4
votes
0answers
52 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
58 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
40 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
67 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
96 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Covariant derivative of a vanishing tensor component [closed]

Is the covariant derivative of a vanishing tensor component necessarily zero?
0
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
45 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
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
99 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
25 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 $T^*$, ...
2
votes
2answers
106 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
271 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
1answer
66 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Tetrad formalism: getting back to coordinate basis

Let $\omega^{\hat{a}}$ be an orthonormal basis, and $\theta^{\hat{a}}_{\hat{b}}$ be the associated connections. From Cartan's second structure equation, we may compute the curvature 2-form, i.e. ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Null Geodesics in flat 2+1 dimensional Minkowski space

For a given line element in flat 2+1 dimensional Minkowski space $$ g = ds^{2} = − dz \otimes dz + dx \otimes dx + dy \otimes dy .$$ The null geodesics are supposedly given by: $$ x = lu + l' $$ ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

Einstein frame vs. Matter frame

What is the difference between Einstein frame and Matter frame in General Relativity? -A brief comment on each could be useful too. These two frames were used in this manuscript ...
3
votes
0answers
59 views

Computing the Einstein tensor for a spherically symmetrical metric using the tetrad formalism

I am having some trouble understanding how to use the tetrad formalism. I will start with what I have so far, my question will be after that. I begin with the metric $$ \text{d}s^2 = e^{2a} \text{ ...
3
votes
0answers
40 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}= ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Topology of spacetime in 2+1 dimension

In the book Quantum Gravity in 2+1 dimension by S. Carlip, in the second chapter (section 2.1), he comments that a compact 3-manifold with a flat time orientable Lorentzian metric and a purely ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Very specific type of GR paper hunt [duplicate]

My General relativity skills suck. I need a good paper that does not start with equivalence principle and pages of elevator experiments derives principles mathematically, not by physical intuition ...
8
votes
2answers
281 views

Why can we assume torsion is zero in GR?

The first Cartan equation is $$\mathrm{d}\omega^{a} + \theta^{a}_{b} \wedge \omega^{b} = T^{a}$$ where $\omega^{a}$ is an orthonormal basis, $T^{a}$ is the torsion and $\theta^{a}_{b}$ are the ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Stress-Energy Tensor

As of recent, I've been doing a bit of self education in GR, equipped with a working knowledge of the key elements of the differential geometry in GR, and in looking at the Einstein-Rosen bridge, I ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

Covariant Derivative with a Torsion Free Metric

Where $\triangledown$ is the covariant derivative and we are to assume that the connection is torsion free (that is, we can exchange the lower indices of the connection coefficients), how can I prove ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Can geodesics in a Lorentzian manifold change their character?

From a physics perspective, it's pretty easy to see why a a massive particle will be restricted to timelike paths, etc. but does the math guarantee that on its own or do we have to impose it? More ...
51
votes
4answers
5k 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" ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Induced metric on the boundary of a manifold

The Gibbons-Hawking-York term which supplements the Einstein-Hilbert action is, $$S_{GH} = \frac{1}{8\pi G} \int_{\partial M} d^3 x\sqrt{-h} \, K$$ where $\partial M$ is the boundary of the manifold ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Stress energy tensor and the covariant derivative of the 4-momentum

Another basic question. I have usually seen the stress energy tensor $T^{ij}$ described as the flow of the 4-momentum field $p^i$ along direction $x^j$ in spacetime with $p^0$ as energy and $x^0$ as ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Computing Curvature via Cartan Formalism

Given a metric $g_{\mu \nu}$, one can select an orthonormal basis $\omega^{\hat{a}}$ such that, $$ds^2= \omega^{\hat{t}}\otimes\omega^{\hat{t}} - \omega^{\hat{x}} \otimes \omega^{\hat{x}} - ...$$ By ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

How to calculate the minimum number of extrinsic dimensions of a metric tensor?

The Question How does one calculate the minimum number of dimensions of an extrinsic space that can be used to define the metric tensor \begin{align} g_{mn} = \dfrac{\partial y^k}{\partial x^m} ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Reissner-Nordström Black Holes

The Reissner-Nordström black holes are described by the metric, \begin{align} ds^2 = -\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}\right)dt^2 + \frac{1}{1-\frac{2M}{r}+\frac{Q^2}{r^2}}+r^2d\Omega^2 ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

D'Alembertian for a scalar field

I have read that the D'Alembertian for a scalar field is $$ \Box = g^{\nu\mu}\nabla_\nu\nabla_\mu = \frac{1}{\sqrt{-g}}\partial_\mu (\sqrt{-g}\partial^\mu). $$ Exactly when is this correct? Only for ...
8
votes
3answers
379 views

How to prove the covariant derivative cannot be written as an eigendecomposition of the partial derivative?

The Question How does one prove that Rindler's definition of the covariant derivative of a covariant vector field $\lambda_a$ as \begin{align} \lambda_{a;c} = \lambda_{a,c} - \Gamma^{b}_{\ \ ca} ...
0
votes
0answers
93 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
162 views

How to prove that a spacetime is maximally symmetric?

In Carroll's book on general relativity, I found the following remark: In two dimensions, finding that $R$ is a constant suffices to prove that the space is maximally symmetric [...] In higher ...
8
votes
2answers
911 views

Does space curvature automatically imply extra dimensions?

Total newbie with basically no physics knowledge here :) I would welcome any correction to the steps of my reasoning that lead to my question, which could easily turn out to be invalid :) My current ...
0
votes
2answers
113 views

What is the meaning of “background” in General Relativity?

I was reading a book on Topological defects of the very early universe as an example of the fundamental groups, and they say that "in an expanding homogeneous and isotropic universe, the background ...
0
votes
0answers
79 views

Curvature based derivation of Schwarzchild Metric

I'm a third year maths undergrad and I'm trying to find (and follow) a curvature based derivation of the Schwarzchild metric, if there exists such a proof?
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Riemannian manifold: Integration by parts of Lie derivative

How can we apply integration by parts to the Lie derivative? Background: In the Hamiltonian formulation of general relativity, we have the momentum constraint (using abstract index notation, $D_a$ is ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

Must every isometry have an associated Killing vector?

I understand that the flows of Killing vector fields are isometries, and that one-parameter groups of isometries have an associated Killing vector which generates them, but are your Killing vectors ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

Further explanation of the Penrose Conjecture

I'm currently a third year maths undergrad, writing a dissertation on the application of minimal surfaces in space. I have recently come across the Penrose Conjecture that the mass of a spacetime is: ...
2
votes
6answers
251 views

Curvature of Spacetime

I have been exploring for some time both the Special and General Relativity, hoping to glean at least a conceptual grasp of their basic tenets. In reading the book "Gravitation" by Misner, Thorne and ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Contracting Indices in General relativity [duplicate]

I was reading a book about general relativity and I came across these two equations $$ \begin{align} \mathrm{g}^{\mu\nu}_{,\rho}+ \mathrm{g}^{\sigma\nu}{\Gamma}^{\mu}_{\sigma\rho}+ ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Bracket Notation on Tensor Indices

I know about the () symmetrisation and [] anti-symmetrisation brackets on tensor indices so long as they appear on their own, such as : $$V_{[\alpha \beta ]}=\frac{1}{2}\left ( V_{\alpha \beta ...
9
votes
1answer
298 views

Contracting Indices

Does anyone know how to get from (1) to (2) in the system $$ \begin{align} \mathrm{g}^{\mu\nu}_{,\rho}+ \mathrm{g}^{\sigma\nu}{{\Gamma}}^{\mu}_{\sigma\rho}+ ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Unable to resolve 2 equivalent geodesic equations

A free particle moves along geodesics, one form being \begin{split} \ddot x^\mu &= -\Gamma^{\mu}_{\sigma \rho} \dot x^\sigma \dot x^\rho \\ &= -\frac{1}{2}g^{\mu \nu}(\partial_\sigma g_{\rho ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Vanishing of Weyl Tensor Contraction

Within the context of Einstein space-times, we know that the contraction of the Weyl tensor across a set of indices always vanishes, like so : $$C{^{\alpha }}_{\mu \alpha \nu }=0$$ From a purely ...