Questions related to the mathematical aspects of Einstein's theory of relativity. For the physics and its interpretations, please ask at the physics.SE. You may also consider the tags (differential-geometry) and (pde).

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Deriving E=mc^2 from hollow box with mass M and photon

I'm working on a problem to derive E=mc^2 using conservation of momentum and center of mass. We have a hollow block of length L and mass M. A photon passes through taking mass m and adding it to the ...
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1answer
41 views

Confused About Indices in Deriving Curvature

Asking about a step regarding indices in deriving the Curvature tensor from the geodesic equation. Starting from $$ \frac{d v^a}{du} = - \Gamma^a_{bc}v^b \frac{dx^c}{du}$$ we integrate $$v^a(u) = ...
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+50

Schwarzschild metric, speed of ball as measured by observer who catches the ball, just before ball is caught?

The Schwarzschild metric, describing the exterior gravitational field of a planet of mass $M$ and radius $R$, is given by$$ds^2 = -(1 - 2M/r)\,dt^2 + (1 - 2M/r)^{-1}\,dr^2 + r^2(d\theta^2 + \sin^2\...
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Confusion with conclusion to positive mass theorem

I am trying to understand the positive mass theorem as it is presented in the survey paper by Corvino and Pollack http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.5050 I am fundamentally confused by the structure of their ...
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1answer
50 views

Gauge condition equivalent to condition that coordinate functions satisfy wave equation to first order

Let $\eta_{ab}$ be the metric of special relativity and let $x^\mu$ be global inertial coordinates of $\eta_{ab}$. Let $\gamma_{ab}$ be a small perturbation of $\eta_{ab}$. How do I see that the gauge ...
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1answer
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Approximating a metric tensor

I am reading Carroll's book on General Relativity, but this is much more a math question than a physics question. We can approximate a metric tensor on a curved manifold by writing $g_{\mu\nu} = \eta_{...
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Extrinsic curvature for cylinder

Suppose we have the following metric describing a cylinder: $$ds^2=ud\rho^2+\rho^2d\phi^2$$ where $u$ is a function of $\rho$. We know the definition of the extrinsic curvature that is, $$K_{ij}=-\...
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Surface element in GR

I have seen this in Padmanabhan's book about gravitation. How can I verify this: $d\Sigma_{mn}=\frac{1}{2!}\epsilon_{mnab}\frac{\partial(x^a,x^b)}{\partial(\theta,\varphi)}d\theta d\varphi=\epsilon_{...
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Linearity of transformation of coordinates.

Suppose a transformation of coordinates given by: $$\bar x^\nu =\bar x^\nu(x^1,x^2,x^2,x^4)\quad\text{for }\nu =1,2,3,4 $$ such that: $$\left\{\begin{array}{lll} (dx^1)^2+(d x^2)^2+(d z^3)^2=c^2(d t)^...
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Different between space of reference and system of co-ordinates

In the book "The meaning of the relativity" by A. Einstein, it is referring to two different concepts: space of reference and system of coordinates. What it is the difference? It says: "we cannot ...
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57 views

Intuitive, short explanation of differential forms and exterior calculus

Are there any introductory lecture notes on differential forms and exterior calculus, preferably aimed at physics students studying General Relativity and Black holes? I have some familiarity with GR ...
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Solving a 1D integral with system of equations for retarded electromagnetic fields

I need to solve the following integral to calculate the effect of retarded electromagnetic fields on a test charge: $\int\limits_0^\zeta\frac{(\psi-(1+x)\sin(\psi+\alpha))(\frac{\psi^2}{2\beta^2(1+x)}...
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1answer
29 views

Co-ordinate transformation of metric

In a past exam paper that I am using to prepare for my upcoming finals, I have encountered the following question (paraphrased): Given the metric: $$\mathrm{d}s^{2} = -c^{2}\:\mathrm{d}t^{2}+\left(...
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Orthogonal geodesics to hypersurfaces

Say we have a Riemannian manifold $(M, g)$ with vector field $Y$, obeying: $g(Y, Y) = 1$; and the $1$-form $\varphi(X) = g(X, Y)$ is $d$-closed, $d\varphi = 0$. I know that the integral curves of $...
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1answer
49 views

Why is the Einstein Static Universe an infinite cylinder?

The Einstein static universe metric is $$ds^2=-dt^2 + d\chi^2 + \sin(\chi)^2d\Omega^2$$ where $-\infty<t<\infty$ , $0<\chi<\pi$ and $d\Omega^2$ is the metric on a $S^2$. It describes the ...
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Integral curves of vector field are geodesics

Say we have a Riemannian manifold $(M, g)$ with vector field $X$ obeying the following: $g(X, X) = 1$; and the $1$-form $\varphi(Y) = g(Y, X)$ is $d$-closed, $d\varphi = 0$. Does it necessarily ...
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Index attached to derivative operator

So in "General Relativity", Wald introduces a derivative operator $\nabla$ on a smooth manifold $M$ that sends $(k, l)$ tensors to $(k, l + 1)$ tensors. One of their properties he says is that if $f \...
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1answer
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Confusion with abstract tensor notation

I am currently going through the abstract tensor notation in Wald's "General Relativity". I understand the purpose of it, but I need help understanding some of the conventions and definitions. So, ...
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Intuition about antisymmetrizing tensor equations

I was looking at the symmetries of the Riemann tensor, and tried to prove a couple of properties, namely If $\nabla$ is torsion-free, then: (i) $R^a_{\,[bcd]}=0$, and (ii) $R^a_{\,b[cd;e]}=0$. ...
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Proving the Ricci identity

I'm trying to prove the Ricci identity Let $Z^a$ be a vector field, $R^a_{\,bcd}$ the Riemann curvature tensor and $\nabla$ a torsion-free connection. Then: $\nabla_c\nabla_dZ^a-\nabla_d\nabla_cZ^...
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1answer
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How to make parallel transport around a circle invariant for all vectors for a given metric?

I came across this question: "A 2d Riemannian manifold has metric $$ ds^2=dr^2+f(r)^2d\phi^2 $$ where $\phi$ is identified periodically with period $2\pi$. Determine the necessary and sufficient ...
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1answer
25 views

On a proof that the metric volume form is parallel wrt to the Levi-Civita connection

In the context of (semi-)Riemannian geometry, the following fact is well-known: if a (semi-)Riemannian manifold $(M,g)$ is oriented, then the unique volume form $\epsilon = \mathrm{vol}_g$, induced by ...
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trace of einstein equation - general relativity

I know quite well what the trace of a matrix is; however, I am not quite sure I understand the meaning of the 'trace' concept when applied to tensors. I would be very grateful to you if: How can i ...
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Scalar curvature of metric? [closed]

The metric components in a two-dimensional spacetime are given in terms of the coordinates $(t, x)$ by$$ds^2 = f(x)\,dt^2 + dx^2.$$What is the scalar curvature, $R$, of this metric?
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Identity surrounding Killing vector field on a spacetime $\nabla_a \nabla_b w_c = -{R_{bca}}^d w_d$

Let $w^a$ be a Killing vector field on a spacetime $(M, g_{ab})$, i.e., $w^a$ satisfies $\nabla_{(a}w_{b)} = 0$. I hypothesize that$$\nabla_a \nabla_b w_c = -{R_{bca}}^d w_d,$$but I am not sure how I ...
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1answer
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“Flow lines” of “dust” are geodesics?

The stress-energy tensor representing "dust" takes the form$$T_{ab} = \rho u_au_b$$where $u^a$ is a unit timelike vector field, i.e., $u^au_a = -1$. Does it necessarily follow that in any solution to ...
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1answer
114 views

Identity in general relativity, not sure if true or not

Let $(M, g_{ab})$ be a spacetime and define a new metric, $\tilde{g}_{ab}$, on $M$ by $\tilde{g}_{ab} = \Omega^2 g_{ab}$, where $\Omega$ is a smooth, positive function. Let $\nabla_a$ denote the ...
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1answer
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Does it necessarily follow that the integral curves of $k^a$ are null geodesics?

Let $f$ be a function on a spacetime $(M, g_{ab})$ whose gradient, $k_a = \nabla_a f$, ie everywhere null, i.e., $k_ak^a = 0$ throughout $M$. Does it necessarily follow that the integral curves of $k^...
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Motivation for Non-Euclidean geometry: relativity

I'm looking for references to motivate the study of non-Euclidean geometry. In particular I would like something about relativity. I do not want texts to learn non-Euclidean geometry, only ...
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1answer
34 views

Arclength formula under the metric tensor on polar coordinates

I was reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_tensor#Examples Is it correct that in the polar coordinate example, just after the euclidean metric example, that distance is measured as: $$ \...
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1answer
50 views

Kerr spacetime not symmetric?

I always see a term $dt \, d \phi$ in the Kerr-spacetime. Now assuming this means $dt \otimes d \phi$ this means that the Kerr spacetime is NOT(!) symmetric which is somehow non-sense. So do ...
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1answer
55 views

What is a Killing tensor?

Wikipedia gives the definition of a Killing tensor. Unfortunately, I don't know how to interpret the parentheses (it is also not explicitly explained in the link) and was therefore wondering whether ...
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Does the metric in the Theory of Relativity actually satisfy the definition of a metric?

Allow me to give a brief introduction to the topic, which has to do with physics; my question will still be a mathematical one. I think my question is aimed at people with a background both in physics ...
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Calculation of extrinsic curvature

I asked this question first on physics.SE but I got no complete answer so I thought maybe someone here could help. I'm trying to understand how to derive the extrinsic curvature (in order to ...
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1answer
28 views

Einstein Summation Convention Minkowski Metric

Picked up a book on General Relativity for Mathematicians, but I'm a bit unclear on some of the tensor notation. For example, the Minkowski Metric $$\eta_{\mu \nu} (\Delta x^\mu)(\Delta x^\nu)$$ ...
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Lifting the Einstein-Hilbert action into the frame bundle

If we have a four dimensional real spacetime $(M,g)$, with $g$ being a $(-+++)$ signature Lorentz-metric, and $\{\theta^0,\theta^1,\theta^2,\theta^3\}$ is a local orthornormal coframe defined in some ...
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1answer
63 views

Calculating Christoffel symbols using variational geodesic equation

Given the line element $$ds^2 = e^v dt^2 - e^{\lambda} dr^2 - r^2 d \theta^2 - r^2 \sin^2 \theta d \phi^2$$ we wish to compute the Christoffel symbols $\Gamma^{a}_{bc}$ using the geodesic equation. ...
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2answers
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Where should the Lorentz transformations fit into this?

I am trying to figure out how to "see" things in relativity via a toy model. With a pinhole camera I'd like to capture a relativistic scene consisting of a vertical marked stick which is moving ...
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Components of Maxwell tensor under Lorentz boost transformation

The following is taken from exercise 12.4 in D'Inverno. We wish to compute the transformation properties of the electric field and magnetic induction under a Lorentz boost. Given the following boost ...
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1answer
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Metric defining an sphere

I want to find for which cases this metric can define an sphere: $$\frac{1}{P^2}\left(\mathrm d\theta^2+\sin^2 \theta\; \mathrm d\phi^2\right)$$ where $P=\sin^2 \theta+K\cos^2 \theta$, with $K$ the ...
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1answer
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Trying to understand parallel transport

I've been trying to go through an example for parallel transport but I cannot quite follow the solution. A surface (paraboloid) is given by the parametric equation $r(ρ, φ)$ = $ρ \cos(φ)\hat{i}$ + $ρ ...
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Is it possible for distinct geodesics to be equivalent over a finite segment?

Is it possible for two geodesics $\gamma_1, \gamma_2$ to be identical within a finite interval without being identical outside the interval? IOW: $\gamma_1(t) = \gamma_2(t)$ for $t \in (A,B)$ but $\...
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Covariant derivative identity

I am trying to prove the following identity for contravariant vectors $X$ and $Y$ (this appears in exercise 6.7 of D'Inverno): $\nabla_{X}(fY) = (Xf)Y + f \nabla_X Y$. I have a way of proving it but ...
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2answers
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Divergence in Riemannian Geometry (General Relativity)

I'm taking a course in General Relativity and I'm having some problems with the notation. I know that Einstein's tensor verifies $\nabla_aG^{ab}=0$. In physics textbooks this consequence of Bianchi ...
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Extrinsic Curvature of Surface of Codimension > 1

We can define the extrinsic curvature of a codimension-one surface as $$K_{ab} = q_a^{\phantom{a}c} q_b^{\phantom{b}d} \nabla_c n_d,$$ where $n^d$ is the normal vector to the hypersurface and $q_{ab}...
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1answer
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Physical meaning of Hawking's Singularity theorem

I'm studying O'Neill's "Semi-Riemannian Geometry with applications to Relativity". I know that the following theorems are related to the Big Bang, but I don't understand how. Let $M$ be a semi-...
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49 views

How does one determine whether a coordinate basis is orthogonal or not?

Apologies for what is perhaps a very basic question, but I have been studying differential geometry with a view to gain a deeper understanding of general relativity and I have hit a stumbling block. ...
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Weyl Transformations and Group actions

I have the following question. Let $(M,g_{ab})$ be a Riemannian manifold $M$ with metric $g$, and with an action of a Lie group $G$. Moreover, the Riemannian metric $g_{ab}$ is taken to be invariant ...
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Book recommendation for rigorous multilinear algebra , tensor analysis, manifolds.

I am looking for recommendation on books about multilinear algebra, tensor analysis, manifolds theory, basically everything to be able to understand basic concepts of general relativity. I am ...
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1answer
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Differentiate with respect to $x^{a}(t)$

having a little difficulty with this conceptually. Can someone quickly walk through this differentiation please? $K=\frac{1}{2}g_{ab}\dot{x}^{a}\dot{x}^{b}$ Find $\frac{dK}{dx^{a}}$ In this case, $...