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Concept# Tetrad formalism

Résumé

The tetrad formalism is an approach to general relativity that generalizes the choice of basis for the tangent bundle from a coordinate basis to the less restrictive choice of a local basis, i.e. a locally defined set of four linearly independent vector fields called a tetrad or vierbein. It is a special case of the more general idea of a vielbein formalism, which is set in (pseudo-)Riemannian geometry. This article as currently written makes frequent mention of general relativity; however, almost everything it says is equally applicable to (pseudo-)Riemannian manifolds in general, and even to spin manifolds. Most statements hold simply by substituting arbitrary for . In German, "vier" translates to "four", and "viel" to "many".
The general idea is to write the metric tensor as the product of two vielbeins, one on the left, and one on the right. The effect of the vielbeins is to change the coordinate system used on the tangent manifold to one that is simpler or more suitable for calculations. It is frequently the case that the vielbein coordinate system is orthonormal, as that is generally the easiest to use. Most tensors become simple or even trivial in this coordinate system; thus the complexity of most expressions is revealed to be an artifact of the choice of coordinates, rather than a innate property or physical effect. That is, as a formalism, it does not alter predictions; it is rather a calculational technique.
The advantage of the tetrad formalism over the standard coordinate-based approach to general relativity lies in the ability to choose the tetrad basis to reflect important physical aspects of the spacetime. The abstract index notation denotes tensors as if they were represented by their coefficients with respect to a fixed local tetrad. Compared to a completely coordinate free notation, which is often conceptually clearer, it allows an easy and computationally explicit way to denote contractions.
The significance of the tetradic formalism appear in the Einstein–Cartan formulation of general relativity.

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Concepts associés (10)

Séances de cours associées (1)

Frame fields in general relativity

A frame field in general relativity (also called a tetrad or vierbein) is a set of four pointwise-orthonormal vector fields, one timelike and three spacelike, defined on a Lorentzian manifold that is physically interpreted as a model of spacetime. The timelike unit vector field is often denoted by and the three spacelike unit vector fields by . All tensorial quantities defined on the manifold can be expressed using the frame field and its dual coframe field.

Spin connection

In differential geometry and mathematical physics, a spin connection is a connection on a spinor bundle. It is induced, in a canonical manner, from the affine connection. It can also be regarded as the gauge field generated by local Lorentz transformations. In some canonical formulations of general relativity, a spin connection is defined on spatial slices and can also be regarded as the gauge field generated by local rotations.

Solder form

In mathematics, more precisely in differential geometry, a soldering (or sometimes solder form) of a fiber bundle to a smooth manifold is a manner of attaching the fibers to the manifold in such a way that they can be regarded as tangent. Intuitively, soldering expresses in abstract terms the idea that a manifold may have a point of contact with a certain model Klein geometry at each point. In extrinsic differential geometry, the soldering is simply expressed by the tangency of the model space to the manifold.

Explique les champs vectoriels, le cadre Frenet et le comportement des courbes locales à l'aide des formules Frenet-Serret.