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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17
votes
1answer
826 views

Causality and how it fits in with relativity

I was talking to my teacher the other day about Einstein's spacetime and there's one thing he couldn't explain about the nature of Cause. I may be being stupid or just unable to comprehend, thanks for ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Quaternions and 4-vectors

I recently realised that quaternions could be used to write intervals or norms of vectors in special relativity: $$(t,ix,jy,kz)^2 = t^2 + (ix)^2 + (jy)^2 + (kz)^2 = t^2 - x^2 - y^2 - z^2$$ Is it ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Why do we hyperbolas for distance? [on hold]

I'm confused about how distance is measured in spacetime. I've read a few texts that say that our normal distance equation doesn't apply because it violates causality and because it won't work for a ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Perfect fluid and Cauchy momentum equation

The stress-energy tensor of a perfect fluid is given by $$T^{\mu\nu}=\left(\rho+pc^{-2}\right)u^\mu u^\nu+pg^{\mu\nu}$$ The divergence of the stress-energy tensor is zero: $\nabla_\mu T^{\mu\nu}=0$. ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Using metric tensor to contract

Can the metric tensor also contract the indices in the $$\epsilon^{\tau\lambda\mu\nu}~?$$ For example, if we have ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Contraction of Kronecker delta = 4 [duplicate]

This suggests, as a shortcut notation, the concept of lowering indices; from any vector we can construct a (0, 1) tensor defined by contraction with the metric: $$A_\nu ≡ g_{\mu\nu}A^\mu$$ so that ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Can't derive FRW Christoffel symbol [on hold]

I'm trying to confirm that the $\Gamma^1_{01}$ Christoffel symbol of the FRW metric is $\dot{a}/a$. I have the FRW metric: $$ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2\left[\frac{dr^2}{1-kr^2}+r^2(d\theta^2+\sin^2\theta\ ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Does Birkhoff's theorem apply to rotating collapsing stars?

Birkhoff's theorem states that every spherically symmetric vacuum solution to $R_{\alpha\beta} = 0$ is static, which greatly assists in the solution to the Schwarzschild solution by eliminating time ...
2
votes
2answers
163 views

Relativity question about 4-velocity

Given a 4-velocity $u^0$, how do you find $u_0$? Do you use $u_{\alpha}u^{\alpha} = -1$?
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Tangent Vector Field from Metric

Question: Starting from an arbitrary spacetime metric, how does one obtain a tangent vector field? (We might need to assume certain geodesic congruences but my understanding is very limited.) Build ...
-1
votes
0answers
54 views

A General Relativity question? [closed]

The line element for the outside of a spherical star\black hole is given by the Schwarzchild line element : $$-c^{2}d\tau^{2} = ds^{2} = -\left(1-\frac{2m}{r}\right)c^{2}dt^{2} + ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Schwarzschild metric: motivations and applications in physics

I have a mathematical background and I have just derived the expression of the Schwarzschild metric. Now I was wondering what were the motivations and applications in physics of this metric. Any info ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

“Derivation” of Minkowski metric?

Is there a deeper meaning behind the the Minkowski metric? Does it just come from the SR formulae? Or is there some deeper geometrical meaning, maybe in the context of GR?
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Calculation of co-moving coordinate separation for a moving object in a time-varying spacetime metric

My calculus has 30+ years of rust on it and I am stuck on the integration of the interval in General Relativity... I wish to calculate the spatial coordinate at time t of an object moving with ...
6
votes
2answers
392 views

Conformal transformation equation

I am currently reading Kiritsis's string theory book, and something bugs in the CFT (fourth) chapter. He derives the equation that should satisfy an infinitesimal conformal transformation $$x^{\mu} ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Proof of Schwarzschild metric construction (O'neill chap 13)

I am struggling with a few steps of the proof in O'neill book $\textit{Semi-Riemannian Geometry, with applications to Relativity}$ on the construction of Schwarzschild's metric (chap13, Lemma1). Is ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Differentiating the Lagrangian to find geodesic equations?

I'm stuck pretty much at the first hurdle trying to follow the derivation of the geodesic equations from the Lagrangian ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the covariant basis around a Schwarzschild black hole?

First of all, I'm not interested in time for this question. So lets consider a 3-manifold whose metric is the spatial part of the Schwarzschild metric, so it has the event horizon and the singularity ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Singularities in the Reissner–Nordström metric

I am doing a presentation on black holes but I'm having trouble finding information on the Reissner–Nordström metric. From the metric ...
1
vote
1answer
191 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

How to find a metric of a general observer?

Yes, that's it. How to find a particular metric of an observer in general relativity? Let's say we have a static metric: ...
2
votes
4answers
104 views

Any tips on evaluating Riemann tensor?

I am calculating the Riemann tensor for the Schwarzschild solution. I've calculated all 9 non-vanishing Christoffel symbols already. Now I need to evaluate the Riemann tensor and I find no easy way to ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

Lie derivative vs. covariant derivative in the context of Killing vectors

Let me start by saying that I understand the definitions of the Lie and covariant derivatives, and their fundamental differences (at least I think I do). However, when learning about Killing vectors I ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Determinant of the curved space scalar wave operator

I am reading a paper titled 'Analogue Gravity' (http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2011-3 or http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0505065) In the paper (page 15/159) they say this: $$\det(\sqrt{-g} g^{\mu \nu}) ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Line Elements for $n$-dimensional hyperspheres [migrated]

I'm currently in the process of deriving the components of the Riemann Curvature Tensor for a 3-sphere using the Cartan Equations. The line element I'm starting with is: $$ ds^2 = ...
0
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Varying wrt metric [closed]

I saw people write $\frac{\partial( F^{ab} F_{ab})}{\partial g^{ef}}$ as $\frac {\partial (g^{ca}g^{db}F_{cd}F_{ab})}{\partial g^{ef}}$ in a way that exposes the dependence on the metric. but ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Why does this allegedly Hermitian Kähler metric have non-zero diagonal terms?

In string theory, the Kähler potential of Kähler moduli (e.g. - the volume of a Calabi-Yau manifold) is given by (see, for instance, Becker, Becker, Schwarz: "String Theory and M Theory" p. 498) $$K ...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

Can a hypothetical universe have more than 2 types of dimensions: spatial and temporal?

Our universe is often described as having 3 space-like dimensions and 1 time-like dimension. Can hypothetical universe exist with more than space- and time-like dimensions? If so how would these ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Schwarzschild metric circular orbits and kepler's 3rd law

I have been looking at the Schwarzschild metric presented to me as the following within lectures: ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

FRW Metric maximally symmetric, derivation, $R=3K$ or $R=6K$ confusion, two different texts

I'm looking at Tod and Hughston Introduction to GR and writing the metric in the two forms; [1]$$ ds^{2}=dt^{2}-R^{2}(t)(\frac{dr^{2}}{1-kr^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+sin^{2}\theta d\phi^{2})) $$ [2] $$ ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Is there any physical meaning for the inverse metric?

I've been wondering if we can attribute any physical meaning to the inverse metric. I mean when we talk about the metric itself, there are lots of insights we can have towards its role in spacetime, ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Prove Christoffel Symbol Identity

In a book I am reading, the following identity is claimed and then "left to the reader to prove." $g_{ij}$ is the metric tensor, and $\Gamma$ is the Christoff symbol of the second kind with the ...
-2
votes
1answer
53 views

Does this identity that applies to the metric tensor also apply to the stress-energy tensor?

Okay so if the $g_{00}$ component of the metric is $-c^2$ and $g_{11}=g_{22}=g_{33}$ and all the other other components are zero, the question is simple, would similar identities apply to the ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

Calculate the mass of a Schwarzchild black hole with Komar integral [closed]

In Wald's GR, Komar integral is Eq. (11.2.9): $$M=-\frac{1}{8\pi}\int_S\epsilon_{abcd}\nabla^c\xi^d$$ $S$ can be chosen as a 2-sphere, the boundary of a spacelike hypersurface $\Sigma$ such that the ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Question about basic formalism of GR and the metric tensor

I really don't know much about GR, but I've come across a few rough sketches of its formalism in my DG books. I'm trying to piece it together to get a very basic intuition of what spacetime is in GR. ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Metric and the Lagrangian [duplicate]

Does the Lagrangian formalism require a metric on the configuration manifold $Q$ in order to define a Lagrangian $L$ on the tangent bundle $TQ$? Further, if we specify a metric on the tangent bundle ...
1
vote
2answers
152 views

$\nabla^{\mu}\nabla_{\mu}$ in general relativity [closed]

I am trying to work out $\square=\nabla^{\mu}\nabla_{\mu}$ in the metric $ ds^{2}=-A(r)dt^{2}+B(r)^{-1}dr^{2}+r^{2}d\Omega^{2} $$ My work: when applying $\square$ to a scalar $\phi$, then $ ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Once I calculate the Riemann curvature tensor, what do I do with it?

I am considering the Schwarzschild metric. I have calculated my Christoffel symbols and am able to calculate the Riemann tensor (I think). In short, I have done a bunch of work to find this thing ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Rindler and Minkowski space future/past infinity

In my black holes course, we are looking at the Penrose diagram for 1+1 D Minkowski space. My notes don't specifically describe $i^{\pm}$ (future/past timelike infinity) but do say all timelike curves ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Metric in Lagrangian and the minimum total potential energy principle

I was wondering why physical systems "like" to go to the minimum of potential energy and I found this question, that tries to justify the minumum total potential energy principle. I was also reading ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

Why do things slow down when you move faster, rather than speed up?

I've been trying to get to grips with SpaceTime. As I understand it, we move at a set rate through spacetime. Any increase in our rate of travel through space results in a decrease in our rate of ...
3
votes
2answers
217 views

Correct tetrad index notation

There seems to be some different conventions on the indexes of the tetrad. I am wondering which is the standard, which is correct, and which is an abuse of notation. In Sean Carroll's notes and in ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates: Why $\ln(r-2m)$ instead of $\ln|r-2m|$?

If one considers the Schwarzschild metric $$ \text d s^2 = -V(r)\text d t^2 + \frac{1}{V(r)}\text d r^2 + r^2 \text d \Omega^2\;,\qquad V(r) = 1-\frac{2m}{r}\;, $$ and introduces the ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

Sign convention for the Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}$

In special relativity, one is confronted with a quadratic form called proper time, which is $c^2t^2-(x^2+y^2+z^2)$, $t$ being time and $x,y,z$ being the space coordinates. One usually introduces a ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Gauge invariant quantities [closed]

In the context of cosmological perturbation one write the most general perturbed metric as $$ ...
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Definition of non-degenerate metric tensor

We know that a metric has a property which is called non-degeneracy. I was searching for what does that mean and saw it associated with the fact that $det(g_{\mu\nu})\neq0$. How does this relate to ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Off-diagonal terms in metric for 4D space-time [closed]

Consider a delta between two events in 4D space-time written as a 4-vector, $x^\mu=(dt, dR)$. The time $dt$ is a scalar difference in time. The 3-vector $dR$ points some direction in space. One ...
9
votes
1answer
551 views

How does the Hubble parameter change with the age of the universe?

How does the Hubble parameter change with the age of the universe? This question was posted recently, and I had almost finished writing an answer when the question was deleted. Since it's a shame to ...