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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Metric convention conversions between expressions

I'm sure this has caused many people headaches. First, is there a metric $(-+++)\leftrightarrow(+---)$ convention conversion chart where many common expressions are listed? Thank you in advance for ...
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1answer
84 views

CFT Entanglement Entropy - relation between translations and the stress-energy tensor

In a recent paper on CFT entanglement entropy, I want to understand the defintion of a certain partition function. They consider a metric space $S^1 \times \mathbb{H}^{d-1}_q$ with metric: $$ ...
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1answer
79 views

Showing a fourth rank tensor in $\epsilon$'s reduces to one in the metric $g$

Consider the fourth rank tensor $$S_{\mu \nu \rho \sigma} = a(\epsilon_{\mu \sigma}\epsilon_{\nu \rho} + \epsilon_{\mu \rho}\epsilon_{\nu \sigma})f(x^2),$$ in 2D where $a$ is a constant and $f(x^2)$ ...
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1answer
210 views

Higher-Dimensional Metrics in (Hyper)-Spherical Coordinates

I want to compute the components of the Riemann curvature tensor (for a case similar to the Schwarzschild solution) in 4 + 1 dimensions, but I want to use a higher-dimensional analogue of spherical ...
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1answer
185 views

The commutator of Killing vectors

I'm going over an assignment for my general relativity course. My solution to the question below strikes me as too short, considering that it appeared in the "longer questions" section of the ...
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0answers
90 views

Lagrangian for FRW metric

For the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+a^2(t)(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2),$$ $$L= \sqrt{-g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{dx^\alpha}{dt}\frac{dx^\beta}{dt}}$$ How does this become $$L= \sqrt{1-a^2 (\frac{dx}{dt})^2}~? $$ I guess ...
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60 views

Compactification and off-diagonal terms of the metric tensor

In standard 3+1 dimensional spacetime, the metric tensor is of order 4 and had ten independent coefficients, hence there are 6 terms off the diagonal in the corresponding $4\times 4$ real symmetric ...
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2answers
304 views

Why “light cones” have different shapes near black holes?

There is theory that light cone shape does not depend on the reference frame in which it is viewed. So why we draw light cones near black hole differently? I thought that if I am observing (from the ...
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2answers
800 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 ...
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0answers
93 views

Laplacian in tensor [closed]

Find $\vec \nabla^2\phi $ when $$ds^{2}=-dt^{2}+a^{2}(t)[dx^{2}+dy^{2}+dz^{2}] $$ or $$g_{ij}=\begin{bmatrix} -1 & 0 &0 &0 \\ 0 &a^{2}(t) &0 &0 \\ 0&0 ...
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2answers
154 views

Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3)$ isometry group?

As the title says, is it possible to have a Riemannian Ricci flat compact manifold with $U(1)\times{}SU(2)\times{}SU(3) $ isometry group?
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2answers
427 views

Finding the metric tensor from the Einstein field equation?

I have have set my self a challenge to learn all the maths behind the Einstein field equation (EFE), and from reading it seems that the Metric tensor is the thing we are trying to find (from the 10 ...
2
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1answer
387 views

How to properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time?

How do I properly construct the electromagnetic tensor in curved space-time? I have my curved spacetime metric $(+,-,-,-)$ and my magnetic vector potential $A$. I tried two ways but not sure which is ...
2
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1answer
208 views

Computing the Christoffel symbols with the geodesic equation

I would like to compute the Christoffel symbols of the second kind using the geodesic equation. To practice, I have tried the Schwarzschild Ansatz $$ g_{00} = \mathrm e^\nu,\quad g_{11} = - \mathrm ...
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1answer
76 views

Homogeneity and isotropy of stress energy tensor

Given the energy momentum tensor in E&M: $T_{\mu\nu} = -F_{\mu\alpha} g^{\alpha \beta} F_{\beta \nu} +\frac{1}{4} g_{\mu \nu} F_{\sigma \alpha} g^{\alpha \beta} F_{\beta \rho} g^{\rho \sigma}$ I ...
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1answer
165 views

Has a metric formulation of electromagnetism ever been attempted? [duplicate]

I understand that electromagnetic fields carry energy, and this energy curves spacetime gravitationally. That's not my question. I'm asking if anyone has tried to formulate electromagnetism in such ...
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1answer
202 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".
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1answer
117 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 ...
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4answers
212 views

What makes a coordinate curved?

Bear with me while I try to explain exactly what the question is. The question Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration? is imagining a coordinate system in which the curvature is ...
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0answers
84 views

Sign convention with the $AdS$ metric

One would say that $AdS_n$ satisfies the equations for the scalar curvature (R) and Ricci tensor ($R_{\mu \nu}$), $R = - \frac{n(n-1)}{L^2}$ and $R_{ab} = - \frac{n-1}{L^2}g_{ab}$. But do the signs ...
4
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0answers
79 views

Why is the Taub-NUT instanton singular at $\theta=\pi$?

Consider the following metric $$ds^2=V(dx+4m(1-\cos\theta)d\phi)^2+\frac{1}{V}(dr+r^2d\theta^2+r^2\sin^2\theta{}d\phi^2),$$ where $$V=1+\frac{4m}{r}.$$ That is the Taub-NUT instanton. I have been ...
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3answers
302 views

Why do we need a metric to define gradient?

For me, the gradient of a scalar field (say, in three dimensions) is simply (formally) $\nabla f = \left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial x}, \frac{\partial f}{\partial y},\frac{\partial f}{\partial z} ...
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0answers
154 views

Are standard and isotropic forms of Schwarzschild metric truly equivalent?

My admittedly rudimentary understanding of physical meaning of conformal flatness - as pertaining to a stationary observer exterior to a spherically symmetric static gravitating mass $M$: Locally ...
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2answers
83 views

Orthogonality in curved space/spacetime

When are two vectors orthogonal in curved spacetime? From wikipedia: "In 2-D or higher-dimensional Euclidean space, two vectors are orthogonal if and only if their dot product is zero, i.e. they ...
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4answers
248 views

Difference between matrix representations of tensors and $\delta^{i}_{j}$ and $\delta_{ij}$?

My question basically is, is Kronecker delta $\delta_{ij}$ or $\delta^{i}_{j}$. Many tensor calculus books (including the one which I use) state it to be the latter, whereas I have also read many ...
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1answer
195 views

Non-stationary spacetime

What is an example for a spacetime that is non-stationary that is considered as a description of something in nature? So far all the spacetimes I encounted have always been stationary ...
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1answer
180 views

Solving electromagnetic vector field using the Lagrangian

Given an action of the form \begin{equation}S=-\frac{1}{4}\int d^4x\eta^{\mu\nu}\eta^{\lambda\rho}F_{\mu\lambda}F_{\nu\rho}\end{equation} where ...
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2answers
88 views

Minkowski metric and definition of coordinate differentials?

This is probably a really silly confusion I have about the definition of “coordinate differentials”, which I thought were things like $dx,dy,dz$ etc. The Minkowski line element ...
2
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0answers
67 views

Laplacian in 4 spatial dimensions; 4th dimension warped

How can I prove the form of the Laplacian in four spatial dimensions, using the identification $y = y + 2\pi R$ for the fourth dimension and assuming the others as the usual Cartesian ones? I want to ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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0answers
139 views

Dirac equation in curved spacetime - found second derivatives of the metric, violation of the principle of equivalence?

I am working on the Dirac equation on curved spacetime. A Foldy-Wouthuysen transformation was applied to obtain the semiclassical limit of the equation to study the dynamics of the spin of the ...
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3answers
387 views

Why does Minkowski space provide an accurate description of flat spacetime?

What is the chain of reasoning (beginning, of course, from observations about the universe) that leads one to predict that Minkowski space provides an accurate description of space-time in the ...
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4answers
270 views

GR matter-free equations and Schwarzschild geometry

I am reading some lecture notes on General relativity (undergraduate level) and I do not understand a sequence of statements about the topics in the title. After stating that the for matter-free ...
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3answers
123 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 $p^a$ ...
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2answers
84 views

Show that two families of curves are orthogonal (without using orthogonal trajectories)

I'm reading through Hartle's General Relativity and came across this question: Consider the following coordinate transformation from rectangular coordinates $(x,y)$, labeling points in the plane ...
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1answer
419 views

Calculate divergence of vector in curvilinear coordinates using the metric

In a curved $(3+1)$ dimensional spacetime with metric components $g_{\mu \nu}$, the covariant derivative of a $4$ vector $\mathbf V = (V^0, \vec V)$ is given by $$\nabla_\mu~ V^\mu = ...
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1answer
94 views

How to find solutions to the gravitational potential metric h

I'm working on a problem in which a star of mass M1, radius R1 is surrounded by a thin shell of mass M2, , radius R2. I want to find the solutions to the gravitational potential h in the region in ...
3
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1answer
325 views

Question on index notation and metric tensor

I found this expression in my SR notes: $$ (\Lambda^{-1})^{\lambda}_{\ \ \ \sigma} = g^{\lambda\mu}~\Lambda^{\rho}_{\ \ \ \mu} ~g_{\rho\sigma} = \Lambda_\sigma^{\ \ \ \lambda}$$ I know where it ...
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6answers
2k 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 $ ...
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4answers
831 views

The Lagrangian as a metric

My question is, can the (classical) Lagrangian be thought of as a metric? That is, is there a meaningful sense in which we can think of the least-action path from the initial to the final ...
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0answers
57 views

Metric to describe an expanding spacetime from coordinates reflecting the perspective of a local observer

The FLRW metric describes the metric expansion of spacetime from the perspective of comoving coordinates. Given the way this metric is usually formulated, comoving distances stay constant, and the ...
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0answers
95 views

General formula to compute the redshift (first order perturbations)

Consider an expanding universe with the following metric in conformal time/co-moving coordinates: ...
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0answers
145 views

Covariant Derivative with a Torsion Free Metric

Where $\triangledown$ is the covariant derivative and we are to assume that the connection is torsion free (that is, we can exchange the lower indices of the connection coefficients), how can I prove ...
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1answer
293 views

Computing Curvature via Cartan Formalism

Given a metric $g_{\mu \nu}$, one can select an orthonormal basis $\omega^{\hat{a}}$ such that, $$ds^2= \omega^{\hat{t}}\otimes\omega^{\hat{t}} - \omega^{\hat{x}} \otimes \omega^{\hat{x}} - ...$$ By ...
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3answers
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D'Alembertian for a scalar field

I have read that the D'Alembertian for a scalar field is $$ \Box = g^{\nu\mu}\nabla_\nu\nabla_\mu = \frac{1}{\sqrt{-g}}\partial_\mu (\sqrt{-g}\partial^\mu). $$ Exactly when is this correct? Only for ...
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5answers
270 views

How to determine “timelike”-ness without using a coordinate system?

It has been stated here that: we can say, without introducing a coordinate system, that the interval associated with two events is timelike, lightlike, or spacelike. This assertion appears at ...
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1answer
226 views

Stress-energy tensor explicitly in terms of the metric tensor

I am trying to write the Einstein field equations $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu} R=\frac{8\pi G}{c^4}T_{\mu\nu}$$ in such a way that the Ricci curvature tensor $R_{\mu\nu}$ and scalar curvature ...
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1answer
256 views

Hypersurface Normal

Could anyone explain why $$n^{a}n_{a}=\pm1$$ where $n^{a}$ is the normal to the hypersurface
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1answer
103 views

Setting $\delta R =0$ on boundary of hypersurface

Does requiring $\delta R=0$ on the boundary of hyper-surface create any restrictions or problems in deriving the field equations from Einstein-Hilbert Action?