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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2answers
161 views

Why Hausdorff and Paracompact manifold in GR?

What can we say about the transition map if the manifold is a Hausdorff space? Why do we need the manifolds to be Hausdorff and paracompact in General Relativity?
8
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Ricci tensor of direct product of manifolds

Imagine I have a (Lorentzian) manifold with a metric $\left[ {\begin{array}{cc} g_{\mu\nu} &0\\ 0&g_{mn}\\ \end{array} } \right]$ Will the Ricci tensor be also block diagonal ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Asymptotic flatness implies existence of rotation axis

Suppose we have an asymptotically flat, globally hyperbolic spacetime $M$ endowed with two one-parameter isometry groups $\sigma_t$ and $\chi_{\phi}$ which commute (i.e. $\sigma_t \circ \chi_{\phi}= ...
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0answers
74 views

Why do we need non-trivial fibrations?

I am currently reading this paper. I understand how the Bloch sphere $S^2$ is presented as a geometric representation of the observables of a two-state system: $$ \alpha |0\rangle + \beta |1\rangle ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Spin connection in higher dimension

I have a problem regarding computation of spin connection in the case where One or more dimension is compactified. For example if we take a $D+1$ dimensional bosonic string action and write the $D+1$ ...
10
votes
1answer
398 views

Can masses move in 2+1 gravity?

I would like to understand basic concepts of the general relativity in 2+1 spacetime. As far as I know, GR predicts that such a spacetime is flat everywhere except for the point masses which create ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

What is the meaning of space-time curvature?

What is the difference between the Space-time curvature and Space curvature?
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0answers
41 views

Link between a topological space and a manifold [migrated]

A topological space is defined as a non-empty set $X$ together with a given collection of subsets $T$ (topology) of $X$, such that, (i) any union of these subsets is one of the subsets. (ii) any ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Riemann curvature tensor in first order perturbation theory as a Lie derivative of Riemann curvature tensor in zero order

I am having a difficulty solving my homework so I was hoping I could get some help, so here it is. It is about gravitational waves and first order gravitational perturbation theory, I have to prove ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Which textbook of differential geometry will introduce conformal transformation?

Which textbook of differerntial geometry will have these formulas about conformal transformation? $$\tilde g_{ij} = e^{2\varphi}g_{ij}$$ $$\tilde \Gamma^k{}_{ij} = \Gamma^k{}_{ij}+ ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Deriving the transformation under Weyl rescaling in Polchinski eq. (1.2.31)

I have another question in Polchinski's string theory book volume 1, namely how to derive Eq. (1.2.32)? $$(-\gamma')^{1/2} R'=(-\gamma)^{1/2} (R-2 \nabla^2 \omega) \tag{1.2.32}$$ I have awared his ...
4
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0answers
61 views

Why is the Ricci tensor diagonal for isotropic spacetime?

I'm reading Zee's Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell and while calculating the Ricci tensor for FRW spacetime he claims that because the spacelike slices of constant $t$ are rotationally invariant, the ...
4
votes
0answers
47 views

Intuitively what's the relationship between forces and connections?

In Einstein's General Relativity we relate the effects of gravity with the curvature of the Levi-Civita connection on the spacetime manifold. Also, when we get the electromagnetic tensor $F = dA$ ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

What is the notion of a spatial angle in general relativity?

Is there a notion of spatial angles in general relativity? Example: The world line of a photon is given by $x^{\mu}(\lambda)$. Suppose it flies into my lab where I have a mirror. I align the mirror ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

The Spin Connection

Why do we need to introduce the spin connection coefficients $\omega_{\mu \space \space b}^{\space \space a} $ in General Relativity? To me, they just look (mathematically) like the Christoffel ...
3
votes
0answers
41 views

Rigid rectangle in Schwarzschild

Say I build a perfect rectangle. Side lengths $l_1$ and $l_2$ and perfect right angles. I am on earth and the metric is given by the Schwarzschild metric. Setting $dt=0$ leads to the spatial ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Metric for infinite straight cosmic string

A string theory question on my general relativity problem set: Metric is given as $$\mathrm{d}s^2 = -A(r)\mathrm{d}t^2 + B(r)\mathrm{d}r^2 + r^2 \mathrm{d}\theta^2.$$ a) Solve the vacuum equations ...
3
votes
2answers
299 views

Orthochronous Lorentz transformations are time-preserving and $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$

Let's consider the psuedosphere/hyperboloid in $\mathbb{R}^{1,2}$ given by $$x^2+y^2-z^2=-R^2.$$ We know that the Lorentz group $$O(1,2)=\{ A \in Mat(3,\mathbb{R}): A^tGA=G \},$$ where ...
3
votes
2answers
272 views

Restriction of a Lagrangian

I'm wondering if anyone could help me with the following questions. Let $M$ be the Minkowski spacetime, given $f\in C^{\infty}(M) ; f(m)=x^{0}(m)$, with $\{x^{\mu}\}$ being a global Cartesian ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

How to calculate spatial distance in space-time?

Pinning two test particles at two different points in space, how can I calculate their spatial distance, when the geometry is given by the Schwarzschild metric? Let's say particle 1 is pinned at ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What does a frame of reference mean in terms of manifolds?

Because of my mathematical background, I've been finding it hard to relate the physics-talk I've been reading, with mathematical objects. In (say special) relativity, we have a Lorentzian manifold, ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Covariant derivative of a vanishing tensor component [closed]

Is the covariant derivative of a vanishing tensor component necessarily zero?
0
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0answers
31 views

Geodesic trajectories of 3D hyperbola [migrated]

Consider a 3-dimensional space given by the set of points {(x,y,z),x∈R,y∈R,z>0} with the metric ds2=a/z2(dx2+dy2+dz2). b) Consider two geodesic trajectories with initial conditions ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Geodesic devation on a two sphere

So the geodesic deviation equation gives the relative acceleration between two geodesics in motion. But given a pair of geodesic (let's say on the two sphere) that start at the equator, separated by ...
4
votes
3answers
89 views

Aside from experimental evidence, is there any reason to model space as Euclidean?

Obviously experiment is the end-all-be-all of any science, but I'm curious if there's any a priori reason to model space as Euclidean three-space (from a pre-relativity viewpoint, of course; I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
135 views

Integral form of Gauss's law for magnetism from Stokes' theorem?

How can the integral form of Gauss's law for magnetism be described as a version of general Stokes' theorem? How does it follow?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Killing vector contractions along isometric curves

Imagine $\xi_{\nu}$ is a Killing vector field on a manifold. Does $\xi_{\nu}\xi^{\nu}$ remain constant along any isometric curve defined by the Killing vector field? My guess is that yes since as ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

What are the spaces over spacetime points in which a field takes its values? Is it always the same?

When it comes to the fibrations encountered in field theories of physics, are the fibers over the base space always the same?
2
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0answers
38 views

Can we define a induced metric like this? [migrated]

Let $\Sigma_r$ be a topological sphere in a 3-dimensional asymptotically flat Riemannian manifold $M$ with metric $g$, $\{\frac{\partial}{\partial x^i}\}, 1\leq i\leq3$ is the standard coordinate ...
13
votes
4answers
285 views

The Lagrangian as a metric

My question is, can the (classical) Lagrangian be thought of as a metric? That is, is there a meaningful sense in which we can think of the least-action path from the initial to the final ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Deriving Cartan formula

I have trouble deriving Cartan formula of the form: $$ \mathrm{d} \omega (X,Y) = X[\omega(Y)] - Y[\omega(X)] - \omega([X,Y]) \tag{1} $$ where $\mathrm{d}$ is the exterior derivative, $\omega$ is a ...
3
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2answers
117 views

Hilbert action's invariance under general coordinate changes

In an article, when considering invariance of the Hilbert action under a general coordinate change this formula appears for how the metric changes ...
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3answers
320 views

Geometric interpretation of Electromagnetism

For gravity, we have General Relativity, which is a geometric theory for gravitation. Is there a similar analog for Electromagnetism?
4
votes
0answers
89 views

Tensor fields and vector bundles [migrated]

Let $M$ be a differentiable manifold, $TM$ and $T^*M$ a tangent and cotangent bundle of $M$ and let $\Gamma (TM),\ \Gamma (T^*M)$ be spaces of smooth sections of $TM$ and $T^*M$. Let $T_s^r (M)$ ...
4
votes
2answers
160 views

Why do we require manifolds to be a topological space?

Roughly speaking, we define a manifold $M$ to be covered by a set of charts $\{(U_i , \varphi_i)\}$ such that locally the $n$-dimensional manifolds looks like $\mathbb{R}^n$. One of the conditions is ...
4
votes
6answers
399 views

Physical meaning of non-trivial solutions of vacuum Einstein's field equations

According to Einstein, the space-time is curved and the origin of the curvature is the presence of matter i.e. the presence of the energy-momentum tensor $T_{ab}$ in Einstein's field equations. If our ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Why is $D$ a $2$-form and $E$ a $1$-form?

Usually in electrostatics we start by introducing the vector field $\mathbf{E}$ representing the electric field due to some charge distribution. Later when we study fields in materials we consider the ...
7
votes
2answers
101 views

Definition of a spinor and applications to GR

I understand the construction of the Clifford algebra $C(r,s)$ and in turn the corresponding $Pin$ and $Spin$ groups. I would like first to clarify that $Spin(r,s)^e$ is the universal covering group ...
12
votes
1answer
141 views

Soliton Moduli Spaces and Homotopy Theory

The four-dimensional $SU(N)$ Yang-Mills Lagrangian is given by $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2e^2}\mathrm{Tr}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$$ and gives rise to the Euclidean equations of motion $\mathcal{D}_\mu ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

What are type system examples of local gauge transformation- and field strength-like objects?

This is essentially a follow up motivated by this answer to my question about the gauge transformation interpretation of identity types. A field $$\psi:\mathcal M\to\mathbb C^n$$ is a section of the ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Covariant derivative as a tensor

$$\nabla_{j} v^{i}~=~g^{ik}\nabla_{j}v_{k}.$$ Does this equality involve an intermediate step, where I take the metric inside the derivative, and then use the fact that covariant derivative of the ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

Why is the Hodge dual so essential?

It seems unnatural to me that it is so often worthwhile to replace physical objects with their Hodge duals. For instance, if the magnetic field is properly thought of as a 2-form and the electric ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Why such hypersurface orthogonal vector leading to $g_{0i}=0$ for $i=1,2,3$?

Suppose that the hypersurface orthogonal co-vector $W$ us perpendicular to the family of hypersurface defined by a function $\varphi$ with $\varphi=constant$. If we choose a coordinate in which ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Questions about deduction the dual form of Frobenius's Theorem

I am reading Page 435, General Relativity by Wald. Let $T^*\subset V^*$ be a subspace of the dual tangent space of a manifold, $W\subset V$ be the subspace of the tangent space annihilated by $T^*$, ...
10
votes
2answers
275 views

Why isn't general relativity the obvious thing to try after special relativity?

To preface my question, I ask this as a mathematics student, so I don't have a very good sense of how physicists think. Here is the historical context I'm imagining (in particular taking into account ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Frames, Tetrads and GR

Given a general metric, $g_{ab}$ I can select an orthonormal basis $\omega^{a}$ such that, $$g_{ab} = \eta_{ab}\omega^a \otimes \omega^b$$ where $\eta_{ab}$ = $\mathrm{diag}(1,-1,-1,-1).$ We may ...
6
votes
2answers
243 views

Parallel Transport of a 4-vector

Why does the parallel transported $4$-vector change from $X^a(x)$ to $X^a(x) + \bar{\delta}X^a(x)$ ? This is also discussed in D'Inverno's relativity book [page - 72]; but the reason is not clear.
6
votes
3answers
190 views

Resources showing how to use differential forms in Physics

I've been learning for a while about multivectors and forms and how they simplify many things that in simple vector calculus seems to be complicated. The only problem until now is that differently ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Why can a killing vector field be determined globally by its value and first derivative at one point?

It is said in Weinberg's Book, Gravitation and Cosmology, page 377, that a killing vector field (which we a priori assume exists globally) can be uniquely determined by its value and first derivative ...