The variables used in general relativity to describe the shape of spacetime. If your question is about metric units, use the tag "units", and/or "si-units" if it is about the SI system specifically.

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Geometric interpretation of zero metric [on hold]

What is the geometric interpretation of a metric vanishing at a point on a Riemannian manifold? What does it look like locally in the case of a surface?
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Divergence of inverse of metric tensor

I know that the Levi-civita connection preserves the metric tensor. Is the divergence of the inverse of metric tensor zero, too?! I'm not so familiar with the divergence of the second ranked tensor. ...
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1answer
56 views

Minkowski's dot product

I am trying to deduce the Minkowski's dot product for two dimentional space: $$g=x^1y^1-c^2t_xt_y$$ If $f$ denote the Lorentz's transformation for two dimentional case: $$\begin{array}{rcll} ...
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1answer
34 views

Metric components transformation under change of coordinates

I have been studying Lie derivatives and some applications. While searching the web I found a refence with the following statement: For a general Riemannian manifold $M$, take a tangent vector field ...
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1answer
51 views

Tensor indices and row and column labels of corresponding representation matrices

When reading undergraduate GR literature, I often see that the authors represent tensors ${\eta^\alpha}_{\beta}$, ${\eta^\beta}_{\alpha}$, $\eta_{\alpha \beta}$, $\eta^{\alpha \beta}$ as matrices. ...
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2answers
150 views

Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of scalar field

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-stime Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M = \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi $$ The Minkowski action is $$ ...
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46 views

Is metric $g$ a representation of Lorentz group? What decides it's transformation properties?

I am confused what representation of Lorentz group does a metric transform under? How does it's transformation properties are decided?
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2answers
315 views

Lorentz invariance of the Minkowski metric

As far as I understand, one requires that in order for the scalar product between two vectors to be invariant under Lorentz transformations $x^{\mu}\rightarrow ...
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2answers
115 views

What does diagonalization mean here?

In a gravity theory in spacetime, the metric has signature $− + +· · ·+$. Concretely this means that the metric tensor $g_{μν}$ may be diagonalized by an orthogonal transformation, i.e. ...
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48 views

When is the event horizon a Killing horizon?

I know the definition of both (event horizon is closure of causal past of future null infinity whilst Killing horizon is a null surface where some Killing vector becomes null e.g. the surface where it ...
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1answer
49 views

Minkowski metric: Why does it look like it does? [duplicate]

I have been searching for why would we even start with Minkowski spacetime metric as being written as: $$ds^2=-dt^2+dx^2+dy^2+dz^2.$$ No really, so why would we have a negative sign for temporal ...
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31 views

General relativity degrees of freedom — simplified version?

I'm afraid my question may be too general, but I would like to ask how I could find out the degrees of freedom in a given tensor. I have had this question since I started studying GR. At first, I ...
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39 views

Mode expansions of fields

This is a very simple question but would appreciate it if someone could clarify - I've heard different things from different people so I'm a little bit confused yet the question is simple: Given the ...
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1answer
35 views

Calculate lapse function from the metric

I have a technical question about the lapse function: Assume I have some given (Lorentzian) metric $g$. I have seen the following definition of the lapse function $\alpha^{-2}=-g(\nabla f, \nabla ...
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2answers
78 views

What is the metric tensor for?

I am wondering how to use the metric tensor, in practice? I read the book and done the exercises in A student's guide to vectors and tensors by Dan Fleisch. The concept of a tensor and their ...
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0answers
28 views

Weyl Transformations and Group actions [migrated]

I have the following question. Let $(M,g_{ab})$ be a Riemannian manifold $M$ with metric $g$, and with an action of a Lie group $G$. Moreover, the Riemannian metric $g_{ab}$ is taken to be invariant ...
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1answer
98 views

Derivation of Schwarzschild metric using the full machinery of differential geometry [closed]

How would one derive the Schwarzschild metric using the full machinery of differential geometry, using the component approach as little as possible? Something along these lines: Begin with a manifold ...
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1answer
77 views

Why do we introduce the idea of manifold in GR books

After reading Timaeus answer here: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1302672/compound-map-in-manifolds, I got an idea that spacetime we usually talk about in GR can be described as a manifold. ...
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1answer
101 views

Why pseudo-Riemannian metric cannot define a topology?

It is not clear for me why a positive definite metric is necessary to define a topology as noted in some textbooks like the one by Carroll. Does this imply that in cosmology, say through FLRW metric, ...
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34 views

When the equations of motion are not unique (eg. when they are given by eigenvectors), which will the free particle adhere to?

For this question I think it will be easier to express the usual equation describing the motion of a "free particle,"--viz. $g_{ij}\dot{x}^i\dot{x}^j$--in matrix form as follows: ...
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2answers
72 views

Does metric signature affect the stress energy tensor?

If one were to derive the stress-energy tensor for a metric with $(+,-,-,-)$ signature would it be different from the stress-energy tensor derived from the same metric but with $(-,+,+,+)$ signature?
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3answers
128 views

Covariant and contravariant 4-vector in special relativity

I've just learned about contra- and covariant vector in the context of special relativity (in electrodynamic) and I'm struggling with some concept. From what I found, an intuitive definition of ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Why is $|\Lambda^0_0| \ge 1$ for a Lorentz transformation?

I'm taking a course of QFT and in the notes that the professor gave us he says that for a Lorentz transformation $\Lambda^\mu_\nu$ we have $|\Lambda^0_0| \ge 1$. He doesn't give further information ...
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1answer
128 views

Minkowski space-time

Suppose we have the vector space $\mathbb{R}^4$ and the Lorentz's transformation $f:\mathbb{R}^4\to\mathbb{R}^4$. Consider a inner product $g$ given by: $$g(x,y)=x^1y^1+x^2y^2+x^3y^3-c^2t^1t^2$$ for ...
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2answers
50 views

Killing field in Minkowski space-time

If we look at the killing equation for a vector field $X$ in $\mathbb{R}^{(p,q)}$ (or on an open subset thereof) in coordinates with constant diagonal pseudo-metric we get: ...
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1answer
109 views

Simple metric of stellar collapse

Is there a simple metric (Lorentzian manifold) known which exhibits the formation of a black hole while not having any white hole counterpart and which moreover satisfies the strong and dominant ...
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3answers
135 views

What is the physical meaning of the Levi-Civita connection?

I'm taking a course in General Relativity and I have studied the fundamental theorem of Riemannian geometry: Let $M$ be a manifold with metric $g$. Then exists an unique torsion-free connection ...
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1answer
47 views

Euler-Lagrange for simple scalar field (Peskin & Shroeder)

I'm reading Peskin & Schroeder and they give as a simple example the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} (\partial_\mu \phi)^2$$ First of all, I'm guessing that $(\partial_\mu \phi)^2$ is ...
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1answer
68 views

What exactly does the Kretschmann scalar implies and how does it work?

From the General Relativity class lectures I understood that this particular invariant, the Kretschmann scalar namely $$R_{\mu\nu\lambda\rho} R^{\mu\nu\lambda\rho}$$ is really important because, ...
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2answers
72 views

For a giving metric in GR, how do we learn which observer the metric refer to?

For example, I have been told the Schwarzschild observer is far away from blackhole and events,(namely, I think, the observer is static at infinity of the coordinate.) And the second example,the ...
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1answer
62 views

Why is not the D'Alembert operator a scalar?

I am taking a course on classical electrodynamics and my professor has defined the D'Alembert operator to me as: $$\square=\eta^{\mu \nu} \partial_{\mu} \partial_{\nu}$$ I have been operating using ...
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2answers
119 views

Coordinate Singularity in Metric

Suppose I have some metric $$ds^2=g(t)dt^2+\frac{1}{r}dr^2$$ which has a singularity at $r=0$. However, if I make the coordinate transformation $u=\frac{1}{r}$, then I get: $$ds^2=g(t)dt^2+r^3 ...
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0answers
47 views

Understanding Vaidya metric and pure radiation stress-energy tensor

I am following Vaidya metric and how it is related to pure radiation from Wikipedia. But when it reaches the line where stress-energy tensor is equated to product of two four-vectors, I cannot follow ...
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1answer
42 views

How to obtain the four-velocity of a fluid from the metric?

Let's say I'm working with a metric tensor for some spacetime with components $g_{\alpha \beta}$ relative to some coordinates $(\tau, x, y, z)$. Is there a general way of obtaining the four-velocity ...
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4answers
136 views

Which tensor describes curvature in 4D spacetime?

I heard these two statements which don't work together (in my mind): In 4D spacetime the curvature is encoded within the Riemann tensor. He holds all the information about curvature in spacetime. ...
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1answer
138 views

Null geodesic equations

If one is constrained to the $xt$ plane, one can define the intersection with that plane of the null hypersurfaces originating at some point $P$ as $$ g_{tt} \frac{d P^t}{d \lambda}\frac{d P^t}{d ...
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1answer
81 views

Geodesic equation (free particle)

How to find a coordinate system whose geodesic equation does not have the "Christoffel symbol" term? (i.e. free particle - generalized Newton's second law.)
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1answer
39 views

How long was the universe radiation dominated?

Using the Friedmann metric I've been trying to calculate how long the universe was radiation energy dominated. I've reduced the metric to: $c.dt$ = $a(t).dr$ where a is the scale factor. I can work ...
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39 views

Action of a particle travelling in Minkowski space [closed]

The action of a particle moving in Minkowski space [signature $(-+++)$] is given by $$S=-m \int dt\sqrt{-\eta_{\mu\nu}(X)\dot{x}^\mu \dot{x}^\nu}$$ Inserting in the Metric I get $$S=-m\int dt ...
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Non-zero gravitational anomaly

Analogous to the Adler-Jackiw-Bell anomaly of QCD, we have an anomaly in gravity when we consider gravity to be coupled to chiral fermions: \begin{equation} \partial_\nu J^\nu_5\propto R\tilde{R}, ...
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1answer
78 views

Time independent Kerr metric

The Kerr metric expressed in terms of polar coordinates $r,\theta,\phi$, such that $x = r\sin(\theta)\cos(\phi)$, $y = r\sin(\theta)\sin(\phi)$, $z = r\cos(\theta)$. Then the Kerr metric is given as ...
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45 views

Existence of a solution for geodesic differential equations for a singular metric

In order to determine the geodesics, one must solve the following set of differential equations \begin{align} \frac{d^2 x^j}{ds^2} + {j\brace h\,\,k}\frac{dx^h}{ds}\frac{dx^k}{ds} = 0, \end{align} ...
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1answer
48 views

Show that $R_{\mu\nu}=C g_{\mu\nu}$ from the vacuum Einstein equation with a nonzero $\Lambda$ [closed]

If I begin with the vacuum field equation with a nonzero cosmological constant: $$R_{\mu\nu}-\dfrac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu}R+g_{\mu\nu}\Lambda=0$$ How can I show that $$R_{\mu\nu}= ...
2
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5answers
221 views

Is boundary well defined if variation of metric don't vanish on the boundary?

Suppose that you want to calculate the variation $\delta S$ of an action induced by some arbitrary variation $\delta g_{\mu \nu}$ of the spacetime metric : \begin{equation} S = \int_{\Omega} ...
3
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5answers
125 views

Local inertial frame

In general relativity we introduce local inertial frames to be such frames where the laws of special relativity holds. Let $\xi^{\alpha}$ the coordinates in the local inertial frame, so we get ...
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32 views

Expression for the energy in the limit case of weak gravitational field

I'm trying to solve the following problem of General Relativity. Consider a particle of mass $m$ which moves following a geodesic in a space-time with metric $$ ds^2 = - ...
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72 views

Variation of det metric tensor

I have the metric tensor $g_{\mu\nu}$. I want to make the variation of $\sqrt{-g}$ where $g=detg_{\mu\nu}$. Can I make this work? ...
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108 views

Why can't we fix the metric and its derivatives at boundary, with the variational method?

In general relativity and for its Einstein-Hilbert action, we usually ask that the metric variations $\delta g_{\mu \nu}$ cancel on the boundary $\partial \, \Omega$ of some region $\Omega$ of the ...
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1answer
39 views

Metric of an accelerated reference frame (without gravitation)

If we look at a flat Minkowski space-time (without any gravitation) an choose an accelerated frame of reference, what happens to the metric tensor is it still in Minkowski coordinates or will he be ...