear how these objects ...
0
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1answer
357 views

Contraction of the metric tensor

This is perhaps a simple tensor calculus problem -- but I just can't see why... I have notes (in GR) that contains a proof of the statement In space of constant sectional curvature, $K$ is ...
8
votes
2answers
284 views

Forces as One-Forms and Magnetism

Well, some time ago I've asked here if we should consider representing forces by one-forms. Indeed the idea as, we work with a manifold $M$ and we represent a force by some one-form $F \in ...
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3answers
187 views

Combining metric tensors/curvature tensors

I was thinking about the following scenario: Consider a particle which causes a metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ on an otherwise Minkowski spacetime (or any manifold). Now, consider another particle, somewhere in ...
2
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0answers
149 views

Why doesn't this metric cover all of de Sitter space?

This represents a confused attempt to work through a problem in Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry. Supposedly I should be able to use the geodesic equation, ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

What is metric of spherical coordinates $(t,r,\theta,\phi)$?

In spherical coordinates the flat space-time metric takes: $$ds^2=-c^2dt^2+dr^2+r^2d\Omega^2$$ where $r^2d\Omega^2$ come from when the signature of metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ is (-,+,+,+)? what is ...
3
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1answer
109 views

Energy Functional

I am a graduate student in pure mathematics, during my study on Ricci Flow I faced some functional known as energy functional. For example Einstein-Hilbert functional is called an energy functional, ...
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2answers
155 views

What is path of light in the accelerating elevator?

Mathematically, (by mathematically I means by equations) what is path of light in the accelerating elevator? What is the difference between an ordinary derivative and covariant derivative (which is ...
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0answers
71 views

Geometry for Physics [duplicate]

I am currently a high school student interested in a research career in physics. I have self taught myself single variable calculus and elementary physics upto the level of IPHO . And I am comfortable ...
6
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0answers
263 views

Extended Born relativity, Nambu 3-form and ternary (n-ary) symmetry

Background: Classical Mechanics is based on the Poincare-Cartan two-form $$\omega_2=dx\wedge dp$$ where $p=\dot{x}$. Quantum mechanics is secretly a subtle modification of this. By the other hand, ...
2
votes
1answer
388 views

Cartan equations versus Einstein equations in classical gravity

Are Cartan structural equations equivalent to Einstein's equations $$G_{\mu\nu}=T_{\mu\nu}$$ and why (in the case of torsionless geometries, of course)? Does it also apply with a non-null ...
2
votes
1answer
456 views

Ricci identity/Riemann curvature tensor and covectors

Can somebody please explain to me how the following statement is true? The Riemann curvature tensor $R^c_{dab}$ is given by the Ricci identity $$(\nabla_a\nabla_b-\nabla_b\nabla_a)V^c\equiv ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

Electric Field One-Form

I know for instance that we can interpret the electric field as the one-form that given a vector gives the change in potential in the direction of the vector, however I'm very unsure about how to ...
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0answers
138 views

Why are differential forms on a n-dimensional manifold a Grassmann algebra?

This is stated as an obvious example of a Grassmann algebra on page 32 in this tutorial I am trying to read, but to me it is unfortunately not so obvious. So can somebody expand this comment a bit ...
3
votes
1answer
500 views

Change of coordinates from an arbitrary frame to a locally inertial frame in General Relativity

If I have the following metric: $$ds^2=(1-2\phi)c^2 dt^2 - (1-2 \phi)(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2)$$ $\phi$ being the gravitational potential with $|\phi| << 1$ everywhere. How do I find a coordinate ...
0
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0answers
49 views

Curved space to flat space calculation

When changing the curved space co-ordinate into a flat space co-ordinate if a cone. I got the result transformation that i cannot get a transformation at the vertex(apex) why?
9
votes
3answers
840 views

What is a dual / cotangent space?

Dual spaces are home to bras in quantum mechanics; cotangent spaces are home to linear maps in the tensor formalism of general relativity. After taking courses in these two subjects, I've still never ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Dirac equation in curved space-time

I have seen the Dirac equation in curved space-time written as $$[i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\frac{\partial}{\partial x^{\mu}}-i\bar{\gamma}^{\mu}\Gamma_{\mu}-m]\psi=0 $$ This ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Where to read about Minkowski space [duplicate]

When I learned Special Relativity, it was taught in terms of basic linear algebra, without any mention of the Minkowski space, proper time as integration on the metric, etc. However, when I am trying ...
5
votes
1answer
538 views

Fourier Transform on a Riemannian Manifold

The question is quite simple: What would be the definition of Fourier Transform (and it's inverse) on a Riemannian Manifold? I've found that a similar question has been asked at Mathematics.SE but ...
3
votes
2answers
207 views

Differential Forms and Densities

I've heard that differential forms are related to densities, however I'm still a little confused about that. I thought on the case of charge density and I came to that: let $U\subset\mathbb{R}^3$ be a ...
2
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1answer
147 views

Newtonian Gravity on a Riemannian $3$-Manifold

To solve the Poisson equation for the Newton Potential, say $\phi$, one can use the divergence theorem, such that $$\int_U \nabla^2 \phi \sqrt{g}~ dV= \int_{\partial U} <\nabla \phi,n> ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Physical and Geometrical interpretation of Differential Forms

I have a doubt about the physical and geometrical interpretation of differential forms. I've been studying differential forms on Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds, but my real intent is to use those ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Are Poisson brackets of second-class constraints independent of the canonical coordinates?

Say we have a constraint system with second-class constraints $\chi_N(q,p)=0$. To define Dirac brackets we need the Poisson brackets of these constraints: $C_{NM}=\{\chi_N(q,p),\chi_M(q,p)\}_P$ . Is ...
3
votes
2answers
378 views

Polyakov action: difference induced metric and dynamical metric

The Polyakov action is given by: $$ S_p ~=~ -\frac{T}{2}\int d^2\sigma \sqrt{-g}g^{\alpha\beta}\partial_{\alpha}X^{\mu}\partial_{\beta}X^{\nu}\eta_{\mu\nu} ~=~ -\frac{T}{2}\int d^2\sigma ...
13
votes
3answers
734 views

Representing forces as one-forms

First of all, sorry if any of those things are silly or nonsense, I'm just trying to understand better how the concepts of forms, exterior derivative and so on can be used in physics. This question ...