The Minkowski metric transforms under Lorentz transformations as

\begin{align*}\eta_{\rho\sigma} = \eta_{\mu\nu}\Lambda^\mu_{\ \ \ \rho} \Lambda^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} \end{align*}

I want to show that under a infinitesimal transformation $\Lambda^\mu_{\ \ \ \nu}=\delta^\mu_{\ \ \ \nu} + \omega^\mu_{{\ \ \ \nu}}$, that $\omega_{\mu\nu} = -\omega_{\nu\mu}$.

I tried expanding myself: \begin{align*} \eta_{\rho\sigma} &= \eta_{\mu\nu}\left(\delta^\mu_{\ \ \ \rho} + \omega^\mu_{{\ \ \ \rho}}\right)\left(\delta^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} + \omega^\nu_{{\ \ \ \sigma}}\right) \\ &= (\delta_{\nu\rho}+\omega_{\nu\rho})\left(\delta^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} + \omega^\nu_{{\ \ \ \sigma}}\right) \\ &= \delta_{\rho\sigma}+\omega^\rho_{\ \ \ \sigma}+\omega_{\sigma\rho}+\omega_{\nu\rho} \omega^\nu_{{\ \ \ \sigma}} \end{align*}

Been a long time since I've dealt with tensors so I don't know how to proceed.

  • 1
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    – jdm
    Nov 21, 2013 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ @jdm: The homework tag does not relate to whether it is actual homework or not; it relates to the content of the question. See Phys.SE homework policy for details. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Nov 21, 2013 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I need to remember to add homework tags >_< $\endgroup$
    – user82235
    Nov 21, 2013 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/28535/2451 $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Nov 21, 2013 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


Note that if you lower an index of the Kronecker delta, it becomes the metric:


And in your last step you got a wrong index. It should be $\omega_{\rho\sigma}$, not $\omega^{\rho}_{\sigma}$.

Then, the metric terms cancel and you neglect cuadratic terms.

That should be enough to solve it.


Since the Lorentz transformation is valid for any $x\in M_{4}$, it can be rewritten as $\Lambda_{\rho}^{\mu}\eta_{\mu\nu}\Lambda_{\sigma}^{\nu}=\eta_{\rho\sigma}$. Substituting the infinitesimal form of the Lorentz transformation into the previous formula we get


after expanding


and from this we can see that



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