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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9
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4answers
152 views

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 ...
20
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
41 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Definition of the Lorentz transformations [on hold]

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

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 ...
0
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0answers
26 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
180 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
116 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} ...
0
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

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 + ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

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 = ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

How can I mathematically describe the parallel transport in the Roman soldiers example?

I've been trying to understand parallel transport. Many of the descriptions present a mathematical version: $\nabla_V X = 0$. And/or they present an example involving soldiers (usually Roman) ...
2
votes
1answer
417 views

Variation of the metric with respect to the metric

For a variation of the metric $g^{\mu\nu}$ with respect to $g^{\alpha\beta}$ you might expect the result (at least I did): \begin{equation} \frac{\delta g^{\mu\nu}}{\delta g^{\alpha\beta}}= ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
31 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?
0
votes
0answers
32 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?
1
vote
1answer
47 views

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 $v = \textrm{constant}$ ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

(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: $$ ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
117 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 $$\nabla_a f= \partial_a f,$$ ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Does metric signature affect the stress energy tensor?

If one were to derive the stress-energy tensor for a metric with $(+,-,-,-)$ signature would it be different from the stress-energy tensor derived from the same metric but with $(-,+,+,+)$ signature?
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of scalar field

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-stime Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M = \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi $$ The Minkowski action is $$ ...
0
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

General Relativity: Christoffel symbol identity

I want to show that $$\Gamma ^{\mu}_{\mu \nu}=\partial _\nu (\ln \sqrt{|g|}) .$$ (Here $|g|$ denotes the determinant of the metric.) Working out the left hand side:\begin{align} \Gamma ^{\mu}_{\mu ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I derive the Lorentz contraction from the invariant interval?

Reviewing some basic special relativity, and I stumbled upon this problem: From the definition of the proper time: $$c^2d\tau^2=c^2dt^2-dx^2$$ I was able to derive the time dilation formula by using ...
5
votes
0answers
124 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
189 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
357 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 ...
1
vote
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}) ...
0
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
58 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

What is the metric tensor for?

I am wondering how to use the metric tensor, in practice? I read the book and done the exercises in A student's guide to vectors and tensors by Dan Fleisch. The concept of a tensor and their ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Geometric definition of the Lorentz inner product

In Euclidean space one can define the dot product as projecting one vector to the other and multiply the length of the projected vector with the length of the other vector. This definition doesn't ...
0
votes
2answers
202 views

Coordinate Singularity in Metric

Suppose I have some metric $$ds^2=g(t)dt^2+\frac{1}{r}dr^2$$ which has a singularity at $r=0$. However, if I make the coordinate transformation $u=\frac{1}{r}$, then I get: $$ds^2=g(t)dt^2+r^3 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Understanding Vaidya metric and pure radiation stress-energy tensor

I am following Vaidya metric and how it is related to pure radiation from Wikipedia. But when it reaches the line where stress-energy tensor is equated to product of two four-vectors, I cannot follow ...
-1
votes
2answers
36 views

Curvy space in and around massive objects [closed]

If space curves around massive objects, what happens to the space within the massive objects?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

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 $g_{\mu \nu}$ ...
4
votes
2answers
78 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
60 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
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 ...
4
votes
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 = ...
2
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
380 views

Null lines and degenerate plane

Can anyone explain me what null lines are and degenerate plane? I don't know anything about it, I don't have physics background and I am a mathematics student and please tell me if there is any good ...
3
votes
1answer
139 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 = ...
1
vote
0answers
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?