The simplicial Ricci tensor. (English) Zbl 1222.83052

Summary: The Ricci tensor (Ric) is fundamental to Einstein’s geometric theory of gravitation. The three-dimensional Ric of a spacelike surface vanishes at the moment of time symmetry for vacuum spacetimes. The four-dimensional Ric is the Einstein tensor for such spacetimes. More recently, the Ric was used by Hamilton to define a nonlinear, diffusive Ricci flow (RF) that was fundamental to Perelman’s proof of the Poincarè conjecture. Analytic applications of RF can be found in many fields including general relativity and mathematics. Numerically it has been applied broadly to communication networks, medical physics, computer design and more. In this paper, we use Regge calculus (RC) to provide the first geometric discretization of the Ric. This result is fundamental for higher dimensional generalizations of discrete RF. We construct this tensor on both the simplicial lattice and its dual and prove their equivalence. We show that the Ric is an edge-based weighted average of deficit divided by an edge-based weighted average of dual area-an expression similar to the vertex-based weighted average of the scalar curvature reported recently. We use this Ric in a third and independent geometric derivation of the RC Einstein tensor in arbitrary dimensions.


83C27 Lattice gravity, Regge calculus and other discrete methods in general relativity and gravitational theory
83D05 Relativistic gravitational theories other than Einstein’s, including asymmetric field theories
83E15 Kaluza-Klein and other higher-dimensional theories
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