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

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2
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3answers
116 views

In GR, why should the spacetime manifold be differentiable?

In general relativity (GR), spacetime is viewed as a differentiable manifold of dimension $D$ with a metric of Lorentzian signature $(-,+,+,...,+)$. My question is why differentiable?
1
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3answers
115 views

Technical question about 2-forms

A technical question about the electromagnetic tensor, but before that, it is know if, say, instead of being $$F_{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\mu}A_{\nu} - \partial_{\nu}A_{\mu}$$it were ...
1
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1answer
54 views

Confusion about two forms of connection coefficients

I am new to GR. In one book I found that the connection coefficient expression is given by $$ \Gamma^\mu_{\nu\lambda} = -\frac{1}{2} g^{\mu\rho} (\partial_\nu g_{\lambda\rho} + \partial_\lambda ...
4
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1answer
87 views

How does one express a Lagrangian and Action in the language of forms?

In Lipschitzs Classical Mechanics a Lagrangian is defined as: $L(q,q',t)$ for some trajectory $q(t)$ of a particle And the action is defined as: $S:=\int^a_b L(q,q',t) dt$ How does one ...
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1answer
68 views

Classical spin viewed as $SU(2)$

In which sense is the configuration variable of a classical spin $SU(2)$? I can view a classical spin as a unit vector in $\mathbb{S}^2$ (2-dim. sphere), but it seems it is really given by a matrix ...
-2
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2answers
78 views

Deriving the geodesic equation [closed]

I having been reading a general relativity book, but when in comes to the geodesic equation, it is not derived. How does one go about doing this?
0
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2answers
58 views

“Shortest” path in general relativity

My professor in mechanics course sneakily teach us some basic idea of general relativity. Which one of the basic assumption is particle walks in shortest world line. I understand shortest path in ...
1
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1answer
110 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
84 views

Can Bosons couple to gravity? Why do we need vielbein?

It is said that In theories such as Supergravity where there are fermions coupled to gravity, one must use an auxiliary quantity, the frame field (vielbein). In supergravity, can a boson be coupled ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Scalar functions and manifolds

This paragraph is taken from Supergravity book by Freedman and Van Proeyen.he simplest objects to define on a manifold $M$ are scalar functions $f$ that map $M \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$. We say that ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Manifolds, unit 2-sphere and stereographic projection

I am always passing through this example while reading about manifolds that I don't quite get. It is when describing the unit 2-sphere $S^2$ as an example of a manifold. They say, initially it may ...
4
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0answers
54 views

Trajectories in Rindler space with zero net time dilation

I've discovered a family of curves in Rindler space that have zero net time dilation. However I struggle to see why this should be so, i.e. what the physical significance of these curves is. My ...
0
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1answer
50 views

Can't derive FRW Christoffel symbol [on hold]

I'm trying to confirm that the $\Gamma^1_{01}$ Christoffel symbol of the FRW metric is $\dot{a}/a$. I have the FRW metric: $$ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2\left[\frac{dr^2}{1-kr^2}+r^2(d\theta^2+\sin^2\theta\ ...
8
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Does Birkhoff's theorem apply to rotating collapsing stars?

Birkhoff's theorem states that every spherically symmetric vacuum solution to $R_{\alpha\beta} = 0$ is static, which greatly assists in the solution to the Schwarzschild solution by eliminating time ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

When does light reach a shell observer in Schwarzschild metric?

I am trying to simulate the trajectory of light in the Schwarzschild metric (as seen by a far away observer) with fixed $\theta = \pi/2$. According to my source (Chapter 18, section 18.5) the ...
3
votes
0answers
105 views

Geometric interpretation of quantum Yang-Mills field

In most books\articles review geometric interpretation of classical Yang-Mills field in terms of principal bundle, connections...etc. What are geometric interpretation of quantum Yang-Mills field? ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Schwarzschild metric: motivations and applications in physics

I have a mathematical background and I have just derived the expression of the Schwarzschild metric. Now I was wondering what were the motivations and applications in physics of this metric. Any info ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Einstein's mean space curvature equation [closed]

http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/II_42.html In section 42-3(Our Space is curved) can anybody help me how is equation 42.3 derived using the equation provided previously?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Laplace-Beltrami vs d'Alembert operators in flat vs curved space-time

I am confused with the difference between Laplace-Beltrami (LB) and d'Alembert operators in flat/curved space-time. d'Alembert operator in flat space-time (Minkowski) is defined as $$\Box= ...
6
votes
1answer
325 views

How does one write density as a form?

In vector calculus, given the density $\rho$ of a body with volume $V$, it's total mass $M$ is simply $M=\int_V \rho dV$. If density $\rho$ is a form, say dm it would need to be a volume form to ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Fibre bundles and space-time

I'm having some trouble understanding the concept for this more than likely due to my lacking mathematical background. I am currently reading Roger Penrose's The Road to Reality page 394 ...
0
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1answer
87 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
1answer
109 views
1
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0answers
76 views

Divergence Theorem, mathematical approach to Gauss's Law?

Let $D$ be a compact region in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with a smooth boundary $S$. Assume $0 \in \text{Int}(D)$. If an electric charge of magnitude $q$ is placed at $0$, the resulting force field is ...
0
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0answers
45 views

Proof of Schwarzschild metric construction (O'neill chap 13)

I am struggling with a few steps of the proof in O'neill book $\textit{Semi-Riemannian Geometry, with applications to Relativity}$ on the construction of Schwarzschild's metric (chap13, Lemma1). Is ...
6
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1answer
146 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 ...
0
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1answer
49 views

Calculating Christoffel symbols from Lagrangian

I was given the following metric for a sphere $$g_{\mu\nu} = diag(1, r^2, r^2\sin^2\theta)$$ and tasked to calculate the Christoffel symbols. There are 2 ways that I know of to calculate them. One ...
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vote
1answer
108 views

Differentiating the Lagrangian to find geodesic equations?

I'm stuck pretty much at the first hurdle trying to follow the derivation of the geodesic equations from the Lagrangian ...
0
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Spinors and Möbius strips

I asked this question on Math.SE as I thought the perspective of representation theory might be enlightening. But since the question was provoked by a description of Spinors describing the spin of ...
1
vote
1answer
96 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 ...
1
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1answer
292 views

D-branes wrapping divisors and/or cycles

What is the difference between a divisor and a homology cycle? What is the difference between a D-brane wrapped around a divisor and a D-brane wrapped around a cycle?
3
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0answers
47 views

Branes wrapping curves in M-theory. What does it mean?

What does it mean that a M5-branes wraps a holomorphic curve in M-theory? In specific a lot of Vafa's paper involve various branes (not only M5) wrapping some cycles. What does this really mean ...
2
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2answers
80 views

Making sense out of covariance and contravariance

I just read about co- and contravariant vectors and I am not sure that I got it right: If we imagine that we have a n-dimensional manifold $M$ then a tangent space is spanned by the vectors ...
2
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
69
votes
5answers
14k views

Why would spacetime curvature cause gravity?

It is fine to say that for an object flying past a massive object, the spacetime is curved by the massive object, and so the object flying past follows the curved path of the geodesic, so it "appears" ...
12
votes
2answers
884 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 ...
3
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1answer
268 views
0
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1answer
95 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: ...
5
votes
2answers
132 views

Momentum is a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
1
vote
2answers
143 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 ($\gamma$) ...
2
votes
4answers
101 views

Any tips on evaluating Riemann tensor?

I am calculating the Riemann tensor for the Schwarzschild solution. I've calculated all 9 non-vanishing Christoffel symbols already. Now I need to evaluate the Riemann tensor and I find no easy way to ...
5
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
0
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2answers
52 views

A couple of questions on the ADM formalism in general relativity

I've been reading up on the ADM formalism in general relativity and have been stuck on a couple of concepts. The first is to do with the foliation of spacetime into space-like hypersurfaces. I ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Determinant of the curved space scalar wave operator

I am reading a paper titled 'Analogue Gravity' (http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2011-3 or http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0505065) In the paper (page 15/159) they say this: $$\det(\sqrt{-g} g^{\mu \nu}) ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

What kind of object is the Landau--Lifshitz pseudotensor?

I understand that it's called a pseudotensor because it's not a tensor. Wikipedia says most pseudotensors are sections of jet bundles, which are perfectly valid objects in GR. ...
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vote
0answers
18 views

Line Elements for $n$-dimensional hyperspheres [migrated]

I'm currently in the process of deriving the components of the Riemann Curvature Tensor for a 3-sphere using the Cartan Equations. The line element I'm starting with is: $$ ds^2 = ...
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1answer
125 views

Why a timelike geodesic maximizes path length?

I'm studying some GR and my book says that in Pseudo-Riemannian manifolds geodesics may even maximize the path locally. That's what happen to the timelike geodesics, for example. My first question: Is ...