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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2013
    • (edited Jan 22nd 2013)

    I noticed that we had no entry density, so I very briefly created one. While cross-linking it, I noticed that at volume form there is related discussion re “pseudo-volume forms”. Maybe somebody here would enjoy to add a bit more glue? (I won’t at the moment.)

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013

    As written in volume form, the difference between a volume pseudoform (in the axiomatic sense) and a density (of weight 11) is that the former must be positive definite (or at least positive semidefinite, but mostly positive definite).

    I added something to density about the physical meaning of the term.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013

    As written in volume form, the difference between a volume pseudoform (in the axiomatic sense) and a density (of weight 1) is that the former must be positive definite

    Not sure what this is the reaction to. But if you assume a Riemannian metric in the first place, then one speaks of just the volume form anyway. One speaks of choices of volume forms rather in the absence of a Riemannian metric, in which case there is no notion of positivity.

    I have edited the beginning of the Definition-section at volume form now to read as follows:

    For XX a general smooth manifold, a volume form on XX is a non-vanishing density (of rank 1) on XX. If XX is oriented then this is equivalently a non-vanishing section of the canonical bundle of XX, hence an everywhere non-vanishing differential n-form on XX, for nn the dimension of XX.

    More specifically still, for (X,g)(X,g) an oriented (pseudo)-Riemannian manifold of dimension nn, its volume form vol gΩ n(X)vol_g \in \Omega^n(X) is the differential form of degree nn which measures the volume as seen by the metric gg in that it is characterized by any of the following equivalent statements.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013

    I added something to density about the physical meaning of the term.

    Thanks, tha’s nice!

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013

    Oh, now I see what you mean by “positive”!

    is positive (meaning that its integral on any open submanifold is nonnegative)

    Okay, sure.

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2013

    Not sure what this is the reaction to.

    Just the relationship between the two articles.

    But if you assume a Riemannian metric in the first place, then one speaks of just the volume form anyway.

    Yes, that is (or was) at volume form first, and the more general axiomatic version comes under Generalisations. (Although you also need an orientation to get the volume form as an untwisted nn-form rather than as a pseudoform.)

    in the absence of a Riemannian metric, in which case there is no notion of positivity.

    On the contrary, the metric is irrelevant to positivity. It's the orientation (regardless of metric) that determines positivity of nn-forms; and positivity of pseudo-nn-forms aka 11-densities is (as you noticed in #5) inherent. (What the metric does is to specify two nondegenerate nn-forms1, but it doesn't tell you which is positive and which is negative.)


    1. Actually, it specifies 2 c2^c nondegenerate nn-forms, where cc is the number of components of the manifold; and if you start with a degenerate metric, then you get 2 c2^c continuous nn-forms, where now cc is the number of components of the open submanifold where the metric is nondegenerate. 

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2013

    There became some duplication between the section on unoriented manifolds and what came before, so I just put all of the unoriented stuff in from the beginning. Then I added a bit about degenerate volume forms.

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorDmitri Pavlov
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2019

    Shouldn’t det be composed with the absolute value homomorphism to get densities as opposed to top differential forms?

    Otherwise, how is det^s even defined if s is not integer and det<0?

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