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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Physical reasons for metric definition in special relativity [duplicate]

I am working through "General Relativity" by Wald, and am currently going through the brief section on Special Relativity. The spacetime metric is defined as $\eta_{ab} = \sum\limits_{\mu, \nu=0}^3 \...
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Trouble understanding spacetime and invariant interval

First, how is the invariant interval useful? How can it help us understand things around us in the universe? Second, I know that they changed time into space or better say SPACETIME in order to ...
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1answer
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Metric that is Minkowski plus sum of null vectors

In GR exercises I've often seen metrics of the form $g_{ab} = \eta_{ab} + k_ak_b$ where $k_a$ is null with respect to $g$ (or equivalently $\eta$). I'm happy doing calculations with such metrics, but ...
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Trying to understand Newtonian limit of GR

First ever post - please be kind. I'm trying to understand how General Relativity becomes equivalent to Newton's laws of motion, plus Newton's law of gravitational attraction in the limiting case of ...
5
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1answer
58 views

Schwarzschild metric, acceleration of ball before it's dropped [duplicate]

The Schwarzschild metric, describing the exterior gravitational field of a planet of mass $M$ and radius $R$, is given by$$ds^2 = -(1 - 2M/r)\,dt^2 + (1 - 2M/r)^{-1}\,dr^2 + r^2(d\theta^2 + \sin^2\...
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How can you tell if spherical-like coordinates are locally flat across the origin?

In general relativity, with spherical-like coordinates in a radial gauge, I have a metric that looks like: $$-g_{tt}\mathrm{d}t^2 + g_{rr}\mathrm{d}r^2 + r^2(\mathrm{d}\theta^2 + \sin^2\theta\ \...
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2answers
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Deriving $A^{\mu}_{;\nu}$ from $A_{\mu ; \nu}$

We have a covariant derivative of a covariant tensor: $$ A_{\mu ; \nu} = A_{\mu , \nu} - \Gamma^{\alpha}_{\mu \nu} A_{\alpha} $$ The covariant derivative of a contravariant tensor is: $$ A^{\mu}_{;\nu}...
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Norm of the momentum 4-vector

The norm of the momentum 4-vector is $\mathbf{P}.\mathbf{P}$ $= (\gamma mc, \gamma mv).(\gamma mc, \gamma mv) = \gamma mc^2 - \gamma mv^2$ But why is $\gamma mc^2 - \gamma mv^2 = mc^2$?
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31 views

AdS boundary global vs Poincare'

Is the global boundary of AdS the same of the boundary written in Poincare' coordinates?
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28 views

Volume form of the AdS_{4} Space

Regarding the unit radius $AdS_{4}$ space, the metric in global coordinates, is given by: $$ds^{2}_{AdS_{4}}=\frac{1}{\cos^{2}{\rho}}[dt^{2}-d\rho^{2}-\sin^{2}\rho d\Omega_{2}^{2}]$$ where $$d\...
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Is there such thing as imaginary time dilation?

When I was doing research on General Relativity, I found Einstein's equation for Gravitational Time Dilation. I discovered that when you plugged in a large enough value for $M$ (around $10^{19}$ ...
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Straight line null geodesics in Minkowski, De Sitter and Schwarzschild

I'm trying to understand which part of the following metric determines whether photons travel on a "straight" line (thinking of $(t,r,\theta,\phi)$ as a flat background), the metric I'm considering is:...
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Gravitational lensing and cosmic strings

Say we have a straight cosmic string lying along the $z$-axis, with energy-momentum tensor $$T_{\mu\nu}=\mu\delta(x)\delta(y)\operatorname{diag}(1,0,0,-1)\tag{1}\label{1}$$ for some small positive ...
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52 views

Motivation for usage of 4-vectors in special relativity

I understand that if one considers a 4-dimensional space-time from the outset then 4-vectors are the natural quantities to consider (as opposed to 3-vectors as in Newtonian mechanics), since the ...
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1answer
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Homogeneity and isotropy and derivation of the Lorentz transformations

In deriving the Lorentz transformations I have found (from reading a few different sets lecture notes) that it is argued that they must be linear and thus there general form must be $$x'=Ax+Bt,\quad t'...
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31 views

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
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Definition of the Lorentz transformations [closed]

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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3answers
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Two Robertson-Walker observers, at what time will a light signal be received?

Here is a question I have that is inspired by this question here. The spacetime metric of a radiation-filled, spatially flat ($k = 0$) Robertson-Walker universe is given by$$ds^2 = - dT^2 + T[dx^2 + ...
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1answer
58 views

Questions about null geodesic [closed]

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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4answers
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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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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 = e^{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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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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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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345 views

Null geodesics in uniform gravitational field metric

I'm trying to understand the null geodesics in the metric: $$\mathrm{d}s^2 = -(1+gz)^2 \mathrm{d}t^2 + \mathrm{d}z^2 + \mathrm{d}x^2$$ In particular I'm wondering if the following intuition is valid:...
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1answer
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Orthogonal of tangent vector in Rindler coordinates [closed]

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
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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
66 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
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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 ...
8
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1answer
147 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
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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
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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}) +\partial^...
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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 g_{\...
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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
59 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 r}\...
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0answers
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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
66 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 \dfrac{\sin\rho}{\cos\rho}\dfrac{1}...
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0answers
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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
85 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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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
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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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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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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 $$U(1+\omega)=1+\frac{i}{2}\...
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1answer
138 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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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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82 views

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 ...