13
votes
7answers
695 views

Is it foolish to distinguish between covariant and contravariant vectors?

A vector space is a set whose elements satisfy certain axioms. Now there are physical entities that satisfy these properties, which may not be arrows. A co-ordinate transformation is linear map from a ...
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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
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} ...
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
1answer
87 views

Stress-energy tensor explicitly in terms of the metric tensor

I am trying to write the Einstein field equations $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu} R=\frac{8\pi G}{c^4}T_{\mu\nu}$$ in such a way that the Ricci curvature tensor $R_{\mu\nu}$ and scalar curvature ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Hypersurface Normal

Could anyone explain why $$n^{a}n_{a}=\pm1$$ where $n^{a}$ is the normal to the hypersurface
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Inner products in relativity

In physics, the definition of a dot (inner) product is often between a vector (“contravariant vector”) and a covector (“covariant vector”). However, in mathematics, a dot product is always defined ...
2
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
274 views

General relativity in terms of differential forms

Is there a formulation of general relativity in terms of differential forms instead of tensors with indexs and subindexs? If yes, where can I find it and what are the advantages of each method? If ...
2
votes
1answer
347 views

Deriving an equation involving Killing vectors

I'm currently studying Carroll's GR book Spacetime & Geometry, and ran into some trouble understanding the text. When discussing Killing vectors, Carroll mentions that one can derive ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Riemann tensor notation and Christoffel symbol notation

In paper by Barnich and Brandt Covariant theory of asymptotic symmetries, conservation laws and central charges they defined the Riemann tensor like this: $$R_{\rho\mu\nu}^{\quad \ \ ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Transformation rule of a partial derivative

We know the following transformation rule: $$ \partial'_b = \frac{\partial}{\partial x'^b} = \frac{\partial x^c}{\partial x'^b} \, \frac{\partial}{\partial x^c} = \frac{\partial x^c}{\partial x'^b} ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Check it the Killing vectors satisfy Killing equation or not

I am going through Kerr/CFT correspondence paper again, and I am at the section where authors specify Killing vectors for near horizon extreme Kerr metric (shortly NHEK). The metric is ...
0
votes
2answers
129 views

Raising indices in Killing equation or not?

I'm having issues with computation of Killing equation. I'm using Mathematica to check if the given vectors are Killing vectors or not, and by hand for simple vector like $\xi=\partial_t$ I get the ...
1
vote
1answer
369 views

'Easy way' of finding out the Killing vector fields?

Is there a way for calculating the Killing vector fields of a given metric in a quick way? Sure I can guess looking at the metric at the symmetries, and then guess some of them, but, for instance, in ...
3
votes
1answer
317 views

energy momentum tensor and covariant derivative

In field theory, the energy momentum defined as the functional derivative wrt the metric $T_{\mu\nu}=\frac{2}{\sqrt{-g}}\frac{\delta S}{\delta g^{\mu\nu}}$ (up to a sign depending on ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Why is it suffice to show Tensorial identity on a tensor composed of two vectors?

I've encounter many proves of Tensorail identity that begin with assuming our tensor can be written in form of: $T^{\alpha\beta}=u^{\alpha}v^{\beta}$ . As helpful is it might be, I'm not sure if its ...
1
vote
2answers
314 views

Kronecker delta confusion

I'm confused about the Kronecker delta. In the context of four-dimensional spacetime, multiplying the metric tensor by its inverse, I've seen (where the upstairs and downstairs indices are the same): ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

When a variation of a tensor is not a tensor?

In a comment about variation of metric tensor it was shown that $$\delta g_{\mu\nu}=-g_{\mu\rho}g_{\nu\,\sigma}\delta g^{\rho\,\sigma}$$ which is contrary to the usual rule of lowering indeces of a ...
2
votes
1answer
903 views

Stress energy tensor of a perfect fluid and four-velocity

In the following demonstration, there is an error, but I cannot find where. (I explicitely put the $c^2$ to keep track of units). We consider a metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ with a signature $(-, +, +, +)$ : ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Sign crazyness on the stress energy tensor?

I would like to know on what depends the sign of the stress energy tensor in the following formula : $T_{\mu\nu}=\pm(\rho c^2+P)u_{\mu}u_{\nu} \pm P g_{\mu\nu}$ In my case the metric is equal to ...
1
vote
0answers
110 views

Lecture Notes confusion: Constructing the Einstein Equation

This question is on the construction of the Einstein Field Equation. In my notes, it is said that The most general form of the Ricci tensor $R_{ab}$ is $$R_{ab}=AT_{ab}+Bg_{ab}+CRg_{ab}$$ ...
1
vote
1answer
274 views

Contraction of the metric tensor

This is perhaps a simple tensor calculus problem -- but I just can't see why... I have notes (in GR) that contains a proof of the statement In space of constant sectional curvature, $K$ is ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Zero-zero (lower indicies) term for affine connection ($\Gamma_{00}^\lambda$), why do some terms dissapear?

More simply a tensor algebra question, but in General relativity I have the following when I calculate $\Gamma_{00}^\lambda$:- $$ \Gamma_{00}^\lambda = \frac{1}{2}g^{\nu\lambda}\left( \frac{\partial ...
2
votes
1answer
349 views

Ricci identity/Riemann curvature tensor and covectors

Can somebody please explain to me how the following statement is true? The Riemann curvature tensor $R^c_{dab}$ is given by the Ricci identity $$(\nabla_a\nabla_b-\nabla_b\nabla_a)V^c\equiv ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Difference between slanted indices on a tensor

In my class, there is no distinction made between, $$ C_{ab}{}^{b} $$ and $$ C^{b}{}_{ab}. $$ All I know, and read about so far, is the distinction of covariant and contravariant, form/vector, etc. ...
0
votes
0answers
219 views

covarient derivative of electromagnetic field tensor

I'm trying to prove the energy momentum tensor in curved spacetime for Electromagnetic field is Divergence-less directly(Without using general lie derivative method which can prove any energy momentum ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Non-diagonal elements when switching metric signature?

Considering a metric tensor with the signature $(-,+,+,+)$: $g_{\mu\nu}= \begin{pmatrix} -c^2 & g_{01} & g_{02} & g_{03}\\ g_{10} & a^2 & g_{12} & g_{13}\\ g_{20} & g_{21} ...
1
vote
2answers
293 views

What is the Riemann curvature tensor contracted with the metric tensor?

Can the Ricci curvature tensor be obtained by a 'double contraction' of the Riemann curvature tensor? For example $R_{\mu\nu}=g^{\sigma\rho}R_{\sigma\mu\rho\nu}$.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the covariant derivative of the metric tensor zero?

I've consulted several books for the explanation of why $$\nabla _{\mu}g_{\alpha \beta} = 0,$$ and hence derive the relation between metric tensor and affine connection $\Gamma ^{\sigma}_{\mu ...
6
votes
4answers
603 views

Are covariant vectors representable as row vectors and contravariant as column vectors

I would like to know what are the range of validity of the following statement: Covariant vectors are representable as row vectors. Contravariant vectors are representable as column vectors. ...
4
votes
1answer
854 views

Covariant derivative and Leibniz rule

I read the Wikipedia page about the covariant derivative, my main problem is in this part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covariant_derivative#Coordinate_description Some of the formulas seem to lead ...
1
vote
1answer
499 views

metric signature explanation

Can anyone explain what metric signature is? I have a basic knowledge regarding tensors, btw. Also, how is it related to fundamental understanding of general relativity? Thanks.
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Question from Schutz's

In q. 22 in page 141, I am asked to show that if $U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha} V^{\beta} = W^{\beta}$, then $U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha}V_{\beta}=W_{\beta}$. Here's what I have done: $V_{\beta}=g_{\beta ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Are there any clear and expressive plainword sense of metric tensor components?

Can the following groups of components of metric tensor can assigned a clear sense? https://docs.google.com/drawings/pub?id=1kVqkN1gT-a2fDy2S851l9iQKaMfaatCDo517OSZBHEo&w=467&h=228 I have ...
6
votes
2answers
122 views

Torsion and gauge invariant EM kinetic term

Everytime I hear about adding torsion to GR, something struggles me: how do you create a kinetic term for the electromagnetic field that is still gauge-invariant? One of the consequences of torsion is ...
0
votes
3answers
447 views

Need some basic help with notation and the Christoffel symbols

Apologies in advance if some of the questions below seem overly simple. In an introductory GR book, I find the following expression for the autoparallel of the affine connection (the upper bound of ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the physical meaning of the connection and the curvature tensor?

Regarding general relativity: What is the physical meaning of the Christoffel symbol ($\Gamma^i_{\ jk}$)? What are the (preferably physical) differences between the Riemann curvature tensor ($R^i_{\ ...