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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Do contractions with Dirac matrices involve a metric?

When figuring out where the spacetime metric enters an equation it is often useful to write all vector indices as covariant indices and write out the inverse metrics that are needed to contract them, ...
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36 views

Meaning of “physical” and “gravitational” metrics

I've recently been reading some notes (following a paper by J.D. Bekenstein, titled "The Relation between Physical and Gravitational Geometry": http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/9211017v1.pdf) on alternative ...
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2answers
54 views

Variation of square root of determinant of metric, $\delta g$ [closed]

I am trying to calculate $$ \frac{\partial \sqrt{- g}}{\partial g^{\mu \nu}},$$ where $g = \text{det} g_{\mu \nu}$. We have $$ \frac{\partial \sqrt{- g}}{\partial g^{\mu \nu}} = - \frac{1}{2 ...
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1answer
33 views

How to calculate spacetime intervals on a spacetime diagram?

In SR, the spacetime interval is given by the metric: $ds^2=-dt^2+dx^2$ (where I set $c=1$). To calculate $ds^2$ of a worldline on a spacetime diagram, I measure $dt$ and $dx$ of the line of ...
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0answers
44 views

Why the notation of Lorentz Transform has to be like this?

I have a confusion about the notation used for Lorentz Transformation ($\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu}$). I think Lorentz transform is not a tensor because it transforms a vector from one coordinate frame to ...
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50 views

Geometric definition of the Lorentz inner product

In Euclidean space one can define the dot product as projecting one vector to the other and multiply the length of the projected vector with the length of the other vector. This definition doesn't ...
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50 views

What is meant by “the Klein-Gordon equation is unsymmetrical between the temporal and spatial components”, and why is this a problem? [on hold]

The Klein-Gordon equation explicitly reads $\left( \frac{\partial ^2}{c^2\partial t^2} - \nabla ^2+\left( \frac{m_0 c}{\hbar}\right)^2\right) \psi =0$ Now I read here on page 8 that: What is ...
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16 views

Black hole physics beyond the perturbation theory

Motivated by this question: Perturbation of a Schwarzschild Black Hole How would one deal with the situation where black hole experiences not only small perturbations but major changes to the metric? ...
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52 views

Event horizon from the metric

Let us suppose we have a metric of this form $$ds^2=-A(r)dt^2+\frac{dr^2}{B(r)}+r^2d\Omega^2$$ In all documents I can read, I've seen that the event horizon is defined by considering $A(r)=0$ But I ...
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79 views

What is the conformal mode of a metric?

I have a problem in terminology. This article talks about the conformal mode of a physical metric. I know what a conformal transformation is. But what is the conformal mode of a metric?
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92 views

How to define $\delta{g_{\mu\nu}}$?

In general relativity, when deriving the field equation using the variational principle we use $\hat{g}_{\mu\nu}=g_{\mu\nu}+\delta{g_{\mu\nu}}$. Does $\delta{g_{\mu\nu}}$ mean the measurement of how ...
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51 views

If the measurements of a clock above the earth depend on orientation, then what measurements are correct?

Take a clock in space above the earth (assuming a Schwarzchild spacetime) that works by relaying a light signal a small distance radially; ticking each time the light signal returns. Compare this to ...
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0answers
37 views

Is the scale factor Lorentz invariant?

Given that the Minkowski metric does not change under a Lorentz transformation, the scale factor does not change in the special case when it is equal to 1. Is this result true in general? i.e. is the ...
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1answer
72 views

What is the value of the variation stress energy tensor?

If we are living in a portion of space-time where the metric is very close to flat space and we know that the stress energy tensor is negligible at this portion of space-time is it ok to assume that ...
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1answer
67 views

Understanding the nature of metric tensor [closed]

The metric tensor for a flat spatial manifold gives us length on object, or separation between two space points. Similarly, $g_{\mu \lambda} dx{^\mu} dx{^\lambda}$ gives separation between two space ...
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3answers
123 views

General Relativity 2-Body Closed Form

Is there a closed form solution in general relativity to the 2-body orbit problem?
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38 views

Normal of a null surface and null junction conditions in general relativity

I am trying to use the null junction formalism in general relativity (as explained in eg http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.43.3763&rep=rep1&type=pdf, "Junctions and thin ...
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1answer
99 views

Black Hole surface area at Schwarzschild radius is half?

I have been interested in black holes for some time, and am still trying to wrap my head around some of their more obscure properties. Now I know that the Schwarzschild radius is $r= ...
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1answer
78 views

Vector product in a 4-dimensional Minkowski spacetime

I'm studying relativity and I lost track of interpretation along the mathematical formalism. What does vector product mean as an event? I mean, how must one interpret the result of the vector product ...
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1answer
63 views

Wave equation on Schwarzschild background

I am trying to follow the solution of the wave equation for a scalar field on Schwarzschild background from http://batteringram.org/science/gr/scalar_wave.pdf. I have a problem on page 2 where they ...
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1answer
31 views

Distance of closest approach

When deriving the gravitational bending angle of light, In this paper, the author introduced $R$ (the distance of closest approach), in equation ($7$), to solve the problem. My question: How is $R$ ...
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1answer
84 views

Does isotropy imply homogeneity?

This question comes from exercise 27.1 in Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler. They required the following: Use elementary thought experiments to show that isotropy of the universe implies ...
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1answer
110 views

Variation of Christoffel symbol and Lie derivative

I've also asked this question on Math Overflow; I hope that asking in two separate fora is not a solecism. Under an infinitesimal diffeomorphism the Riemann metric changes by the Lie derivative $$ ...
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0answers
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The null geodesic for given geodesic [duplicate]

What is null geodesic equation for the static and spherically symmetric line element in $$ds^{2}=-K^{2}dt^{2}+\frac{dr^{2}}{K^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+\sin^{2}\theta{d\phi^{2}})$$ where ...
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0answers
61 views

What is the null geodesic equation? [duplicate]

What is null geodesic equation for the static and spherically symmetric line element in $$ds^{2}=-K^{2}dt^{2}+\frac{dr^{2}}{K^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+\sin^{2}\theta{d\phi^{2}})$$ where ...
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What is the radius of the event horizon?

I know that the Schwarzschild radius is given by $$r~=~\frac{2GM}{c^{2}}.\tag{1}$$ However, If we had the metric $$ds^2~=~−A(r,t)dt^2+\frac{dr^2}{B(r,t)}+r^2(dθ^2+\sin^2{θ}dϕ^2),\tag{2}$$ where ...
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Non-local gravitational energy tensor

The well-known derivation of the Landau-Lifshitz gravitational energy pseudotensor, relies on several requirements: 1) that it be constructed entirely from the metric tensor 2) that it be index ...
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384 views

“Center of a black hole is a time”

$\newcommand{\d}[1]{\mathrm{d} #1}$In one lecture (around 1:33:15) of the series of lectures "Theoretical Minimum" of Prof. Susskind he talks about black holes and the Schwarzschild metric: $$\d ...
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1answer
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How is the Lagrangian defined in GR?

Reading about the Schwarzschild metric in general relativity I see that sometimes $$L=g_{\mu\nu}\dot{x}^{\mu}\dot{x}^{\nu}$$ and sometimes $$L=\sqrt{g_{\mu\nu}\dot{x}^{\mu}\dot{x}^{\nu}}.$$ Which is ...
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1answer
71 views

What is the metric of a constant electromagnetic (pure electric or pure magnetic) field?

For example, imagine a magnetic field $B_x$ directing in $\hat{x}$ direction filling all the space. What is its associated metric field? I can construct the electromagnetic stress-energy tensor for ...
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32 views

Do anyone know a good software that where I can easily find the metric from the stress-energy tensor? [duplicate]

I'm using SageMath but the obtainment of the metric from the stress-energy tensor is not trivial, i.e., it is not implemented in a predefined function. Do anyone know a good software that where I can ...
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2answers
237 views

Why is the metric tensor symmetric? [duplicate]

I was reading Schutz, A First Course in General Relativity. On page 9, he argued that the metric tensor is symmetric: $$ ds^2~=~\sum_{\alpha,\beta}\eta_{\alpha\beta} ~dx^{\alpha}~dx^{\beta} $$ ...
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213 views

How can the universe be flat?

Okay, so I just want to clarify a few things. According to what I have read, we have measured the universe to be flat, and the shape of the universe is directly related to the mass-energy density. ...
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3answers
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Is there a way to see that $ \nabla_\mu g_{\nu \rho} = 0 $ without explicit computation, where $\nabla_\mu$ refers to the covariant derivative?

In books, it is usually said that this is a consequence of the fact that parallel transport preserves dot product. How ?
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1answer
345 views

What happens to the total volume of a chunk of space that is being sucked into a black hole?

Does it increased, decrease, or stay the same? Maybe it explodes to infinity... Here is a similar question: Do black holes have infinite areas and volumes? But it's different because it asks how to ...
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1answer
111 views

Gravitational potential in GR

In proving that the metric will play the role of gravitational potential, there is this chain of ideas: ...
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110 views

What experience tells us that gravitational acceleration cannot vanish everywhere?

In attempt to describe the consequences of the Equivalence Principle: When there are gravitational accelerations present, as for example in the gravitational field of the earth, the space cannot be ...
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2answers
68 views

Find the covariant metric tensor from a given contravariant metric tensor

If given $$g^{\mu\nu}=\pmatrix{\begin{matrix} 1 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & -1 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & -1 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & 0 & -1 \\ ...
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80 views

Different signatures

I was working out the christoffel symbols, once where the metric that I am using has (+---) signature and another time where it has (-+++) signature because two books had different signatures and I ...
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2answers
62 views

Stationary v/s Static

Blau, in his GR book, says that a stationary and spherically symmetric metric is automatically static. He says this easily follows from the fact that for a stationary metric, and in spherical ...
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1answer
52 views

Spherical Symmetric Metrics

In the case where all books try to illustrate a spherical metric, the procedure goes this way: First they impose isotropy in terms of polar coordinates so that one can write: $$ds^2=-A(r)dt^2 + ...
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2answers
83 views

How to show flat FRW metric has a time-like conformal Killing vector?

I would like to derive the fact that the flat FRW metric has a time-like conformal Killing vector. Is there an easy way to do this? @ValterMoretti showed how one can do this for metrics with a ...
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0answers
48 views

Conformal time-like Killing vector near null geodesics in all spacetimes?

Is it true that in all spacetimes there is some conformal time-like Killing vector $\tau^a$ in the vicinity of null geodesics? If the above statement is true then can one argue that, for all ...
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2answers
112 views

How are FRW metric and Minkowski metric physically different?

According to GR, matrices are coordinate invariant. Does this mean we can transform FRW metric to Minkowski metric with a coordinate transformation like $$dx'=dx\cdot a(t), dy' = dy\cdot a(t), dz' = ...
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1answer
55 views

Static metric definition

I know that a stationary metric is one which possesses a timelike Killing Vector (so I have time invariance). I read that a static metric is one which has a timelike Killing vector (so it is ...
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47 views

Meaning of $R(t)$ in FLRW metric

In the FLRW metric what is the meaning of $R(t)$ from a geometric point of view? And from a physical point of view? $$ds^2 = dt^2 - R^2(t) \left( \frac{d\bar r ^2}{1-\kappa \bar r^2} + \bar r ^2 d ...
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1answer
141 views

How can I make two separate equations for Christoffel symbols give the same answer?

I have been studying the covariant derivative and I'm confused by the calculation of the Christoffel symbols $\Gamma$. The equation for computing $\Gamma$ is given as: $${\Gamma^c}_{ab} = \frac12 ...
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1answer
1k views

Causality and how it fits in with relativity

I was talking to my teacher the other day about Einstein's spacetime and there's one thing he couldn't explain about the nature of Cause. I may be being stupid or just unable to comprehend, thanks for ...
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1answer
139 views

Perfect fluid and Cauchy momentum equation

The stress-energy tensor of a perfect fluid is given by $$T^{\mu\nu}=\left(\rho+pc^{-2}\right)u^\mu u^\nu+pg^{\mu\nu}$$ The divergence of the stress-energy tensor is zero: $\nabla_\mu T^{\mu\nu}=0$. ...
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Why do we hyperbolas for distance? [closed]

I'm confused about how distance is measured in spacetime. I've read a few texts that say that our normal distance equation doesn't apply because it violates causality and because it won't work for a ...