I am trying to get a good feel for the Stress-Energy tensor, but I seem to be hung up on a few concepts and I was wondering if anyone could clear up the issues.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

First, when I look at the derivation of the Stress-Energy tensor for a perfect fluid (of one species, say), the 00 entry can be written as a sum over each "particle" in the fluid:

$$T^{00}=\sum_kmu_k^0u_k^0=m\sum_k\gamma_k^2=m\sum_k\left(1+{v_k^2\over1-v_k^2}\right)=m\sum_k\left(1+\gamma_k^2v_{k,x}^2+\gamma_k^2v_{k,y}^2+\gamma_k^2v_{k,z}^2\right)$$

$$=\sum_km+\sum_kmu_k^1u_k^1+\sum_kmu_k^2u_k^2+\sum_kmu_k^3u_k^3$$

In the rest frame of the bulk, I can divide by a small 3-volume element and, assuming things are isotropic, I find

$$T^{00}=\rho_0+3P$$

where ##\rho_0## is the rest-mass density and ##P## is the pressure. Is this correct? If so, is it useful? Clearly, I can't use this for photons.

My second question involves the Lorentz scalar ##{T^\alpha}_\alpha##. Setting ##T^{00}\equiv\rho##, when I actually find this using ##T^{\alpha\nu}\eta_{\nu\alpha}##, I get ##-\rho+3P## instead of ##+\rho+3P##. What am I doing wrong?

I ask this because I'm guessing that this scalar ##T## must be a useful quantity, but I don't know what, exactly. It's implicated in the Trace Energy Condition... but if I'm getting a negative value for a dust (##P=0##), then I can't possibly satisfy ##T\ge0##.

Any and all insight is greatly appreciated. Much thanks in advance.

ZM

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# A Two questions on the Stress-Energy Tensor

Have something to add?

Draft saved
Draft deleted

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**