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Blau - Lecture Notes on General Relativity

Blau - Lecture Notes on General Relativity

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Published by: Gustavo Adolfo Cruz Diaz on Feb 28, 2010
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Lecture Notes on General Relativity
Matthias Blau (ICTP & Neuchˆatel University)
These are lecture notes of an introductory course on General Relativity that I havegiven in the years 1998-2003 in the framework of the ICTP Diploma Course.The purpose of these notes was to supplement the course, not to replace a text-book.You should turn to other sources for other explanations, more on the historical and ex-perimental side, and exercises to test your understanding of these matters. Nevertheless,I hope that these notes are reasonably self-contained and comprehensible.I make no claim to originality in these notes. In particular, the presentation of much of the introductory material follows quite closely the treatment in Weinberg’s ‘Gravitationand Cosmology’, but I have also used a number of other sources.Sections marked with a * contain supplementary material that is not strictly necessaryfor an understanding of the subsequent sections.Further additions and updates to these notes are in preparation. I am grateful forfeedback of any kind: complaints, constructive criticism, corrections, and suggestionsfor what else to include.
Last update April 3, 2004
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Contents
Caveats and Omissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Part I: Towards the Einstein Equations 91 From the Einstein Equivalence Principle to Geodesics 9
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Motivation: The Einstein Equivalence Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Geodesics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Metrics and Coordinate Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Christoffel Symbols, Geodesics and Coordinate Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2 The Physics and Geometry of Geodesics 21
The Geodesic Equation from a Variational Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21The Newtonian Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22The Gravitational Redshift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Locally Inertial and Riemann Normal Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25More on Geodesics and the Variational Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28* Ane and Non-Ane Parametrizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
3 Tensor Algebra 30
From the Einstein Equivalence Principle to the Principle of General Covariance . . . . 30Tensors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30Tensor Algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33Tensor Densities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34* A Coordinate-Independent Interpretation of Tensors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
4 Tensor Analysis 37
Tensor Analysis: Preliminary Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37The Covariant Derivative for Vector Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37* Invariant Interpretation of the Covariant Derivative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38Extension of the Covariant Derivative to Other Tensor Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39Main Properties of the Covariant Derivative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40The Principle of Minimal Coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
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Tensor Analysis: Some Special Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Covariant Differentiation Along a Curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45Parallel Transport and Geodesics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45* Generalizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
5 Physics in a Gravitational Field 48
Particle Mechanics in a Gravitational Field Revisited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Electrodynamics in a Gravitational Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Conserved Quantities from Covariantly Conserved Currents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50Conserved Quantities from Covariantly Conserved Tensors? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
6 The Lie Derivative, Symmetries and Killing Vectors 52
Symmetries (Isometries) of a Metric: Preliminary Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52The Lie Derivative for Scalars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53The Lie Derivative for Vector Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54The Lie Derivative for Other Tensor Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55The Lie Derivative of the Metric and Killing Vectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Killing Vectors and Conserved Quantities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
7 Curvature I: The Riemann Curvature Tensor 58
Curvature: Preliminary Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58The Riemann Curvature Tensor from the Commutator of Covariant Derivatives . . . . 58Symmetries and Algebraic Properties of the Riemann Tensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60The Ricci Tensor and the Ricci Scalar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62An Example: The Curvature Tensor of the Two-Sphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63Bianchi Identities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64Another Look at the Principle of General Covariance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
8 Curvature II: Geometry and Curvature 66
Intrinsic Geometry, Curvature and Parallel Transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66Vanishing Riemann Tensor and Existence of Flat Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69The Geodesic Deviation Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
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