Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Stress-Energy tensor in different cases

  1. Jul 14, 2017 #1
    I wonder if there is a "general rule", a kind of "algorithm" for finding the components of the Stress-Energy tensor in for particular cases.
    For the Einstein tensor, just by knowing the metric, one can find the components of it. What about the Stress-Energy tensor?

    One way I thought of (and that is the way I have been encountering in books on GR) is using what we know about the scenario... to make approximations and then deriving the components.

    Another way I thought of is by using variational principle. Would this require knowing the field that describes the matter in the situation we are considering, right? Is knowing the field too hard?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2017 #2

    haushofer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What do you mean exactly?How about the functional derivative of the matter action wrt the field?
     
  4. Jul 14, 2017 #3

    PeterDonis

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    If you know the Einstein tensor, you know the stress-energy tensor, since the Einstein Field Equation equates the two.
     
  5. Jul 14, 2017 #4
    Excuse me if I'm not fully capable of expressing myself, this is due my lack of knowledge in English.
    Ok, but how does one know it in a situation where there are no information about the metric (and thus about the Einstein tensor)?
     
  6. Jul 14, 2017 #5

    PeterDonis

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    You have to know something about what kind of matter, energy, fields, etc. are present. For example, if you know a perfect fluid is present, you use the stress-energy tensor for a perfect fluid. (That's how the standard FRW solutions in cosmology are derived.)
     
  7. Jul 15, 2017 #6
    How about
    [tex]
    \begin{align*}
    T^{\mu \nu}
    \ =\
    \rho c^2\ \left( \begin{array}{cccc}
    u^{0} u^{0} & u^{0} u^{1} & u^{0} u^{2} & u^{0} u^{3} \\
    u^{1} u^{0} & u^{1} u^{1} & u^{1} u^{2} & u^{1} u^{3} \\
    u^{2} u^{0} & u^{2} u^{1} & u^{2} u^{2} & u^{2} u^{3} \\
    u^{3} u^{0} & u^{3} u^{1} & u^{3} u^{2} & u^{3} u^{3} \\
    \end{array} \right)
    \end{align*}[/tex]
    ?
     
  8. Jul 15, 2017 #7

    haushofer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    That's the EM-tensor for dust.
     
  9. Jul 15, 2017 #8
    As I asked in the opening post, is it hard to know the exact field equations that describe the matter?
     
  10. Jul 15, 2017 #9

    PeterDonis

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    As @haushofer pointed out, this is not a "general rule" for constructing a stress-energy tensor. It is a particular case: ##T_{\mu \nu} = \rho u_\mu u_\nu##, which describes a perfect fluid with zero pressure, rest energy density ##\rho##, and 4-velocity ##u_\mu##.
     
  11. Jul 15, 2017 #10

    PeterDonis

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Depends on the kind of matter and what approximations you want to use. The most general method is to find the Lagrangian that describes the matter (or whatever you want to call it--we don't usually call electromagnetic fields "matter", for example, but we know a Lagrangian for them), and then use that to derive field equations, equations of motion, stress-energy tensor, or whatever else you need. But there is no single way to find the Lagrangian; you just have to figure it out for each individual case you're interested in.
     
  12. Jul 15, 2017 #11
    Ah, cool.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Stress-Energy tensor in different cases
  1. Stress-Energy Tensor (Replies: 5)

Loading...