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Physics Fields

# Physics Fields

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08/05/2013

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In subsection IIIB4 we saw that in the same way as a current in electrodynam-

ics or Yang-Mills is deﬁned as the matter contribution to the gauge ﬁeld’s equation

of motion, δSM/δAa = Ja

(in that case SM excludes only the pure Yang-Mills ac-

tion), the “energy-momentum tensor” is deﬁned as the matter contribution to the

492

IX. GENERAL RELATIVITY

gravitational ﬁeld equation (in this case SM excludes only the pure gravity action):

δSM =

e−1

ζab

Tab = 1
2

√−g(δgmn

)Tmn = −1
2

√−g(δgmn)Tmn
The case where ζab represents the invariances of the action implies restrictions on this

tensor: Using the separate gauge invariance of the matter action δgaugeSM = 0 and

the matter ﬁeld equations δSM(matter) = 0 (as for the Yang-Mills case), gauge

variation of the gravity ﬁelds in SM implies

ζab =

λab = −λba ⇒ T[ab]

= 0 : Lorentz

−1

2 (aλb) ⇒ aTab

= 0 : coordinate

so coordinate invariance of the action implieslocal conservation of energy-momentum.

For example, for a real scalar ﬁeld:

S =

e−11

4[( χ)2

+ m2

χ2

+ aRχ2
]

2Tab = ( aχ)( bχ)− 1

ab[( χ)2

+m2

χ2

]+a[(ηaba b)+(Rab− 1

abR)]χ2

Notice that for a = 0, the energy-momentum tensor gets extra total-derivative terms

which are separately conserved in ﬂat space (since they come from the Rχ2

term,

which is separately covariant).

Excercise IXA6.1

Using the action given in subsection IXA4 and the variation of the covariant

derivative from subsection IXA5, ﬁnd the energy-momentum tensor for the

Dirac spinor, and use its ﬁeld equations to show this tensor is conserved.

Note that this is not the same as ordinary conservationmTmn

= 0:

√−gT0n

does not deﬁne a conserved total energy-momentum. This is in contrast with the

conserved current in electrodynamics, since we then can derive the usual global con-

servation law

0 =

dD

x e−1

aJa

=

dD

x ∂me−1

Jm

∼ d
dt

dD−1

x e−1

J0

On the other hand, it’s closely related to Yang-Mills, where δAa =aλ leads to

aJa

= 0 in terms of the derivative covariantized with respect to the Yang-Mills

ﬁeld (as well as gravity, if in curved space), some−1

Jm

=e−1

[iAm,Jm

] = 0 (see

subsection IIIC1).

However, if there is a Killing vector Ka, then the component of momentum in

that direction is conserved:

Ja

≡ KbTba

aJa

= ( aKb)Tba

+ Kb( aTba

) = 0

A. ACTIONS

493

(Remember (aKb) = 0.) Some simple examples of this in ﬂat space are (Ka)b

= δb
a

(translational invariance), for which the corresponding “charge” is the total momen-

tum, and (Ka)bc

= δ[b

axc]

(Lorentz invariance), for which the charge is the total angular

momentum.

Including the variation of the gravitational action, we get the gravitational ﬁeld

equations

Rab − 1

abR = 2Tab

Coordinate invariance of SG implies a(Rab

− 1

ab

R) = 0, which also follows from

the Bianchi identities: In that sense gauge invariance is said to be “dual” to Bianchi

identities, one implying the other through variation of the action: In general, for any

gauge ﬁeld φ with gauge parameter λ

δφ = Oλ, 0 = δS =

dx ()δS

δφ ⇔ OT δS

δφ = 0

where the “transpose” OT

is deﬁned by integration by parts. Positivity of the energy

(contained in any inﬁnitesimal volume) is the condition T00

the cosmological term modiﬁes the left-hand side of the above equation of motion by

Although there is no covariant deﬁnition of total energy-momentum, in the case

where spacetimeis asymptoticallyﬂat (the metricfalls oﬀ to the ﬂat metricsuﬃciently

fast at inﬁnity), one can deﬁne a noncovariant energy-momentumtensor tab for gravity

itself which is covariant with respect to coordinate transformations that themselves

fall oﬀ at inﬁnity. (See excercise IIIC1.2 for the analogous Yang-Mills case.) This

tensor satisifesm(Tmn

+tmn

) = 0 (where Tmn

is the usual tensor for matter), so the

usual conservation laws can be derived for the total energy-momentum coming from

integrating T +t. Many equivalent expressions exist for t. One way to derive it is to

expand the ﬁeld equations order-by-order in h as

1
2
(Rab − 1

abR) ≡ Lab −tab

where Lab is the linearized part of the ﬁeld equations (see subsection IXB1) and −tab

is the quadratic and higher-order parts. By the linearized Bianchi identities, we know

0 =aLab

≡ ∂a(1

2Rab

− 1

ab

R + tab

) =a(Tab

+ tab

)

where we used the ﬁeld equations in the last step. Note that there is a great deal

of ambiguity here: We could have linearized by expanding the metric around its ﬂat

space value instead of the vierbein, or by expanding Rmn or Rmn

494

IX. GENERAL RELATIVITY

Because of the expression in terms of Lab ∼ ∂∂h, the integral of T +t, which gives the

total energy-momentum vector, can be expressed as a surface term, just as Gauss’

law in electrodynamics. Since space was assumed to be asymptotically ﬂat, only the

quadratic part of t contributes in the surface integral, which is why there is so much

freedom in the deﬁnition of t. Since t is not covariant, the energy-momentum of

the gravitational ﬁeld is not localized (coordinate transformations shift it around).

However, since the total energy-momentum is invariant, one can ask questions about

how much energy is radiated to inﬁnity, etc.

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