Ricci-flat manifold

In mathematics, Ricci-flat manifolds[1][2] are Riemannian manifolds whose Ricci curvature tensor vanishes. Ricci-flat manifolds are special cases of Einstein manifolds, where the cosmological constant need not vanish.

Since Ricci curvature measures the amount by which the volume of a small geodesic ball deviates from the volume of a ball in Euclidean space, small geodesic balls will have no volume deviation, but their "shape" may vary from the shape of the standard ball in Euclidean space. For example, in a Ricci-flat manifold, a circle in Euclidean space may be deformed into an ellipse with equal area. This is due to Weyl curvature.

Ricci-flat manifolds often have restricted holonomy groups. Important cases include Calabi–Yau manifolds and hyperkähler manifolds.

In physics, Ricci-flat manifolds represent vacuum solutions to the analogues of Einstein's equations for Riemannian manifolds of any dimension, with vanishing cosmological constant.