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

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1answer
126 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 ...
0
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1answer
115 views

How to find a metric of a general observer?

Yes, that's it. How to find a particular metric of an observer in general relativity? Let's say we have a static metric: ...
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2answers
74 views

Calculating euler number of disk

I'm trying to do exercise 3.1 from Polchinski, which should be a rather easy differential geometry problem. I have to calculate the euler number defined by $$\chi = \frac{1}{4\pi}\int_{M}d^{2}\sigma ...
16
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2answers
471 views

Global Properties of Spacetime Manifolds

When solving the Einstein field equations, $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu}R = 8\pi GT_{\mu\nu}$$ for a particular stress-energy tensor, we obtain the metric of the spacetime manifold, ...
9
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2answers
700 views

Geometric/Visual Interpretation of Virasoro Algebra

I've been trying to gain some intuition about Virasoro Algebras, but have failed so far. The Mathematical Definition seems to be clear (as found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virasoro_algebra). I ...
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2answers
995 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
60 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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0answers
48 views

Is a ball noncompact? [migrated]

A compact manifold usually refers to "a manifold without a boundary", for example the usual 2-sphere $S^2$. What about a manifold with a boundary? Intuitively, I think such an example, e.g. a ball ...
2
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1answer
68 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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0answers
40 views

Extension of vector field and fluid velocity

I've been studying locomotion at low Reynolds number with gauge theories reading this paper and on pages 567 and 568 we find the explanation on how to compute the field strength tensor. For simplicity ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Carroll's derivation of the geodesic equations [duplicate]

In Carroll's derivation of the geodesic equations (page 69, http://preposterousuniverse.com/grnotes/grnotes-three.pdf), he starts with ...
2
votes
2answers
127 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. ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Explicit Variation of Gibbons-Hawking-York Boundary Term

Are there any references that present the explicit variation of the Hilbert-Einstein action plus the Hawking-Gibbons-York boundary term, and demonstrate the cancellation of the normal derivatives of ...
0
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0answers
56 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 ...
0
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0answers
20 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 ...
8
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2answers
285 views

Fluid Mechanics with calculus on manifolds

Fluid Mechanics is a branch of physics that uses a lot of vector calculus in $\mathbb{R}^3$ to describe phenomena mathematically. Calculus on manifolds, however, is the straightforward generalization ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

If a point r lies in the boundary of the chronological future of another point p, why does the chronological future of r belong to that of p?

I am studying the global causality of the spacetime. Here, I come across a problem. Suppose a point $r\in \partial I^+(p)$. $I^+(p)$ is the chronological future of a different point $p$ in ...
1
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1answer
91 views

Spin connection and covariant derivative

How to prove explicitly (i.e., to don't postulate it) that by including Lorentz indices $a$ the covariant derivative $D_{\mu}$ looks like $$ D_{\mu}A^{\nu a} = \partial_{\mu}A^{\nu a} + ...
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0answers
35 views

Tensor components multiplication vs. matrix multiplication [duplicate]

I'm teaching myself general relativity at the moment and I'm not sure I understand the difference between the product of tensor components and matrix multiplication. First of all, if $A$ is a $(2,0)$ ...
7
votes
2answers
608 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
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0answers
72 views

Will a black hole cause scattering of a gravity wave?

In my GR textbook, it states that gravity waves can undergo interference but not scattering. I am just starting the chapter on linearised gravity concepts (weak field approximation) and my apologies ...
3
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2answers
109 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
291 views

Geodesic Equation from variation: Is the squared lagrangian equivalent?

It is well known that geodesics on some manifold $M$, covered by some coordinates ${x_\mu}$, say with a Riemannian metric can be obtained by an action principle . Let $C$ be curve $\mathbb{R} \to M$, ...
5
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3answers
327 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
28 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
55 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 $$\omega= \Lambda \omega' \Lambda^{-1} - (d\Lambda) \Lambda^{-1}$$ ...
32
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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 ...
0
votes
1answer
49 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 + ...
4
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0answers
155 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 ...
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2answers
207 views

About Christoffel symbols in Riemann normal coordinates

According to the answer to this post, the Christoffel symbols in Riemann normal coordinates are approximated by $$\Gamma^{k}_{ij}(x)~\sim~\frac{1}{2} R^k{}_{ilj}(x_0) \xi^l \tag{5.10}$$ which came ...
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0answers
46 views

Nabla or semicolon notation for covariant derivative? [closed]

$$A_{\,;\alpha}^{\mu}=\nabla_{\alpha}A^{\mu}$$ Are there any pros and cons regarding these two notations for denoting the covariant derivative?
1
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1answer
62 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 ...
1
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2answers
96 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. ...
3
votes
0answers
54 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 ...
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3answers
116 views
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0answers
26 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 ...
1
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1answer
41 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 ...
4
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2answers
115 views

Is Differential Geometry used in Solid State?

I'm an undergraduate in physics interested in a career in solid state. While I know that any additional math is helpful--I am on time constraints, and can only take a few supplemental classes. That ...
0
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1answer
118 views

What is the covariant basis around a Schwarzschild black hole?

First of all, I'm not interested in time for this question. So lets consider a 3-manifold whose metric is the spatial part of the Schwarzschild metric, so it has the event horizon and the singularity ...
0
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2answers
81 views

What experience tells us that gravitational acceleration cannot vanish everywhere?

In attempt to describe the consequences of the Equivalence Principle, Papapetrou in his book, said: When there are gravitational accelerations present, as for example in the gravitational field of ...
2
votes
2answers
97 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
1answer
203 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 ...
11
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4answers
5k views

Why is the covariant derivative of the metric tensor zero?

I've consulted several books for the explanation of why $$\nabla _{\mu}g_{\alpha \beta} = 0,$$ and hence derive the relation between metric tensor and affine connection $\Gamma ^{\sigma}_{\mu ...
2
votes
2answers
63 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 ...
6
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1answer
155 views

Non-trivial scalar quantity

Is there any scalar quantity made of only the Christoffel symbols, determinant of a metric and tensors, not derivatives? In other words, can we construct a scalar quantity which cannot be written in ...
20
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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 ...
0
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2answers
71 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 ...
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1answer
46 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. ...
14
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4answers
355 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 ...