Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations

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VANISHING LOCAL SCALAR INVARIANTS ON GENERALIZED PLANE WAVE MANIFOLDS

6-2019

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Mathematics

Mathematics

Dunn, Corey

Abstract

Characterizing a manifold up to isometry is a challenging task. A manifold is a topological space. One may equip a manifold with a metric, and generally speaking, this metric determines how the manifold “looks". An example of this would be the unit sphere in R3. While we typically envision the standard metric on this sphere to give it its familiar shape, one could define a different metric on this set of points, distorting distances within this set to make it seem perhaps more ellipsoidal, something not isometric to the standard round sphere. In an effort to distinguish manifolds up to isometry, we wish to compute meaningful invariants. For example, the Riemann curvature tensor and its surrogates are examples of invariants one could construct. Since these objects are generally too complicated to compare and are not real valued, we construct scalar invariants from these objects instead. This thesis will explore these invariants and exhibit a special family of manifolds that are not flat on which all of these invariants vanish.

We will go on to properly define, and gives examples of, manifolds, metrics, tangent vector fields, and connections. We will show how to compute the Christoffel symbols that define the Levi-Civita connection, how to compute curvature, and how to raise and lower indices so that we can produce scalar invariants. In order to construct the curvature operator and curvature tensor, we use the miracle of pseudo-Riemannian geometry, i.e., the Levi-Civita connection, the unique torsion free and metric compatible connection on a manifold. Finally, we examine Generalized Plane Wave Manifolds, and show that all scalar invariants of Weyl type on these manifolds vanish, despite the fact that many of these manifolds are not flat.

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