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Maxwell's equations and spacetime

  1. Feb 7, 2014 #1

    I'm just beginning to learn relativity, but I have a question about why gravity is so different from other forces of nature in GR. As a start, I read that Einstein tried to find a differential geometric representation of the physical universe which represents the Maxwell equations in a similiar way that the curvature of spacetime in GR represents gravitation - but failed. Could someone elaborate on that, or point me to sources where I can read more about it?

    Thanks in advance. :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2014 #2


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    IMHO you'd be better off spending your time learning about correct theories rather than incorrect ones! :wink:
  4. Feb 7, 2014 #3


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    Try Googling 'Kaluza-Klein theory'. It goes some way towards this.
  5. Feb 7, 2014 #4


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    +1 for what Bill_K said.

    Those alternate theories have long been discredited. Don't waste your time, at least not until you've mastered modern GR in all its g[l]ory detail. :biggrin:
  6. Feb 7, 2014 #5


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    We can cast EM in a differential geometric light, in fact we can cast all gauge theories in a differential geometric light. The upshot is that the "gauge covariant derivative" ##D_{\mu} = \partial_{\mu} + ie A_{\mu}## used in EM isn't associated with a physical space-time but rather with the more abstract concept of a ##U(1)##-principal bundle, whereas the covariant derivative ##\nabla_{\mu}## in GR is of course associated with a physical space-time.

    See here: http://www.nikhef.nl/~t45/ftip/Ch11.pdf and here: http://www.theorie.physik.uni-goettingen.de/~tedesco/files/connections.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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