4
votes
2answers
147 views

Why do we require manifolds to be a topological space?

Roughly speaking, we define a manifold $M$ to be covered by a set of charts $\{(U_i , \varphi_i)\}$ such that locally the $n$-dimensional manifolds looks like $\mathbb{R}^n$. One of the conditions is ...
12
votes
1answer
133 views

Soliton Moduli Spaces and Homotopy Theory

The four-dimensional $SU(N)$ Yang-Mills Lagrangian is given by $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2e^2}\mathrm{Tr}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$$ and gives rise to the Euclidean equations of motion $\mathcal{D}_\mu ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Topology of spacetime in 2+1 dimension

In the book Quantum Gravity in 2+1 dimension by S. Carlip, in the second chapter (section 2.1), he comments that a compact 3-manifold with a flat time orientable Lorentzian metric and a purely ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Can a D-brane be closed and contractible?

Let's consider for simplicity D-branes in bosonic string theory. I have a very basic question whose answer I couldn't find clearly stated in the few textbooks where I looked for it. Take for ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

General relativity and global aspects [duplicate]

The theory of general relativity tells me something about the global structure of space-time, eg simply connected ?
1
vote
0answers
72 views

Prereqs for The Geometry of Physics by Frankel [duplicate]

I'm interested in giving The Geometry of Physics a read, and I was wondering what the mathematical and (more importantly) physical prerequisites are. My background is a bit stronger on the ...
1
vote
1answer
256 views

Vector potential $A$ on a 2-sphere $S^2$ of radius $R$ with some points removed

I am preparing myself for an exam and I got stuck with the following problem. If I wanted to calculate the vector potential $A$ on a sphere (not off or in), where some points are removed, how would I ...
7
votes
1answer
81 views

Betti multiplets in Kaluza Klein compactifications

It is well known that if the compactification manifold of a supergravity theory has non-zero Betti numbers, this may lead to the so called Betti multiplets in the spectrum of the low dimensional ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

A simple conjecture on the Chern number of a 2-level Hamiltonian $H(\mathbf{k})$?

For example, let's consider a quadratic fermionic Hamiltonian on a 2D lattice with translation symmetry, and assume that the Fourier transformed Hamiltonian is described by a $2\times2$ Hermitian ...
8
votes
2answers
208 views

What are orbifolds and why are they useful and interesting for physics?

Just what the title says. What's the basic definition of an orbifold? How do they arise in physics and why are they interesting?
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Does Clifford algebra depend on the topology of manifold?

We know the greatest feature of Clifford algebra is coordinate-free. One can do vector operations without knowing the representation of vectors. And due to its very characteristc, Clifford or ...
26
votes
2answers
818 views

Intuitively, why are bundles so important in Physics?

This question probably seems silly and I don't really know if it fits properly here, but the point is the following: I've seem the notion of bundles, fiber bundles, connections on bundles and so on ...
6
votes
2answers
445 views

Vector Potential for Magnetic field when the field is not in simply-connected region

According to Poincare's Lemma, if $U\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ is a star-shaped set and if $\omega$ is a $k$-form defined in $U$ that is closed, then $\omega$ is exact, meaning that there's some ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

How much does the global structure of a Lorentzian spacetime restrict the metric? And vice versa

E.g. if I know that my topology is that of a hyperboloid, how much freedom do I have left for my choice of the metric? And the other way around: if my metric is some conformal factor times the unit ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Are there any restrictions on building the topology of spacetime out of the complement of open balls?

I assume that for a Lorentzian manifold (i.e. with Minkowski signature), the analog of an open ball is the interior of a light cone. My question is motivated by the observation that whereas any point ...
1
vote
0answers
120 views

Do we expect that the universe is simply-connected? [duplicate]

I heard recently that the universe is expected to be essentially flat. If this is true, I believe this means (by the 3d Poincare conjecture) that the universe cannot be simply-connected, since the ...
4
votes
3answers
352 views

Could metric expansion create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime?

Is it possible for metric expansion to create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime? According to the Schwarzschild metric, the metric expansion of space around a black hole goes to infinity ...
3
votes
1answer
541 views

Chern number in condensed matter physics

In mathematics, the Chern number is defined in terms of the Chern class of a manifold. What is the exact definition of Chern number in condensed matter physics, i.e. quantum hall system?
5
votes
0answers
210 views

7 sphere, is there any physical interpretation of exotic spheres?

Basically an exotic sphere is topologically a sphere, but doesn't look like a one. Or more accurately: homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic to the standard Euclidean n-sphere The first exotic ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

what is wrong with the following argument about stokes law in compact universes?

I want to understand what is wrong with the following argument: in a topologically compact spacetime, a closed 3D boundary separates the spacetime in two connected components, because of this ...
4
votes
3answers
230 views

What are some mechanics examples with a globally non-generic symplecic structure?

In the framework of statistical mechanics, in books and lectures when the fundamentals are stated, i.e. phase space, Hamiltons equation, the density etc., phase space seems usually be assumed to be ...
3
votes
4answers
625 views

Topology needed for Differential Geometry [duplicate]

I am a physics undergrad, and need to study differential geometry ASAP to supplement my studies on solitons and instantons. How much topology do I need to know. I know some basic concepts reading from ...
2
votes
0answers
167 views

What are the topics of string theory that are comprehensible with only a mathematical background on Manifolds and Algebraic Topology?

What are the topics of string theory that are comprehensible with only a mathematical background on manifolds and algebraic topology? Also, I have read only the first four chapters in Peskin & ...
5
votes
3answers
567 views

Does spacetime in general relativity contain holes?

Are there physical models of spacetimes, which have bounded (four dimensional) holes in them? And do the Einstein equations give restrictions to such phenomena? Here by holes I mean ...
9
votes
2answers
518 views

Is spacetime simply connected?

As I've stated in a prior question of mine, I am a mathematician with very little knowledge of Physics, and I ask here things I'm curious about/things that will help me learn. This falls into the ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Quantum mechanics on a manifold

In quantum mechanics the state of a free particle in three dimensional space is $L^2(\mathbb R^3)$, more accurately the projective space of that Hilbert space. Here I am ignoring internal degrees of ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Can spacetime be non-orientable?

This question asks what constraints there are on the global topology of spacetime from the Einstein equations. It seems to me the quotient of any global solution can in turn be a global solution. In ...
40
votes
6answers
2k views

What is known about the topological structure of spacetime?

General relativity says that spacetime is a Lorentzian 4-manifold $M$ whose metric satisfies Einstein's field equations. I have two questions: What topological restrictions do Einstein's equations ...