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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2
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2answers
337 views

Weight of a tensor density

Is there any freedom in choosing the weight of a tensor density? I have seen in some papers that they introduce a tensor density made from metric with a special weight. There is a tensor density with ...
2
votes
2answers
133 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
337 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Index raising and lowering - how does it work?

In the context of four-dimensional spacetime, how does the metric turn a tangent vector into a gradient, and vice versa? By this I mean that I know the metric can be used to raise and lower indices: ...
2
votes
1answer
645 views

How to derive the metric for a 2-sphere

I have a question in Polchinski's string theory vol I p 167. It is said For example, $$ds^2= \frac{ 4 r^2 dz d \bar{z} }{(1+ z \bar{z})^2} = \frac{ 4 r^2 du d\bar{u}}{ (1+ z \bar{z})^2} ...
-1
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1answer
230 views

Metric tensor in General Relativity or otherwise [closed]

What is the metric tensor? How can this be a covariant and contravariant tensor, or a mixed tensor, by raising and lowering indices? How it relates to distance function (metric) and angles? How ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

A question about variation of metric under Weyl and coordinate transformations

I have a question about deriving variation of metric under Weyl and coordinate transformations in Polchinski's string theory (3.3.16). Under transformation $$\zeta: g \rightarrow g^{\zeta}, \,\,\, ...
6
votes
1answer
461 views

energy momentum tensor and covariant derivative

In field theory, the energy momentum defined as the functional derivative wrt the metric $T_{\mu\nu}=\frac{2}{\sqrt{-g}}\frac{\delta S}{\delta g^{\mu\nu}}$ (up to a sign depending on ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Are third derivatives of metric perturbations zero?

I'm working on a problem related to fluid perturbations of stars. I'm following this paper. They start with the Einstein equation: $$G_{\alpha \beta} = 8 \pi G T_{\alpha \beta}$$ and then perturb the ...
1
vote
2answers
310 views

Derivation of freely falling frame in Schwarzschild spacetime

Thinking about the equivalence principle, is there a nice, simple way to show that a local, freely falling frame in Schwarzschild spacetime is described by the Minkowski metric ...
1
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1answer
385 views

Schwarzschild solution

I am calculating for many hours and I am really confused with this exercise. Consider a comoving observer sitting at constant spatial coordinates$(r∗,θ∗,φ*)$, around a Schwarzschild black hole of ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

What physical sense has following transformation?

Let's have an interval expression for Friedmann Universe with 3-metric of a sphere, $$ ds^{2} = c^{2}dt^{2} - c^{2}\frac{ch^{2}(Ht)}{H^{2}}\left( d\rho^{2} + sin^{2}(\rho )(d\theta^{2} + ...
10
votes
3answers
507 views

Equation of motion of a photon in a given metric

I have this metric: $$ds^2=-dt^2+e^tdx^2$$ and I want to find the equation of motion (of x). for that i thought I have two options: using E.L. with the Lagrangian: $L=-\dot t ^2+e^t\dot x ^2 $. ...
13
votes
1answer
458 views

What are the local covariant tensors one can form from the metric?

Normally in differential geometry, we assume that the only way to produce a tensorial quantity by differentiation is to (1) start with a tensor, and then (2) apply a covariant derivative (not a plain ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

General expression of the redshift: explanation?

In some papers, authors put the following formula for the cosmological redshift $z$ : $1+z=\frac{\left(g_{\mu\nu}k^{\mu}u^{\nu}\right)_{S}}{\left(g_{\mu\nu}k^{\mu}u^{\nu}\right)_{O}}$ where : $S$ ...
1
vote
1answer
271 views

Finding the Basis vectors of a Killing field vector space

I have solved the Killing vector equations for a 2-sphere and got the following answer. $A,B,C$ are three integration constants as expected. $$\xi_{\theta}=A \sin{\phi}+B\cos{\phi}$$ ...
6
votes
2answers
214 views

What's the basic premise of General Relativity?

What is the basic assumption(s) required to explore general relativity? For example, if one merely assumes that the speed of light $c$ is the same for all observers, and the laws of physics are the ...
1
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1answer
217 views

Vector analysis in curvilinear coordinates using the metric tensor

In Weinberg's Gravitation, the formula for the volume element in curviliniar coordinates is given by $$dV=h_1 h_2 h_3 dx^1 dx^2 dx^3.$$ The metric is given by $ds^2=h_1^2 dx_1^2+h_2^2 ...
1
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2answers
674 views

Kronecker delta confusion

I'm confused about the Kronecker delta. In the context of four-dimensional spacetime, multiplying the metric tensor by its inverse, I've seen (where the upstairs and downstairs indices are the same): ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Would this be a metric?

would a matrix $M$ with diagonal entries not necessarily equal 1, i.e. diag $M = (a,1,1,1)$ be a metric if $a \neq 1$ or $\neq 0$? I.e. in this case would this be like some sort of more general ...
1
vote
1answer
177 views

Evaluating the Ricci tensor effectively

If given a metric of the form $$ds^2=\alpha^2(dr^2+r^2d\theta^2)$$ where $\alpha=\alpha(r)$, then can one immediately conclude that $$R_{\theta\theta}=r^2R_{rr}$$ where $R_{ab}$ is the Ricci tensor, ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

metric extension outside the light cone

Could anyone explain what "extending the solution" beyond the past light cone means? Say, for example, if I have a metric (no coordinate singularities), how can I extend it to the outside of the past ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Why does the Kruskal diagram extend to all 4 quadrants?

Why is it that the Kruskal diagram is always seen extended to all 4 quadrants when the definitions of the $U,V$ coordinates don't seem to suggest that the coordinates are not defined in, say, the 3rd ...
1
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1answer
350 views

What is the Lorentz tensor with a superscript and subscript index?

I have been reading about symmetries of systems' actions, e.g. the Polyakov action, and I have encountered Lorentz transformations of the form: $\Lambda^{\mu}_{\nu} X^{\nu}$. I am moderately familiar ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Christoffel symbol for Schwarzschild metric

I know that the christoffel (second kind) can be defined like this: $$\Gamma^m_{ij} = \frac{1}{2} g^{mk}(\frac{\partial g_{ki}}{\partial U^j}+\frac{\partial g_{jk}}{\partial U^i}-\frac{\partial ...
3
votes
1answer
550 views

Derivation of the volume element (which uses the metric tensor)?

I have often seen $\sqrt{-g}$ in integrals, especially actions, where $g=\mathrm{det}(g_{\mu \nu})$. Does anyone know of a derivation that shows that this is indeed the volume element which must be ...
5
votes
1answer
321 views

When a variation of a tensor is not a tensor?

In a comment about variation of metric tensor it was shown that $$\delta g_{\mu\nu}=-g_{\mu\rho}g_{\nu\,\sigma}\delta g^{\rho\,\sigma}$$ which is contrary to the usual rule of lowering indeces of a ...
2
votes
1answer
428 views

Why vary the action with respect to the inverse metric?

Whenever I have read texts which employ actions that contain metric tensors, such as the Nambu-Goto, Polyakov or Einstein-Hilbert action, the equations of motion are derived by varying with respect to ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

Parallel transport of a vector along a closed curve in curvilinear coordinates

There is an expression indicating the change of the vector parallel translation along a closed infinitesimal curve in curvilinear coordinates (one way of introducing curvature tensor): $$ \Delta A_{k} ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

Null vector fields given Bondi metric

I'm trying to understand how to compute the null future-directed vector fields if I have a given (Bondi) metric $g=-e^{2\nu}du^{2}-2e^{\nu+\lambda}dudr+r^{2}d\Omega$ with $d\Omega$-standard metric ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Plane waves in QFT

Suppose we work in the metric $(-1,+1)$. How do we describe an incoming particle with a plane wave; $\exp(-\mathrm ikx)$ or $\exp(+\mathrm ikx)$? What's the difference? Does it change if we work in ...
3
votes
1answer
274 views

The most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time

What is the most general form of the metric for a homogeneous, isotropic and static space-time? For the first 2 criteria, the Robertson-Walker metric springs to mind. (I shall adopt the (-+++) ...
1
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0answers
63 views

Singularities in Schwarzchild space-time

Can anyone explain when a co-ordinate and geometric singularity arise in Schwarzschild space-time with the element $$ ...
2
votes
2answers
451 views

Ricci tensor for a 3-sphere without Math packets

Let's have the metric for a 3-sphere: $$ dl^{2} = R^{2}\left(d\psi ^{2} + sin^{2}(\psi )(d \theta ^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta ) d \varphi^{2})\right). $$ I tried to calculate Riemann or Ricci tensor's ...
1
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0answers
562 views

How to calculate Riemann and Ricci tensors for a sphere? [closed]

Let's have the metric for a sphere: $$ dl^{2} = R^{2}\left(d\psi ^{2} + sin^{2}(\psi )(d \theta ^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta ) d \varphi^{2})\right). $$ I tried to calculate Riemann or Ricci tensor's ...
1
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0answers
51 views

How to prove the derive the expression for space part of Riemann tensor for homogeneous and isotropic space-time?

It's not a homework!! For spheric, hyperbolic and flat case $$ dl^{2} = R^{2}\left(d \psi^{2} + sin^{2}(\psi )(d \theta^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta )d \varphi^{2})\right), $$ $$ dl^{2} = R^{2}\left(d ...
0
votes
1answer
432 views

Contraction of the metric tensor

This is perhaps a simple tensor calculus problem -- but I just can't see why... I have notes (in GR) that contains a proof of the statement In space of constant sectional curvature, $K$ is ...
0
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0answers
166 views

The interior of a cylinder as an Einstein manifold

The interior of a curved cylinder is an Einstein manifold (the Ricci Curvature Tensor is proportional to the Metric $R_{\mu\nu}=kg_{\mu\nu}$) since it has a constant curvature. Using the metric $$ ...
3
votes
3answers
505 views

How scalar curvature of following spacetime can be equal to zero?

For an interval of this spacetime, $$ ds^{2} = c^{2}dt^{2} - c^{2}t^{2}(d \psi^{2} + sh^{2}(\psi )(d \theta^{2} + sin^{2}(\theta )d \varphi^{2})), $$ scalar curvature is equal to zero. Also, Ricci ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Change of variables in an interval expression

This question is a continuation of How to calculate a scalar curvature fast? . Let's have Lorentz-Fock spacetime with an interval $$ d \hat {s}^{2} = \frac{t_{0}^{2}R^{2}}{\hat {t}^{4}}\left( d \hat ...
1
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3answers
199 views

Combining metric tensors/curvature tensors

I was thinking about the following scenario: Consider a particle which causes a metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ on an otherwise Minkowski spacetime (or any manifold). Now, consider another particle, somewhere in ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

What is metric of spherical coordinates $(t,r,\theta,\phi)$?

In spherical coordinates the flat space-time metric takes: $$ds^2=-c^2dt^2+dr^2+r^2d\Omega^2$$ where $r^2d\Omega^2$ come from when the signature of metric $g_{\mu\nu}$ is (-,+,+,+)? what is ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

When is spacetime homogenous and isotropic?

When is spacetime homogenous and isotropic? For example, some metric $g_{\mu \nu}$ is homogeneous and isotropic. We now construct effective metric $$n_{\mu \nu} ~\rightarrow~ g_{\mu \nu} + ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Changing the scalar curvature (k = 0,+1,-1) with coordinate transformations?

I would like to prove that I can (or can't) change curvature of space, k = 0,+1,-1, via general coordinate transformations, which in principle can mix space and time coordinates together.
1
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2answers
300 views

Coordinate and conformal transformations of the FRW metric

I'm considering a metric of the following form (signature $(+,-,-,-)$): $$ds^2 = (F(r,t)-G(r,t))dt^2 - (F(r,t)+G(r,t))dr^2 - r^2(d\Omega)^2$$ where $F(r,t)$ and $G(r,t)$ are arbitrary scalar ...
7
votes
4answers
388 views

How do you tell if a metric is curved?

I was reading up on the Kerr metric (from Sean Carroll's book) and something that he said confused me. To start with, the Kerr metric is pretty messy, but importantly, it contains two constants - ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Switching from an accelerated frame of reference to a locally inertial reference system

Using the equivalence principle, show that the interval for an accelerated observer ($\textbf{g}$ uniform and constant) has the form $$ ds^2|_{\text{first order in ...
4
votes
2answers
205 views

Difference between slanted indices on a tensor

In my class, there is no distinction made between, $$ C_{ab}{}^{b} $$ and $$ C^{b}{}_{ab}. $$ All I know, and read about so far, is the distinction of covariant and contravariant, form/vector, etc. ...
1
vote
2answers
192 views

How to find a curvature of the space-time by having $g^{\alpha \beta}$ in the following case without cumbersome calculations?

The metric tensor for Fock-Lorentz space-time, $$ \mathbf r_{||}{'} = \frac{\gamma (u)(\mathbf r_{||} - \mathbf u t)}{\lambda \gamma (u) (\mathbf u \cdot \mathbf r) + \lambda c^{2} (1 - \gamma (u))t + ...