Derivative of metric tensor with respect to itself


by jdstokes
Tags: derivative, metric, respect, tensor
jdstokes
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#1
Aug16-08, 10:22 PM
P: 527
Is there an identity for [latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}}[/latex]? Note raised and lowered indices.
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jdstokes
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#2
Aug16-08, 11:54 PM
P: 527
And it turns out there is!

[latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = \frac{\partial}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} (g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}g^{\beta\nu}) = \delta^\lambda_\alpha\delta^\sigma_\beta g^{\alpha\mu} g^{\beta\nu} + g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{g^{\alpha\mu}}{g_{\lambda\sigma}}g^{\beta\nu} + g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}\frac{\partial g^{\beta\nu}}{g_{\lambda\sigma}}\implies[/latex]

[latex]\frac{\parital g^{\mu\nu}}{g_{\lambda\sigma}} = - g^{\lambda\mu}g^{\sigma\nu} [/latex].
masudr
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#3
Aug18-08, 12:15 AM
P: 932
Neat! I'm going to transcribe your LaTeX with the partial deriv. signs put in ('cos my brain can't read it otherwise) and ask you about the final step:

[tex]
\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} =
\frac{\partial}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} (g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}g^{\beta\nu}) =
\delta^\lambda_\alpha\delta^\sigma_\beta g^{\alpha\mu} g^{\beta\nu} +
g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{\partial g^{\alpha\mu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}}g^{\beta\nu} +
g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}\frac{\partial g^{\beta\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}}\implies
\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = - g^{\lambda\mu}g^{\sigma\nu}
[/tex]

So, how did you get to the final step? I ran into (something probably stupid) a problem trying to bring to factor out the derivative term.

Hurkyl
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#4
Aug18-08, 12:38 AM
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P: 16,101

Derivative of metric tensor with respect to itself


I'm somewhat suspicious of this for two reasons.

1. The components of the metric tensor are not independent variables
2. I don't think it makes sense to ask for derivatives w.r.t. components of the metric tensor

Anyways, its probably better to start with

[tex]
\frac{\partial g_{ab}}{\partial g_{cd}} =
\frac{\partial (g_{ae} g_{bf} g^{ef})}{\partial g_{cd}}
[/tex]
jdstokes
jdstokes is offline
#5
Aug18-08, 01:12 AM
P: 527
Quote Quote by masudr View Post
Neat! I'm going to transcribe your LaTeX with the partial deriv. signs put in ('cos my brain can't read it otherwise) and ask you about the final step:

[tex]
\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} =
\frac{\partial}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} (g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}g^{\beta\nu}) =
\delta^\lambda_\alpha\delta^\sigma_\beta g^{\alpha\mu} g^{\beta\nu} +
g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{\partial g^{\alpha\mu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}}g^{\beta\nu} +
g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}\frac{\partial g^{\beta\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}}\implies
\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = - g^{\lambda\mu}g^{\sigma\nu}
[/tex]

So, how did you get to the final step? I ran into (something probably stupid) a problem trying to bring to factor out the derivative term.
[latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = \frac{\partial}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} (g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}g^{\beta\nu}) = \delta^\lambda_\alpha\delta^\sigma_\beta g^{\alpha\mu} g^{\beta\nu} + g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{g^{\alpha\mu}}{g_{\lambda\sig ma}}g^{\beta\nu} + g_{\alpha\beta}g^{\alpha\mu}\frac{\partial g^{\beta\nu}}{g_{\lambda\sigma}}\implies[/latex]
[latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = g^{\lambda\mu} g^{\sigma\nu} + \delta^{\nu}_\alpha \frac{g^{\alpha\mu}}{g_{\lambda\sig ma}} + \delta^\mu_\beta\frac{\partial g^{\beta\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}}\implies[/latex]

[latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = g^{\lambda\mu} g^{\sigma\nu} + \frac{\partial g^{\nu\mu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} + \frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}}\implies[/latex]

[latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = -g^{\lambda\mu} g^{\sigma\nu}[/latex]
jdstokes
jdstokes is offline
#6
Aug18-08, 01:18 AM
P: 527
I was just reading D'Inverno and happened to stumble across exercise 11.3 which is to show that

[latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = - \frac{1}{2}(g^{\mu\lambda}g^{\nu\sigma}+g^{\sigma\mu}g^{\lambda\nu})[/latex]

which is actually equivalent to the result

[latex]\frac{\partial g^{\mu\nu}}{\partial g_{\lambda\sigma}} = -g^{\lambda\mu} g^{\sigma\nu}[/latex]

because of symmetry of the metric tensor.

So it is correct after all.


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