# Questions tagged [metric-tensor]

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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### Why does nature favour the Laplacian?

The three-dimensional Laplacian can be defined as $$\nabla^2=\frac{\partial^2}{\partial x^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial y^2}+\frac{\partial^2}{\partial z^2}.$$ Expressed in spherical coordinates, it ...
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### What do spacelike, timelike and lightlike spacetime interval really mean?

Suppose we have two events $(x_1,y_1,z_1,t_1)$ and $(x_2,y_2,z_2,t_2)$. Then we can define $$\Delta s^2 = -(c\Delta t)^2 + \Delta x^2 + \Delta y^2 + \Delta z^2,$$ which is called the spacetime ...
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### Is there such thing as imaginary time dilation?

When I was doing research on General Relativity, I found Einstein's equation for Gravitational Time Dilation. I discovered that when you plugged in a large enough value for $M$ (around $10^{19}$ ...
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### Is spacetime flat inside a spherical shell?

In a perfectly symmetrical spherical hollow shell, there is a null net gravitational force according to Newton, since in his theory the force is exactly inversely proportional to the square of the ...
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### Conformal transformation/ Weyl scaling are they two different things? Confused!

I see that the weyl transformation is $g_{ab} \to \Omega(x)g_{ab}$ under which Ricci scalar is not invariant. I am a bit puzzled when conformal transformation is defined as those coordinate ...
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### 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 ...
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### Is spacetime wholly a mathematical construct and not a real thing? [closed]

Speaking of what I understood, spacetime is three dimensions of space and one of time. Now, if we look at general relativity, spacetime is generally reckoned as a 'fabric'. So my question is, whether ...
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### How do we know that gravity is spacetime and not a field on spacetime?

How do we know that gravity is the curvature of spacetime as opposed to a field, which couples equally to all objects, on spacetime?
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