1
vote
1answer
52 views

Timelike curves in Special Relativity

I have a question that probably might sound silly to most of you. We know that a natural Lorentz-invariant parametrization of a timelike curve is provided by: $$\tau$$ the Lorentz-invariant proper ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Is it okay to Wick rotate to give the negative of the Euclidean metric? Also, could we make the space-like coordinates imaginary instead?

There are 2 parts to my question: 1) Say we choose the metric signature to be (-+++), as in the Wikipedia page. Then the invariant interval in Minkowski space is written: $ds^{2} = -(dt^{2}) + ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Metric tensor in special and general relativity

I'm having trouble understanding the metric tensor in general relativity. What I've understood so far has come from my course lecture notes used in conjunction with "The Road to Reality" by Roger ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Interpretation of space time Minkowski diagram [closed]

How to interpret the following space-time diagram in the image. I know how to interpret euclidean distance from Euclidean space diagram omit the line "whereas for Euclidean space".
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Tensors in special relativity [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand tensors, but I've come across the following question: Let $T^{\mu\nu}$ by a $(2,0)$ tensor. Give the definitions of $T_\mu^{\,\nu}$, $T_{\mu\nu}$, and ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Minkowski spacetime: Is there a signature (+,+,+,+)?

In history there was an attempt to reach (+, +, +, +) by replacing "ct" with "ict", still employed today in form of the "Wick rotation". Wick rotation supposes that time is imaginary. I wonder if ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is the space-time interval squared?

The space-time interval equation is this: $$\Delta s^2=\Delta x^2+\Delta y^2+\Delta z^2-(c\Delta t)^2$$ Where, $\Delta x, \Delta y, \Delta z$ and $\Delta t$ represent the distances along various ...
3
votes
3answers
89 views

Metric signature conventions: minus sign for $x^a$ or $x_a$?

Say I use the metric signature $(-+++)$. Then $\partial_a=(\partial_0,\partial_i)=(-\partial^0,\partial^i)$, but $\partial^a=(\partial^0,\partial^i)=(-\partial_0,\partial_i)$. The same goes for $p^a$ ...
9
votes
5answers
708 views

Minkowski Metric Signature

When I learned about the Minkowski Space and it's coordinates, it was explained such that the metric turns out to be $$ ds^{2} = -(cdx^{0})^{2} +(dx^{1})^{2} + (dx^{2})^{2} + (dx^{3})^{2} $$ where $ ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Allowed transformations in General Relativity [duplicate]

So in Special Relativity we have: $$ \Lambda \eta \Lambda^T=\eta $$ Is there an analagous formula for the metric in General Relativity?
6
votes
2answers
620 views

Infinitesimal Lorentz transformation is antisymmetric

The Minkowski metric transforms under Lorentz transformations as \begin{align*}\eta_{\rho\sigma} = \eta_{\mu\nu}\Lambda^\mu_{\ \ \ \rho} \Lambda^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} \end{align*} I want to show that ...
3
votes
2answers
257 views

The signature of the metric and the definition of the electromagnetic tensor

I've read the definition of the electromagnetic field tensor to be ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Flat space current conservation sign confusion

It is said that in Minkowski spacetime, the current conservation law for the number current $N^\mu$ where $N^0$ is the number density and $N^i, i=1,2,3$ is the particle flux in the $x^i $ direction, ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Distinguish between Past and Future

When writing the metric in Minkowski space, how can we distinguish between the past and the future? I understand the answer after drawing the light cone but I want to know how we get that by just ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

Lightcone coordinates

The Light cone coordinates are defined as $$x^+ = x^0 + x^3$$ $$x^- = x^0 - x^3$$ Then in the light cone coordinates the position 4-vector becomes: $(x^+, x^-, x^1, x^2)$ . Zwiebach in his A First ...
3
votes
3answers
833 views

How the Lorentz transformation affects the metric tensor?

After performing a Lorentz transformation, the orthogonal coordinates will become askew, as in the following figure: and in such coordinate system, according to this Wikipedia article, the metric ...
1
vote
2answers
178 views

Sign convention for basic Dirac equation

The dirac equation;$$(i\gamma^\mu\partial_{\mu} - m)\psi=0 $$ is just; $$(i\gamma^{0}\partial_{0} - i\gamma^{i}\partial_{i} - m)\psi=0 $$ in a (+,---) metric right?
0
votes
1answer
257 views

Lorentz transformation problem

In the equation (1.18) they omitted the translation vector $a^\mu$, but why?
3
votes
2answers
497 views

Metric coefficients in rotating coordinates

Let $(t,x,y,z)$ be the standard coordinates on $\mathbb{R}^4$ and consider the Minkowski metric $$ds^2 = -dt^2+dx^2+dy^2+dz^2.$$ I am trying to compute the metric coefficients under the change of ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

Can the overall sign of the Minkowski metric be changed?

If we take the Minkowski metric, $\eta_{\mu\nu}=(1,-1,-1,-1)$, instead of the usual $(-1,1,1,1)$, does this change the form of the Lorentz Transform? I think the standard Lorentz Transform looks like: ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Intervals as infinitesimals of same order (Landau & Lifshitz)

I don't understand the following statement in Landau & Lifshitz, Classical Theory of Fields, p.5: $ds$ and $ds'$ are infinitesimals of same order. [...] It follows that $ds^2$ and $ds'^2$ must ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

What should I call an n>4 dimensional Minkowski metric?

I am manipulating an $nxn$ metric where $n$ is often $> 4$, depending on the model. The $00$ component is always tau*constant, as in the Minkowski metric, but the signs on all components might be ...
14
votes
6answers
821 views

Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...