Metric Relativity and the Dynamical Bridge: highlights of Riemannian geometry in physics

We present an overview of recent developments concerning modifications of the geometry of space-time to describe various physical processes of interactions among classical and quantum configurations. We concentrate in two main lines of research: the Metric Relativity and the Dynamical Bridge. We describe the notion of equivalent (dragged) metric gμν which is responsible to map the path of any accelerated body in Minkowski space-time onto a geodesic motion in such associated g geometry.

Only recently the method introduced by Einstein in general relativity was used beyond the domain of gravitational forces to map arbitrary accelerated bodies submitted to non-Newtonian attractions onto geodesics of a modified geometry. This process has its roots in the very ancient idea to treat any dynamical problem in Classical Mechanics as nothing but a problem of static where all forces acting on a body annihilates themselves including the inertial ones. This general procedure, that concerns arbitrary forces – beyond the uses of General Relativity that is limited only to gravitational processes – is nothing but the relativistic version of the d’Alembert method in classical mechanics and consists in the principle of Metric Relativity. The main difference between gravitational interaction and all other forces concerns the universality of gravity which added to the interpretation of the Equivalence Principle allows all associated geometries – one for each different body in the case of non-gravitational forces – to be unified into a unique Riemannian space-time structure. The same geometrical description appears for electromagnetic waves in the optical limit within the context of nonlinear theories or material medium. Once it is largely discussed in the literature, the so-called analogue models of gravity, we will dedicate few sections on this emphasizing their relation with the new concepts introduced here.

Then we pass to the description of the Dynamical Bridge formalism which states the dynamic equivalence of non-linear theories (driven by arbitrary scalar, spinor or vector fields) that occur in Minkowski background to theories described in associated curved geometries generated by each one of these fields. We shall see that it is possible to map the dynamical properties of a theory, say Maxwell electrodynamics in Minkowski space-time, into Born-Infeld electrodynamics described in a curved space-time the metric of which is defined in terms of the electromagnetic field itself in such way that it yields the same dynamics. It is clear that when considered in whatever unique geometrical structure these two theories are not the same, they do not describe the same phenomenon. However we shall see that by a convenient modification of the metric of space-time an equivalence appears that establishes a bridge between these two theories making they represent the same phenomenon. This method was recently used to achieve a successful geometric scalar theory of gravity. At the end we briefly review the proposal of geometrization of quantum mechanics in the de Broglie-Bohm formulation using an enlarged non-Riemannian (Weyl) structure.

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