# Questions tagged [differential-geometry]

Mathematical discipline which uses the techniques of calculus to study geometric problems. General relativity is written in this language.

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### Why are differential equations for fields in physics of order two?

What is the reason for the observation that across the board fields in physics are generally governed by second order (partial) differential equations? If someone on the street would flat out ask me ...
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### Why would spacetime curvature cause gravity?

It is fine to say that for an object flying past a massive object, the spacetime is curved by the massive object, and so the object flying past follows the curved path of the geodesic, so it "appears" ...
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### Can Lagrangian be thought of 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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### Geodesics equations via variational principle

I would like to recover the (timelike) geodesics equations via the variational principle of the following action: $$\mathcal{S}[x] = -m \int d\tau = -m \int \sqrt{-g_{\mu\nu}\,dx^{\mu}\,dx^{\nu}}$$ ...
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### Why is it so coincident that Palatini variation of Einstein-Hilbert action will obtain an equation that connection is Levi-Civita connection?

There are two ways to do the variation of Einstein-Hilbert action. First one is Einstein formalism which takes only metric independent. After variation of action, we get the Einstein field equation. ...
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### Can general relativity be explained by equations describing a fabric of space embedded in a flat 5-dimensional Minkowski space?

Does such a set of equations exist or does our universe have an intrinsic curvature that can't be explained by an embedding in a flat Minkowski space of 1 higher dimension? Even if general relativity ...
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### What does symplecticity imply?

Symplectic systems are a common object of studies in classical physics and nonlinearity sciences. At first I assumed it was just another way of saying Hamiltonian, but I also heard it in the context ...
A very short question: Does the spin connection that we encounter in General Relativity $$\omega_{\mu,ab}$$ have a geometric meaning? I am supposing it does because it comes from mathematical terms ...
I am reading Di Francesco's "Conformal Field Theory" and in page 95 he defines a conformal transformation as a mapping $x \mapsto x'$ such that the metric is invariant up to scale: g'_{\mu \nu}(x'...