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

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1answer
266 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 ...
2
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1answer
69 views

The relationship between Lorentz Lie algebra and curvature

Here I transfered the question from the comment The relationship between spin and spinor curvature How $\mathcal{R}_{ab} = \frac{1}{4}R_{abst}\gamma^s \gamma^t$ is from $\Psi \mapsto \Psi + ...
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6answers
2k views

What is a tensor?

I have a pretty good knowledge of physics but couldn't understand what a tensor is. I just couldn't understand it, and the wiki page is very hard to understand as well. Can someone refer me to a good ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Is topology of universe observable?

There is an idea that the geometry of physical space is not observable(i.e. it can't be fixed by mere observation). It was introduced by H. Poincare. In brief it says that we can formulate our ...
4
votes
2answers
158 views

Metric tensor in special and general relativity

I'm having trouble understanding the metric tensor in general relativity. What I've understood so far has come from my course lecture notes used in conjunction with "The Road to Reality" by Roger ...
2
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0answers
72 views

Instantons in Witten's supersymmetry and Morse theory

I'm reading Witten's paper on supersymmetry and Morse theory and am confused about the details of the instanton calculation which he uses to define a Morse complex (beginning at page 11 of the pdf) . ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Avoiding Pseudo-tensors when addressing global conservation of energy in GR

Discussions about global conservation of energy in GR often invoke the use of the stress-energy-momentum pseudo-tensor to offer up a sort of generalization of the concept of energy defined in a way ...
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0answers
29 views

Hodge star operator [migrated]

Again I have issues with notations. The hodge star operator is defined as : (m is the dimension of the manifold) $$\star: \Omega^{r}(M) \rightarrow \Omega^{m-r}(M)$$ $$\star(dx^{\mu_{1}} \wedge ...
8
votes
1answer
116 views

Evaluating the Einstein-Hilbert action

The Einstein-Hilbert action is given by, $$I = \frac{1}{16\pi G} \int_{M} \mathrm{d}^d x \, \sqrt{-g} \, R \, \, + \, \, \frac{1}{8\pi G}\int_{\partial M} \mathrm{d}^{d-1}x \, \sqrt{-h} \, K$$ ...
3
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1answer
49 views

Show that getting parallel transported does not change angle between them- Tensors [closed]

I must tell you that I have never seen this kind of question in Tensor Analysis. Our professor had set up this question in our exam, but I don't know whether it belongs to tensors or not. The question ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Laplacian in tensor [closed]

Find $\vec \nabla^2\phi $ when $$ds^{2}=-dt^{2}+a^{2}(t)[dx^{2}+dy^{2}+dz^{2}] $$ or $$g_{ij}=\begin{bmatrix} -1 & 0 &0 &0 \\ 0 &a^{2}(t) &0 &0 \\ 0&0 ...
3
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1answer
73 views

Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3)$ isometry group?

As the title says, is it possible to have a Riemannian Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3) $ isometry group?
2
votes
1answer
183 views

How to properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time?

How do I properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time? I have my curved spacetime metric $(+,-,-,-)$ and my magnetic vector potential $A$. I tried two ways but not sure which is ...
3
votes
1answer
231 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 (-+++) ...
7
votes
3answers
399 views

Does Kaluza-Klein Theory Require an Additional Scalar Field?

I've seen the Kaluza-Klein metric presented in two different ways., cf. Refs. 1 and 2. In one, there is a constant as well as an additional scalar field introduced: $$\tilde{g}_{AB}=\begin{pmatrix} ...
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0answers
32 views

Definition of a geodesic ball? [migrated]

I think it goes along the lines of: a ball made of a series of flat sides. Also is a geodesic ball and geodesic dome the same thing?
8
votes
1answer
107 views

Betti multiplets in Kaluza Klein compactifications

It is well known that if the compactification manifold of a supergravity theory has non-zero Betti numbers, this may lead to the so called Betti multiplets in the spectrum of the low dimensional ...
1
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0answers
52 views

Variation of the purely covariant Riemann tensor

I need to find the variation of the purely covariant Riemann tensor with respect to the metric $g^{\mu \nu}$, i.e. $\delta R_{\rho \sigma \mu \nu}$. I know that, $R_{\rho \sigma \mu \nu} = g_{\rho ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Formular for interior product, example

In Nakahara's Geometry,Topology and Physics, the interior product is defined like this : $$i_X: \Omega^{r}(M) \rightarrow \Omega^{r-1}(M).$$ Where $ X \in X(M)$ and $\omega \in \Omega^{r}(M)$ ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Computing the Christoffel symbols with the geodesic equation

I would like to compute the Christoffel symbols of the second kind using the geodesic equation. To practice, I have tried the Schwarzschild Ansatz $$ g_{00} = \mathrm e^\nu,\quad g_{11} = - \mathrm ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Is the apparent lack of (Ricci) curvature in the Schwarzschild metric due to a choice of coordinates?

I've been lightly studying GR lately. Something that has been bothering me has been the lack of (Ricci) curvature produced from the Schwarzschild metric in the few lectures I've watched, as well as ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Geodesics in AdS3

I'm having some trouble doing an easy computation with the AdS space. I'm considering $\text{AdS}_3$ space with the Poincaré coordinates, so the metric reads $$ds^2 = \frac{R^2}{z^2}(dz^2 - dt^2 + ...
8
votes
1answer
244 views

7 sphere, is there any physical interpretation of exotic spheres?

Basically an exotic sphere is topologically a sphere, but doesn't look like a one. Or more accurately: homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic to the standard Euclidean n-sphere The first exotic ...
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4answers
145 views

How to determine “timelike”-ness without using a coordinate system?

It has been stated here that: we can say, without introducing a coordinate system, that the interval associated with two events is timelike, lightlike, or spacelike. This assertion appears at ...
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1answer
62 views

Has a metric formulation of electromagnetism ever been attempted? [duplicate]

I understand that electromagnetic fields carry energy, and this energy curves spacetime gravitationally. That's not my question. I'm asking if anyone has tried to formulate electromagnetism in such ...
2
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0answers
41 views

How to prove that a time-oriented spacetime possesses a nowhere vanishing timelike vector field?

Penrose gave a very brief proof to this question. Since the spacetime is paracompact, there exists a positive definite metric called $h_{ab}$. Then, the nowhere vanishing time-like vector field $V^a$ ...
10
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2answers
275 views

What kind of manifold can be the phase space of a Hamiltonian system?

Of course it should have dimension $2n$. But any more conditions? For example, can a genus-2 surface be the phase space of a Hamiltonian system?
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0answers
27 views

freedom of choice of 1-form in canonical representation of generic local field corresponds to gauge choice?

So it is a question in Gravitation Wheeler, Thorne and Misner 4.2 Exercise. Given F=$dp_{i}\wedge dq^{i}$. Using canonical transformation from p to $\bar{p}$ and q to $\bar{q}$, one gets ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

A question on 1 form [closed]

If $d\,\sigma=0$ and $\sigma$ is non trivially with basis' coefficient 0, then $\sigma$ is a exterior derivative of a scalar function. I knew $d^{2} =0$. So it seems that all I am quoting is that ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

The relationship between spin and spinor curvature

The identity, $$ -\gamma^b{\mathcal{R}}_{ab} = {\mathcal{R}}_{ab}\gamma^b = \frac{1}{2}\gamma^b R_{ab}$$ is presented in the answer to the question Dirac Equation in General Relativity. How does ...
5
votes
3answers
136 views

Global vs. local gauge group in mathematical sense - physics examples?

Upon reading about the principal bundle picture of (quantum) field theory I encountered two different definitions of the gauge group: Local gauge group $G$. Corresponds to the fibers of the ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

E&M and geometry - a historical perspective

Recently, I was contemplating the beautiful formulation of electromagnetism (specifically Maxwell's equations) in terms of differential forms: $$F=\mathrm{d} A\implies \mathrm{d}F=0 ...
11
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1answer
191 views

Conformal/trace anomaly and index theorem

I am reading the chapters on characteristic classes and the index theorems in Nakahara. It is proven in the text that any chiral or gravitational anomaly $\mathcal{A}$ is given by $$\mathcal{A}=\int ...
4
votes
4answers
154 views

What makes a coordinate curved?

Bear with me while I try to explain exactly what the question is. The question Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration? is imagining a coordinate system in which the curvature is ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

The Einstein-Hilbert Action On-Shell

If one consider the Maxwell action as $$S=-\int \mathrm{d^{4}}x\! \ \frac{1}{4}F_{ab}F^{ab} \,$$ one find the usual Maxwell equation $$\partial_{a}F^{ab}=0$$ Then one can simply arrive the following ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Duality in arbitrary finite dimension using the Levi-Civita tensor

In 4-D flat metric E&M context, given a rank $p$ tensor, one can construct dual of $4-p$ rank tensor by Levi-Civita tensor. Here dual is not in the same sense of mathematical dual. I do not know ...
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0answers
16 views

Angular diameter distance in an inhomogeneous universe?

Computing the angular diameter distance $D_{A}$ is a well known academic exercise in an homogeneous Universe. But now suppose that we are in an inhomogeneous Universe and that I am interested in ...
5
votes
3answers
123 views

Integral in different coordinate systems

In Griffiths' electrodynamics book, he uses the equation, $$\nabla^2\mathbf{A}=-\mu_0 \mathbf{J},$$ to state that $$\mathbf{A}(\mathbf{r}) = ...
4
votes
0answers
51 views

Asymtotically flat spacetime applicable for spacetimes which are not diffeomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^4$

I wanted to investigate changes on a compact 4-manifold $M$. More specifically it is the K3-surface. I follow a paper by Asselmeyer-Maluga from 2012. The idea there was to make sure that the manifold ...
3
votes
0answers
33 views

Sign convention with the $AdS$ metric

One would say that $AdS_n$ satisfies the equations for the scalar curvature (R) and Ricci tensor ($R_{\mu \nu}$), $R = - \frac{n(n-1)}{L^2}$ and $R_{ab} = - \frac{n-1}{L^2}g_{ab}$. But do the signs ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

Scalar product of torsional forms - how are the standard identities modified?

It is known that for any smooth, orientable, compact manifold $X$ without boundary and $\alpha \in \Omega^{r}(X), \beta \in \Omega^{r-1}(X)$ it holds \begin{equation} (d\beta,\alpha)= (\beta, ...
6
votes
2answers
146 views

Killing vectors in flat FLRW metric

I have the flat FLRW metric, $$ ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2) $$ and a geodesic $\gamma(s)=(t(s),x(s),y(s),z(s))$ with parameter $s$. Two of the Killing vectors of the metric are $ \partial_x$ ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Why is the Taub-NUT instanton singular at $\theta=\pi$?

Consider the following metric $$ds^2=V(dx+4m(1-\cos\theta)d\phi)^2+\frac{1}{V}(dr+r^2d\theta^2+r^2\sin^2\theta{}d\phi^2),$$ where $$V=1+\frac{4m}{r}.$$ That is the Taub-NUT instanton. I have been ...
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vote
1answer
77 views

Second fundamental form

How do I calculate the integral of the trace of the second fundamental form on a surface? The formula used in the Gibbons, Hawking, York paper Action integrals and partition functions in quantum ...
6
votes
2answers
464 views

Why isn't invariant notation common?

In principle, one can write quantities in a manifestly invariant - rather than covariant - fashion in e.g. special relativity. For example, rather than writing just $x^\mu$, we could write the basis ...
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vote
3answers
112 views

Why do we need a metric to define gradient?

For me, the gradient of a scalar field (say, in three dimensions) is simply (formally) $\nabla f = \left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial x}, \frac{\partial f}{\partial y},\frac{\partial f}{\partial z} ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Time-like Killing vector in FRW metric?

The spatially flat FRW metric in cartesian co-ordinates is given by: $$ds^2 = -dt^2 + a^2(t)(dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2)$$ As I understand it there are Killing vectors in the $x$, $y$, $z$ directions implying ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Two definitions of Riemann curvature tensor

I am relatively used to the coordinate free expression of the Riemann tensor: $$ R(X, Y)Z=\nabla_X\nabla_Y Z - \nabla_Y\nabla_X Z - \nabla_{[X, Y]} Z, $$ where $\nabla$ is the Levi-Civita connection ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Why is the anti-symmetric tensor more important than symmetric tensors?

In differential geometry, the differential forms are anti-symmetric tensors. So, why is the anti-symmetric tensor like $ d x_1 \otimes dx_2 - d x_2 \otimes d x_1 $, more important than the ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

How to understand the curvature of this metric?

Suppose we have the metric $ ds^2 = dr^2 + \alpha^2 d\phi^2$, where $\alpha$ is a constant, $0 \leq r \leq \infty$, $ 0 \leq \phi \leq 2 \pi$ and we identify points $\phi = 0$ with points $\phi = ...