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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Inertial coordinate systems [duplicate]

In Newtonian mechanics, by the following two assumptions: (i) The time is absolute. (ii) The length is absolute. it is easy find the relations betweem two coordinate systems with uniform motion ...
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2answers
42 views

Definition of the Lorentz transformations

Until very recently I believed that the Lorentz transformations were defined as "the transformations that carry one inertial reference frame into another". In Wikipedia's page we find something along ...
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1answer
52 views

Questions about null geodesic [on hold]

Show for the null geodesic in 3D flat spacetime using polar coordinates so the line element is $ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2d\phi^2$. Do light rays move on straight lines? My question is that I only learned ...
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Interpreting meaning of coordinates given a metric

I was working problem 3.6 in Carroll's GR textbook and was given the following metric, which is a good approximation to the metric outside the surface of the Earth. $ds^2=-(1+2 \Phi(r))dt^2 + ...
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How do we know the Schwarzschild solution contains an object of mass $M$?

The Schwarzschild metric is $$ds^2 = - \left( 1 - \frac{2GM}{r} \right) dt^2 + \left(1-\frac{2GM}{r}\right)^{-1} dr^2 + r^2 d\Omega^2.$$ In Carroll's GR book, it is claimed that $M$ is the mass of the ...
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163 views

What manifold is spacetime?

In General Relativity, spacetime is a $4$-dimensional manifold with one Lorentzian metric tensor defined on it. In the Special Relativity case what manifold is spacetime is quite clear: it is ...
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Geodesic tangent vector in a Riemannian 4-space

I am doing a question in Lewis Ryder's introduction to General relativity. I am very close to the answer but not quite there. The question is: A Riemannian 4-space has metric $$ds^2 = ...
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21 views

Newtonian limit of the Einstein Equation for the Schwarzschild metric [closed]

I am trying to get the Newtonian limit of the Einstein Equation for the Schwarzschild metric $$ ds^2 = \left(1 - 2\phi(r) \right) dt^2 - \left(1+2\phi(r)\right) dr^2 - r^2 \left(d\theta^2 + ...
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1answer
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Is this equation $\nabla_a\sqrt{-g}=0$ correct? [duplicate]

Is the equation $$\nabla_a\sqrt{-g}=0$$ correct? Here $\nabla_a$ is the Levi-Civita connection, and $g$ is the determinant of metric $g_{ab}$. Apparently, we have $\nabla_ag_{bc}=0$, but I am not sure ...
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1answer
30 views

Conformal Transformation: Minkowski sheet to cylinder

What conformal transformation can I make to 2d Minkowski with metric $ds^2=-dt^2+dx^2$ to show that it is conformal to a cylinder?
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31 views

What is the Metric Tensor? [duplicate]

I was studying Einstein's Field Equation, and this was the most common symbol. Can you explain what it is and how it could be used?
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Null geodesics in uniform gravitational field metric

I'm trying to understand the null geodesics in the metric: $$\mathrm{ds}^2 = -(1+gz)^2 \mathrm{dt}^2 + \mathrm{dz}^2 + \mathrm{dx}^2$$ In particular I'm wondering if the following intuition is ...
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1answer
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Orthogonal of tangent vector in Rindler coordinates

For 2D space time from $(t,x)$ to $(u,v)$ the transformation are $$t = u \sinh(v)$$$$x=u\cosh(v)$$ Asking to show that two families of curves $u = \textrm{constant}$ and $v = \textrm{constant}$ ...
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2answers
114 views

Why is the covariant derivative of the determinant of the metric zero?

This question, metric determinant and its partial and covariant derivative, seems to indicate $$\nabla_a \sqrt{g}=0.$$ Why is this the case? I've always learned that $$\nabla_a f= \partial_a f,$$ ...
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1answer
58 views

Straight lines in general relativity

This question stems from a possibly misguided attempt to understand General Relativity. I am about to leave High school for college, I do however have a rudimentary understanding of tensors, and I ...
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1answer
77 views

Diffeomorphism invariance and geodesic action

I'm trying to understand the role of diffeomorphism and isometry invariance in the geodesic action in GR: $$ S = \int_{\tau_1}^{\tau_2} \! d\tau~ g_{ab}(x(\tau)) \frac{dx^a}{d\tau} \frac{dx^a}{d\tau} ...
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Can special relativity be derived from the invariance of the interval?

As far as I know, the classical approach to special relativity is to take Einstein's postulates as the starting point of the logical sequence, then to derive the Lorentz transformations from them, and ...
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1answer
143 views

Acceleration of particle “held in place” at $x = 1$ [closed]

The metric components in a two-dimensional spacetime are given in terms of the coordinates $(t, x)$ by$$ds^2 = -\cosh x\,dt^2 + dx^2.$$Consider a particle that is "held in position" at $x = 1$. What ...
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4answers
188 views

Distance in General relativity

I read a few lines about general relativity and one of the first equations is the one defining the eigentime of a time - like curve. But observers should also be able to measure length, right? So is ...
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0answers
45 views

Gauge invariance in gravitational field

I have read that the linearized equation for the metric fluctuations $h_{\mu\nu}$, namely: $$ \partial^2h^{\mu\nu}-\partial_{\alpha}(\partial^{\mu}h^{\nu\alpha}+\partial^{\nu}h^{\mu\alpha}) ...
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1answer
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Deriving Electromagnetism energy-stress tensor in GR [closed]

Please find the mistake in the following calculations. We have $L=-F^{\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu}$, and try to derive the energy-stress tensor using $\delta(-g)^{1/2}=\frac{1}{2}(-g)^{1/2}g^{\mu\nu}\delta ...
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2answers
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Wald's General Relativity, section 6.3 Page 144

I cannot understand how he reaches the conclusion in equation 6.3.36 and 6.3.37; even the terminology is somewhat confusing. This is a problem of bending of light under gravitational field. This is ...
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1answer
50 views

Classical Limit of Schwarzschild Metric

The orbit of a test particle orbiting a black hole can be described by the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{2}\left(-\left(1-\frac{2 G m}{c^2 r}\right) \dot{t}^2 + \left(1-\frac{2 G m}{c^2 ...
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0answers
48 views

Finding an explicit expression for inverse of Lorentz transformation ${\Lambda^\mu}_{\nu}$

I'm studying in a module titled "Symmetries and Action Principles in Physics." I'm having a small trouble with the notation, I think, of special relativity. We have in the text In fact we may ...
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1answer
63 views

Scalar fields in AdS$_3$

I'm looking at lecture notes on AdS/CFT by Jared Kaplan, and in section 4.2 he claims that the action for a free scalar field in AdS$_3$ is $$S=\int dt d\rho d\theta ...
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Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term expanded at second order in the fluctuation

Does anyone know a general form for the Gibbons-Hawking-York boundary term expanded at quadratic order in the fluctuation of the metric? Assume to define the fluctuation of the metric $g_{\mu \nu}$ ...
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2answers
77 views

Maxwell's equations from differential forms

I found the following in some lecture notes I took some time ago: $$ \mathbf{E}=-\text{grad}\Phi-\partial_t\mathbf{A}\\ \mathbf{B}=\mathrm{rot}\mathbf{A} $$ These are the electromagnetic fields ...
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2answers
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Curvy space in and around massive objects [closed]

If space curves around massive objects, what happens to the space within the massive objects?
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2answers
83 views

What's the metric of the Standard Non-Time-Orientable Spacetime

If you've read any spacetime topology, you know that spacetime. It is the amazing rotating lightcone identified after half a rotation. And outside of De Sitter space with some identifications, it is ...
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1answer
75 views

Negative mass thin shell collapse

Suppose we have a collapsing light-like (ingoing) shell with negative mass and decreasing further. The shell is radiating and so the exterior region is that of the outgoing Vaidya solution. $$ds^2 = ...
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0answers
58 views

Conformal infinity in the Hawking-Hunter-Taylor-Robinson metric

I have been trying to follow some of the computations of this paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0408217 and particularly I couldn't derive the asymptotic form of the Kerr-AdS background (3.27) using ...
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61 views

Why are generators defined oppositely in Weinberg's vs. Maggiore's QFT books?

I've been confused about the sign conventions used in Weinberg's QFT book for a long time. Here's my question: The generators $J^{\mu\nu}$ are defined in this book as ...
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1answer
122 views

Is every solution of Einstein field equations unique?

Einstein's equation is $$8 \pi T_{ab} = G_{ab},$$ where the left side contains the stress-energy tensor and the right side contains the Einstein tensor. Is there exactly one unique stress-energy ...
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64 views

What is the metric at the center of a star? [duplicate]

If there is only one star in the universe then is the metric at the center of the star flat?
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2answers
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What are world lines as opposed to arbitrary curves in spacetime?

In GR the spacetime manifold is equipped with a metric which makes it a Lorentzian manifold. It is the metric that is doing the separation of space and time (so that we end up with three dimensions of ...
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Could a 3+1 space be embedded in a 4+1 space and retain its 3+1 characteristics? [closed]

I'm confused because I can conceptualize this embedding scenario in two seemingly incompatible ways. Which of the following scenarios are possible?: 1) 4+1 space automatically enforces 4 dimensions ...
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2answers
44 views

Why is 90 degrees the standard for independence in vectors? [closed]

Why do so many laws and ideas in physics act separately if they are separated by 90 degrees? Say you have a force in one direction, x. You can't add a force within 0-90 degrees without changing the ...
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1answer
137 views

Fermi-Propagated Jacobi equation in the book The Large scale structure of space-time

On page 81, equation (4.6), the author use the Fermi derivative to write the Jacobi equation \begin{equation} \tag{4.6} \frac{{D^2}_\text{F}}{\partial s^2} {}_{\bot}Z^a = ...
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2answers
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(Hyper)Surface of Simultaneity

How can I determine the surfaces of simultaneity if I know the metric? In particular, what are the surfaces of simultaneity for rotating disk with Langevin metric: $$ ...
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1answer
94 views

The Lie derivative of the metric $g_{ab}$ and index notation

I don't quite know where to start this question. I'm essentially not understanding how to compute the Lie derivative of a given metric and vector. So I have the following definition: $$ ...
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1answer
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Jacobi equation in the book The Large scale structure of space-time

On pp. 79, it is obvious that equation (4.2) \begin{equation} \frac{D}{\partial s}Z^a = {V^a}_{;\ b}Z^b \end{equation} holds, where $Z$ is the deviation vector and $V$ is the unit tangent vector along ...
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1answer
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Why is the spatial term for contravariant 4-gradient negative, whereas for other 4-vectors it is the covariant part that is negative spatially?

The contravariant 4-displacement is: $${x}^{\alpha} = (ct,\mathbf{r})$$ And the contravariant 4-gradient is: $${\partial}^{\alpha} = (\frac{1}{c}\frac{\partial}{\partial{t}},-\nabla)$$ From what I ...
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1answer
73 views

A question regarding $f(R)$ Lagrangians

Consider the class of Lagrangian known as $f(R)$ Lagrangians where the Lagrangian is some function $f(R)$, \begin{equation} S=\int\sqrt{g}d^4x\ f(R) \end{equation} assuming there are no (or ...
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1answer
40 views

Ordering of Contravariant and Covariant spinors. Understanding the spinor space

I've been referring to Pg.36-Pg.38 in Introduction to Supersymmetry by Wiedamann. For understanding the precise origin of dotted, undotted indices on Spinors. He starts off my saying that $M$ acts on ...
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2answers
82 views

Standing wave on a circle [closed]

Suppose that we have a standing wave on a circle. I heard that by gradually increasing the radius of the circle, the wavelength will also increase to keep the standing wave. Is it right? If yes, ...
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2answers
84 views

How do you know what kind of space(time) you have when solving the Einstein Field Equations?

I'm experimenting with the EFE, and I ''invented'' a metric; a diagonal non-zero metric, and I discovered that the Riemann tensors are equal to zero which implies the Einstein tensor $G_{mn}$ equals ...
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3answers
66 views

What is the $ds^2$ notation in relativistic physics?

Could someone please explain me intuitively how $ds^2$ represents distance in relativistic physics?
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1answer
47 views

Using the Metric in Book Gravitation (MTW)

Here is the whole Box 2.2, at Page 55 The dot behind the second $-p^2$ seems to be a "planck mass" (sarcasm, flea egg) or just the book's style to use Dot behind the equations. So the Equation is ...
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4answers
933 views

Coordinates vs. Geometries: How can we know two coordinate systems describe the same geometry?

Specifically, I'm asking this because I'm taking a class on General Relativity, and in Hartle's book Gravity, in Ch. 12, after having spent some time using Schwarzschild coordinates, we are introduced ...
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0answers
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Need some help understanding Relativistic Notation

My question originates from what is done in the book on Quantum Field Theory book by Mark Srednicki on page 21 (if anyone has it). So say you have an inertial frame that is represented in the ...