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A Stress energy tensor general relativity

  1. Jun 19, 2016 #1
    Hi, I would like say that in this link ( ) and starting from 56.28 Suskind tries to find the energy tensor equation using \phi, afterwards he finds a equation similar to wave equation in terms of \phi. My question is: For what does \phi stand ???? I could not capture the meaning of \phi. Could you explain it ???
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I believe it stands for a scalar field, which is the simplest kind of field (it's just a number at every point of spacetime).
  4. Jun 20, 2016 #3


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    Science Advisor

    He calls it a "wave field" around 53:50, but as Peter says it's just a scalar field.
  5. Jun 20, 2016 #4
    Well, I am aware that it is a scalar field, but What kind of a scalar field does it stands for ????? This scalar field does not have any name ???? For instance is it a temperature, energy....... ?????
  6. Jun 20, 2016 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Any scalar field. AFAICT, Susskind is just explaining the general way that the stress-energy tensor of a scalar field works. He is not trying to explain the physics of any particular scalar field. The only property that would have to be assumed is that the field has units of energy density.
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