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

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23 views

Supergravity solution, metric for the total space, and connection

In supergravity solutions, one sometimes encounters the case where the manifold may be a bundle over some base space, and one has to write down the explicit metric regarding such bundle. I would like ...
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1answer
86 views

Geodesic curvature and Weyl transformations

The geodesic curvature is given by $$k=\pm t^a n_b\nabla_a t^b,$$ where $t^a$ is a unit vector tangent to the boundary of the string worldsheet and $n_a$ is an outward vector orthogonal to $t^a$. I ...
2
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1answer
86 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 + ...
4
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1answer
289 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 ...
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108 views

Textbook disagreement on geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere

Apologies if I have this completely wrong (and for the general long-windedness). I've searched online but can't find anything helpful/relevant. I'm trying to use the geodesic equation ...
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2answers
334 views

Which of these two textbook equations of geodesic deviation is correct?

My previous question Geodesic deviation on a 2-sphere - is this the right track? got shot down as “off topic”, so I'm having a second stab at it. Misner et al's Gravitation (p34) gives the geodesic ...
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0answers
16 views

Is Hodge star operation can be understood as contraction after tensor product of a $p$-form with the volume element? [migrated]

By defintion, the Hodge star of a $p$-form $\omega_{a_1\cdots a_p}$ on a $n$-dimensional manifold is given by $*\omega_{b_1\cdots b_{n-p}}=\frac{1}{p!}\omega^{a_1\cdots a_p}\epsilon_{a_1\cdots ...
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0answers
40 views

Why can any pair of master coordinates be used to calculate a nonlinear mode of a nonlinear dynamical system?

This is a question I have been asking myself for some time since the following technique is often used in the nonlinear dynamics community, but never managed to get an answer why it could be applied. ...
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6answers
801 views

Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...
2
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0answers
53 views

If $S$ is a closed achronal set in a spacetime, any timelike curve starting at a point in $I^+[S]$ and ending at a point in $I^-[S]$ interset $S$?

Suppose $S$ is an achronal set in a spacetime $M$. And $S$ is closed. At the same time, any null geodesic of $M$ intersects $S$. Then, why does any timelike curve from $I^+[S]$ to $I^-[S]$ intersect ...
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1answer
122 views

Positive Mass Theorem

I'm currently a third year undergrad writing about Minimal Surfaces. In particular, trapped surfaces and black holes. What does the Positive Mass Theorem have to do with this? And does the theorem ...
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1answer
137 views

Evaluating the Einstein-Hilbert action

The Einstein-Hilbert action is given by, $$I = \frac{1}{16\pi G} \int_{M} \mathrm{d}^d x \, \sqrt{-g} \, R \, \, + \, \, \frac{1}{8\pi G}\int_{\partial M} \mathrm{d}^{d-1}x \, \sqrt{-h} \, K$$ ...
5
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1answer
136 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 ...
10
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4answers
247 views

Is force a contravariant vector or a covariant vector (or either)?

I don't understand whether something physical, like velocity for example, has a single correct classification as either a contravariant vector or a covariant vector. I have seen texts indicate that ...
4
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0answers
85 views

Tricks for Computing Riemann Curvature Tensor with Levi-Civita connection

I am new to differential geometry, so far it seems to me that computing the Riemann tensor tends to be a rather tedious task, I wanted to know whether there are some tricks that I am missing. In ...
3
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1answer
35 views

Bondi-Metzner-Sachs (BMS) symmetry of asymptotically flat space-times

I started studying the BMS symmetry in connection with the paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.2229 and there are a few strange things I noticed. First of all, from reading the original papers by Bondi, ...
4
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1answer
128 views

Wick Rotation in Curved space

So over time I have learned to do exhaustive searches before asking things here. Wick rotations are cool if you are trying to work in qft and make statements about the thermodynamics of some physical ...
2
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2answers
65 views

Definition of derivative operator on a manifold

I'm hoping to understand the motivation for certain parts of the definition of a derivative operator $\nabla$ on a manifold $M$. In Wald's General Relativity, two clauses of the definition are: ...
2
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4answers
99 views

What is the motivation for the definition of a manifold?

In Wald's General Relativity, an $n$-dimensional $C^{\infty}$ manifold $\mathit{M}$ is defined as a set, with subsets $\lbrace{O}_{\alpha}\rbrace$, which satisfies 3 properties. In particular, the ...
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3answers
303 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?
2
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0answers
47 views

Deformation of light-cone

In the paper The geometry of free fall and light propagation by Ehlers and his colleagues (Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 44 no. 6, pp. 1587–1609 (2012)), when the authors introduce the differentiable ...
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0answers
20 views

Using Polyakov-Alvarez Anomaly Formula [closed]

Take $\Sigma=\mathbb{D}$ to be the unit disk with metric $g=\frac{4}{(1+|z|^2)^2}\,|dz|^2$. If $\phi$ is a nice enough function on $\mathbb{D}$, then I want to compute $$\int_{\partial \Sigma} k_g ...
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1answer
32 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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1answer
112 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 ...
2
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1answer
36 views

How does a spatial covariant derivative act on tensors that are not purely spatial?

I have a possibly dumb question on ADM formalism. Starting with a metric in ADM form \begin{equation} ds^2 = -N^2dt^2 + q_{ij}(dx^i + N^idt)(dx^j + N^jdt) \end{equation} where $i,j$ only run over the ...
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0answers
61 views

How to test that a flat metric represents a global three-torus geometry

When introducing Robertson-Walker metrics, Carroll's suggests that we consider our spacetime to be $R \times \Sigma$, where $R$ represents the time direction and $\Sigma$ is a maximally symmetric ...
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1answer
60 views

Length in polar coordinates

Say we are in 3 dimensions and use $(-++)$. If we have the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2df^2(t),$$ then what is the third coordinate if the first two were $t$ and $r$? $$X^iX_i=-t^2+r^2+?$$
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0answers
50 views

Riemann curvature of a unit sphere

The Riemann curvature of a unit sphere is shown in many textbooks to be sine-squared theta where theta is the azimuthal angle of spherical co-ordinates. But what is the significance of the angle and ...
2
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3answers
83 views

Configuration manifolds and constraints

In Classical Mechanics there's this notion of configuration manifold. Although I've heard about that a lot and although I often use that concept, I'm not sure I really understand them well because ...
2
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1answer
121 views

Can Minkowski spacetime be redefined as a non-flat riemannian manifold?

Minkowski space time is defined in terms of a flat pseudo-Riemannian manifold. I have wondered if it can be redefined as Riamannian manifold and in the case what type of curvature would there appear. ...
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2answers
234 views

Does a 4-current J determine a unique maxwell-faraday F tensor up to isometry?

Maxwell's equations on a pseudo-Riemannian manifold $(M,g_{ab})$ say, $$d_a F_{bc} = \nabla_{[a}F_{bc]} = 0,$$ $$\nabla_a F^{ab} = J^b,$$ where $d_a$ is the exterior derivative, $\nabla_a$ is the ...
2
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0answers
64 views

Electrodynamics using exterior calculus

Can anyone suggest resource for full course of electrodynamics using exterior calculus?
2
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2answers
313 views

Weight of a tensor density

Is there any freedom in choosing the weight of a tensor density? I have seen in some papers that they introduce a tensor density made from metric with a special weight. There is a tensor density with ...
15
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1answer
247 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 ...
2
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0answers
77 views

Interesting Hamiltonian System

The definition of a Hamiltonian system I am working with is a triple $(X,\omega, H)$ where $(X,\omega)$ is a symplectic manifold and $H\in C^\infty(X)$ is the Hamiltonian function. I am wondering if ...
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0answers
28 views

Caustic and Singularities in General Relativity

What is the relation between the formation of caustics of a family of null geodesics and the existence of an incomplete null geodesic?
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2answers
65 views

Static geodesics in GR

Can we find static geodesics of the type $$x^{\nu}=x_0^{\nu}+\delta_0^{\nu}\tau$$ in some space-time other than Minkowski's?
3
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1answer
80 views

Why do we do partial and not covariant differentiation with $x^{\nu}$?

Why when taking the velocity vector we make $$u^{\nu}=\frac{d}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ and not $$u^{\nu}=\frac{\nabla}{d\tau}x^{\nu}$$ where in the last equation I meant the covariant derivative. Why?
5
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3answers
236 views

Error in books of conformal field theory?

If you look at the book Conformal Field Theory (by Philippe Francesco, Pierre Mathieu and David Senechal) or the lecture notes Applied Conformal Field Theory (by Paul Ginsparg), and many other places: ...
3
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0answers
63 views

Is the “Force” of Gravity Simply Hamilton's Principle on a Curved Spacetime?

It's my understanding that General Relativity abstracts away the concept of gravity as a force, and instead describes it as a feature of spacetime by which massive objects cause curvature. Then it ...
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1answer
72 views

Interpretations of (r,s) tensors [duplicate]

A tensor of type (r,s) on a vector space V is a C-valued function T on V×V×...×V×W×W×...×W (there are r V's and s W's in which W is dual space of V) which is linear in each argument. We take (0, 0) ...
3
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1answer
117 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) . ...
7
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1answer
112 views

Recommendation on mathematical physics book of Symplectic geometry

I want to learn the applications of symplectic geometry in physics. Which mathematical physics textbook will have a detailed and heuristic explanation of this aspect?
0
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1answer
46 views

The commutator of Killing vectors

I'm going over an assignment for my general relativity course. My solution to the question below strikes me as too short, considering that it appeared in the "longer questions" section of the ...
12
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
180 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 ...
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0answers
47 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 ...
3
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1answer
55 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 ...
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0answers
41 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 ...