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

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Covariant derivative commutator on spinors

What is this object $[\nabla_{\mu},\nabla_{\nu}]\epsilon$ in terms of curvature tensor $R_{\mu\nu}$? Where $\nabla_{\mu}$ is the covariant derivative on a four sphere and $\epsilon$ is spinor. PS: I ...
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17 views

Angle sum of triangle in Schwarzchild solution

Curvature of space is often intuitively explained as angles of a triangle not adding up to 180 degrees. My questions concerns that. Suppose you have a perfectly spherical star of uniform density - so ...
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1answer
81 views

Where does the “Supersymmetry” in Witten's proof of the Morse inequalities come from?

Where does the "Supersymmetry" in Witten's proof of the Morse inequalities (original paper and outline of proof for mathematicians) come from? Hopefully someone can provide an intuitive understanding? ...
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1answer
399 views

Conservative vector fields

I was always told that to find whether or not a vector field is conservative, see if the curl is zero. I have now been told that just because the curl is zero does not necessarily mean it is ...
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116 views

Curvature based derivation of Schwarzschild Metric

I'm a third year maths undergrad and I'm trying to find (and follow) a curvature based derivation of the Schwarzschild metric, if there exists such a proof?
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1answer
72 views

Maxwell's equations in integral form using differential geometry

So I've been trying to convert from Maxwell's equations in terms of differential forms to the integral versions of Maxwell's equations that we know from vector calculus. We have, in vector calculus ...
6
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1answer
164 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 ...
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1answer
35 views

Elementary question about distributive property of variation operator on an exterior product

I am trying to work out the equations of motion of a 11-dimensional supergravity action $$S = \frac{1}{2\kappa^2}\left(\gamma\int d^{11}x\sqrt{|g|}\mathcal{R} - \frac{\alpha}{2}\int G \wedge \star G ...
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1answer
114 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
67 views

Euclidean metric on a Riemannian manifold [migrated]

Lets say we have a Euclidean configurations space $\mathbb E^n$ equipped with a smooth inner product $\langle \cdot ,\cdot \rangle$ with positive signature in the tangent space above each point. We ...
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1answer
57 views

Is EM interpreted in a principal or vector bundle?

I've read in a few places that EM is a $U(1)$-principal bundle; but is this correct? Isn't it rather an associated vector bundle using the adjoint representation of $U(1)$?
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24 views

Topologically non trivial cycles [migrated]

I am studying a Stiefel manifold $X$ which is topologically an $S^3$ bundle over an $S^4$ but is not a product space. I am not able to understand that why is it not the product space $S^3 \times S^4$? ...
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2answers
83 views

Telling if geometry is curved without Riemann tensor

If you're only interested in telling whether a certain geometry is flat or curved, and you do not need to know in which way it is curved, do you still need the Riemann tensor? When I try to visualize ...
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2answers
302 views

How does one write Newtons 2nd Law using the language of forms?

Newton's second law says that $F=ma$. Supposing that the force is conservative and can thus be expressed in terms of a potential $V$ we have that $F=-dV$. We have that $V$, being a function, can ...
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4answers
158 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 ...
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0answers
168 views

What are the equations of motion for the scalar field in the tetrad formalism?

The action of a massless scalar field in curved spacetime is given by: \begin{equation} S(\phi)=\int d^{4}x \sqrt{-g}\left(g^{\mu\nu}\phi_{,\mu}\phi_{,\nu}\right) \end{equation} Now the action can ...
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0answers
35 views

Normal of a null surface and null junction conditions in general relativity

I am trying to use the null junction formalism in general relativity (as explained in eg http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.43.3763&rep=rep1&type=pdf, "Junctions and thin ...
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1answer
123 views

Distributions (generalized functions) over manifolds

I have asked a similar question on the math stackexchange website, but since this type of question might have an answer that is known to physicists better than mathematicians I'm posting the question ...
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1answer
134 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 ...
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0answers
96 views

Calculating euler number of disk [migrated]

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 ...
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1answer
46 views

Gradient in the Frenet-Serret coordinate

I was simply thinking that the gradient in the Frenet-Serret coordinate at a particular point is similar to the gradient in the Cartesian coordinate. I simply assumed that Frenet space is an ...
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0answers
38 views

Gradient in cylindrical coordinates [migrated]

This is more of a maths question, but several sources point at different expressions for the gradient in cylindrical coordiantes. Sometimes I see the radial component for the gradient of a scalar ...
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2answers
153 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?
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1answer
143 views

What are the mathematical models for force, acceleration and velocity?

In mechanics, the space can be described as a Riemann manifold. Forces, then, can be defined as vector fields of this manifold. Accelerations are linear functions of forces, so they are covector ...
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82 views

Master's Thesis in General Relativity [closed]

just throwing a query out to the Physics community. I'm about to embark on a master's in Gravitation, Cosmology and General Relativity and was looking for possible subjects to start researching. My ...
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2answers
177 views

Locally flat coordinate and Locally inertial frame

I am having some doubts on myself regarding the above concepts in General Relativity. First, I want to point out how I understand them so far. A male observer follows a timelike worldline ($\gamma$) ...
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3answers
1k views

Does spacetime position not form a four-vector?

When one starts learning about physics, vectors are presented as mathematical quantities in space which have a direction and a magnitude. This geometric point of view has encoded in it the idea that ...
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1answer
136 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 ...
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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
489 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, ...
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2answers
709 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
1k 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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63 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 ...
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1answer
91 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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42 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
134 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. ...
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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 ...
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0answers
57 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 ...
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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 ...
9
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2answers
296 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
36 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 $(2,0)$ ...
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2answers
616 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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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
74 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 ...
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2answers
111 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 ...
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4answers
305 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 $\mathbb{R} \to M$, ...
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3answers
334 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 ...