A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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3
votes
2answers
307 views

Why don't global coordinates always exist for a manifold?

Let $M$ be a manifold and $(\phi,U)$ a patch. Then $\phi(P)=\bar{x}=\begin{bmatrix} x^1\\ x^2\\ \vdots\\ x^n \end{bmatrix}$ for each $P$ in $U$. But each $P$ in $M$ is in some patch, so this ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Covariant Derivative Chain rule?

I want to prove that a covariant derivative of a vector $A^{\mu}(x(z))$ at the point $x(z)$ in general would be defined as $$D_z ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views
+100

Coordinate system for crystallographic groups

In the International Tables for Crystallography for each crystallographic group an asymmetric unit is supplied (mathematicians call this a fundamental domain of the group). This region is a bounded ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Is metric tensor invariant under rotation?

It is said that metric tensor depend on the local coordinate system and therefore are not intrinsic to the surface of an 3d-object? How is it possible, kindly provide any proof or discussion. Also is ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

$y$-component of center of a cube that rolls without slipping [closed]

For the figure above, let $O$ be the origin point for $x,y$-axis, and $+x$ goes to the horizontal right direction while $+y$ direction goes to the up direction. The figure has one circle and one ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Langevin equations in translational and rotational direction

I want to describe the following system. A bead is connected with a tether. There is a force $\vec{F}_{up}=F_{up}\hat{y}$ that acts on the bead. The tether acts with a force on the bead, this force ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Is a double integral required to find the moment of Inertia of a non-uniform sphere?

Consider some ball of given radius $R$, with a mass density function that depends on the radial variable, $\rho=\rho(r)$ where $r$ is the distance from the center of the sphere. What is the moment ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Change to relative coordinates [closed]

I am looking at a weakly interacting bose gas and I am stuck on this integral: $$\frac{1}{V^2} \int_V d^3r_1 \int_V d^3 r_2 W(|\vec{r_1}-\vec{r_1}|)\, \exp{\frac{i}{\hbar}r_1(\textbf{p}_1 - ...
0
votes
4answers
268 views

When does acceleration due to gravity equal positive/negative? [closed]

For example a projectile is launched at an angle. What would $a$ in $y=vt +.5at^2$ be? Let's say I choose up to be positive. How do you not confuse yourself whether to use positive or negative $a$?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

A simple coordinate transformation

I'm currently taking my first shot at reading Einstein's 'On The Electrodynamics' (with plenty of mathematical background). With a few pictures, everything has been crystal clear to my intuition, up ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Hamiltonian for Electron in Magnetic Field with Symmetric Gauge in Polar Coordinates

I am new on the board and have a question about how to write the Hamiltonian for an electron in a magnetic field rotating at a fixed radius. I would like to write the hamiltonian using the symmetric ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

What's the meaning when Kerr-Newman metric's mass is zero?

Kerr-Newman metric represents the spacetime of a charged and rotating black hole. If the mass parameter is zero, this metric is still not the Minkowski spacetime. What's the meaning of a charged and ...
-4
votes
1answer
38 views

Why isn't time axis vertical? [closed]

Why isn't time axis vertical? I don't find any reason behind it. This graph is drawn in tree frame. Though the tree isn't moving the time axis isn't vertical. Please help me to understand it. This ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

question about ICRF/J2000 equinox orientation

The DE406 ephemeris data and the NASA Horizons website all report the Earth's current coordinates on 2014 Sep 27, a few days after the Fall equinox, as approximately [1,0,0] AU. However every ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

Two-rotation coordinate transformation

I've designed an electronic device that uses a 3-axis accelerometer to measure the acceleration of an automobile. I'm only interested in accelerations in the plane of the road surface, so I want to ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Ball Bearing Inside a Hollow, Spinning Rod: where is the logical flaw?

As described in the title, suppose we have a frictionless, hollow rod that is rotating in the $xy$-plane with some fixed angular velocity $\omega$. The rod is pivoting around its midpoint. Suppose we ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Calculation of the partition function for a classical 2D gas lying on the surface of a sphere of constant radius $R$

I'm kind of confused with this system. My first question is. Is the Hamiltonian of one particle of this gas the following? ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Projections in Polar coordinate system

I really understand what projections in Cartesian coordinate system, I can imagine this, but I absolutely do not understand projection in polar system. For example, I have a speed, $U$, and I must ...
0
votes
2answers
149 views

Free fall and projectile motion

I'm wondering if something is falling say from a roof, would the distance it falls be the final $y$ position? Also would all the $y$ components (velocity, displacement) be negative?
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Timelike curves in Special Relativity

I have a question that probably might sound silly to most of you. We know that a natural Lorentz-invariant parametrization of a timelike curve is provided by: $$\tau$$ the Lorentz-invariant proper ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Convenient coordinate systems and symmetries

I recall in my basic electromagnetism and quantum mechanics lectures that choosing one coordinate system over another may greatly simplify the equations involved in solving a problem (think about ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

A few questions on passive vs active Lorentz transformations

1.) How do we physically interpret an active Lorentz transformation? The passive transformation seems simple enough: you view a fixed object from the perspective of a new observer. When we actively ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Vectors in non-orthogonal systems

In a non-orthogonal coordinate system, what is the physically significant difference between the components of a vector on the skew axes and its projection onto each axis? Why would one want to find ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

When to pull out a negative sign from a variable

I get confused about when there should be a negative sign in certain equations or not. I will give three short examples (that I will make long with explanation) that show my confusion. Example 1: ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Momentum vector transformation

I am confused about the way momentum vector transforms in the following case: $$q_k \to q_k'= q_k + \epsilon f_k(q)$$ The Jacobian is thus $\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q'_i}{\partial q_j} \approx ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Derivative chain rule in a triangle, confusing but interesting problem

I asked the question in math.stackexchange. But I think it is better to ask here again. I am new to these sites. Please forgive me if it is not polite. http://math.stackexchange.com/q/921001 You can ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Question about Origins in Galilean transformation

I'm just learning about relativity, and every equation I see for a galilean transformation of frame $S'$ (moving with uniform velocity in the $x$-direction with respect to frame $S$) is $x'=x-vt$, ...
0
votes
2answers
30 views

How can I calculate the center of an object relative to a focal point and a moving observer? [closed]

I'm developing an app that contains a 3D scene which the user can navigate. As the user moves it gives the illusion that you are browsing a real landscape but for the illusion to work I need to know ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

The Effect of Tortoise Coordinates

Referring particularly to http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9909056 in regard to the wave equation for Schwarzschild-AdS black holes (p.4), I'm trying to understand tortoise coordinates. So starting ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Degrees of Freedom for an Asymmetric top

How many degrees of freedom does an asymmetric top have if it is rotating about a fixed point?What are the generalised coordinates used then?
0
votes
4answers
101 views

Find a central force given the orbit

I've been trying to solve the following problem for a long time. Let's consider a particle of mass $m$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with polar coordinates $(r,\theta,\phi)$. The particle moves on the orbit ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Kinematic sign convention

For example, if I drop a ball from a $50$ meters building, then I will consider the ground is $0$ meter downward is positive ( which makes gravity positive, downward velocity positive, etc) so ...
12
votes
3answers
801 views

Is “now” or “the present moment” properly defined in GR?

My question is about the extent to which "now" is defined in GR. In Minkowski spacetime, it's possible to define a "now" for an inertial observer by finding a spacelike 3-plane such that, in the ...
3
votes
4answers
118 views

What is the motivation for the definition of a manifold?

In Wald's General Relativity, an $n$-dimensional $C^{\infty}$ manifold $\mathit{M}$ is defined as a set, with subsets $\lbrace{O}_{\alpha}\rbrace$, which satisfies 3 properties. In particular, the ...
-2
votes
1answer
63 views

Length in polar coordinates

Say we are in 3 dimensions and use $(-++)$. If we have the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+dr^2+r^2df^2(t),$$ then what is the third coordinate if the first two were $t$ and $r$? $$X^iX_i=-t^2+r^2+?$$
3
votes
1answer
228 views

How to determine satellite position in J2000 from latitude, longitude and distance from Earth?

Due to my task of writing orbit prediction routines I am trying to understand the reference frames better and how to use them ( particularly for Earth orbits ). I think I get the idea of what ECI ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Are the cylindrical and spherical form of Jeans' equations equivalent?

The question kind of says it all, what I really want to know is are the differences in their forms only due to the co-ordinate transform? And as such should a suitable spherical system satisfy ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Double dot product in Cylindrical polar coordinates - Strain Energy

I'm working with a problem in linear elasticity, and I have to calculate the strain energy function as follows: $$2W=σ_{ij}ε_{ij}$$ Where σ and ε are symmetric rank 2 tensors. For cartesian ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Cartesian Coordinates to Polar Coordinates

I apologize if this question is trivial, but I am new to physics and am struggling with some of the basic concepts. Working in $\mathbb{R}^2$ with standard coordinates $(x,y)$, suppose we have a ...
2
votes
5answers
212 views

On the coordinate independence of general relativity

I've been having a bit of trouble with the idea of coordinate independence in general relativity. Let me start with a simple example that I think illustrates my question conceptually: Say you have ...
4
votes
3answers
223 views

How to understand the definition of vector and tensor?

Physics texts like to define vector as something that transform like a vector and tensor as something that transform like a tensor, which is different from the definition in math books. I am having ...
4
votes
2answers
266 views

Metric tensor in special and general relativity

I'm having trouble understanding the metric tensor in general relativity. What I've understood so far has come from my course lecture notes used in conjunction with "The Road to Reality" by Roger ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Is the apparent lack of (Ricci) curvature in the Schwarzschild metric due to a choice of coordinates?

I've been lightly studying GR lately. Something that has been bothering me has been the lack of (Ricci) curvature produced from the Schwarzschild metric in the few lectures I've watched, as well as ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

A simple way of calculating Euler Angles from Rotation Matrix — help!

This is a follow up of this question : I have the rotation matrix $$ \left( \begin{matrix} a_{11} & a_{12} & a_{13}\\ a_{21} & a_{22} & a_{23}\\ a_{31} & a_{32} & ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Euler angles derivation

I have been trying to grasp the idea of Euler angles for a while. Can anyone point out if my understanding is correct or not. Situation: We have 3 axes known as principal axes of inertia which define ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Quantum mechanics with non-cartesian coordinates

Let say we have the classical hamiltonian of a harmonic oscillator: $$H=\frac{p_x^2+p_y^2+p_z^2}{2m}+\frac{k_1x^2+k_2y^2+k_3z^2}{2}$$ and we want to find the hamiltonian operator in quantum mechanics, ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Black holes and Time Dilation at the horizon

What is the difference between proper time and the observer time? Whilst thinking about Black holes, when we see the Schwarzschild metric $$c^2\tau ^2 = \left ( 1 - \frac{r_{s}}{r} \right )c^2t^2 - ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

How coordinate system shifting is related to similarity transformations?

I know that coordinate system shifting can be represented using matrices. But how exactly are similarity transformations related to coordinate shifts ?
4
votes
4answers
187 views

What makes a coordinate curved?

Bear with me while I try to explain exactly what the question is. The question Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration? is imagining a coordinate system in which the curvature is ...
-2
votes
2answers
66 views

How to know the Direction of the Acceleration Vector?

If the exercise doesn't give you the direction, how to know the correct one? Sometimes I assume its to the right and it was actually to the left, and I get everything wrong. Example here: How can I ...