A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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2answers
31 views

Are spherical coordinates distances or angles?

I've become confused about spherical coordinates when dealing with electric fields. The way I always understood spherical coordinates is something like the below picture. To define a vector, you give ...
2
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1answer
37 views

Compound map in manifolds

In the description of a manifold, we often start with the mathematical definition that $M=\cup M_i$ and if $m\in M_i \subset M$, where m is a point on the manifold, then it is mapped by a one-to-one ...
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5answers
257 views

Does coordinate time have physical meaning?

I have always been a little confused by the meaning of the "$t$" which appears in spacetime intervals or metrics in general relativity. I concluded that $t$ was just a mathematical thing which allow ...
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2answers
41 views

Best coordinate system for Projectile motion [on hold]

What is the best coordinate system for describing the projectile motion? Rectangular coordinate system or n-t(normal and tangential) coordinate system.
5
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2answers
215 views

Kerr Metric in Orthogonal form

I've seen the Kerr metric usually presented in the Boyer-Lindquist coordinates where there is a cross term in the $d\phi$ and $dt$ term. I've done a good bit of searching and cannot find any ...
0
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0answers
54 views

Scalar functions and manifolds [migrated]

This paragraph is taken from Supergravity book by Freedman and Van Proeyen.he simplest objects to define on a manifold $M$ are scalar functions $f$ that map $M \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$. We say that ...
3
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1answer
34 views

Manifolds, unit 2-sphere and stereographic projection

I am always passing through this example while reading about manifolds that I don't quite get. It is when describing the unit 2-sphere $S^2$ as an example of a manifold. They say, initially it may ...
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1answer
93 views

Field transformations

I'm reading Maggiore's book "A modern introduction to quantum field theory" and I'm very confused by what he did in chapter 2.6 page 31 eq. (2.80). He basically wants to find the generators of the ...
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0answers
15 views

How do I compute the galactic cooridinates of the Earth for a given date?

The question is simple enough, but I wasn't able to find any tools online. Does anyone know of one, or a simple formula?
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3answers
297 views

Is there a quick way of finding the kinetic energy on spherical coordinates?

Assume a particle in 3D euclidean space. Its kinetic energy: $$ T = \frac{1}{2}m\left(\dot x^2 + \dot y^2 + \dot z^2\right) $$ I need to change to spherical coordinates and find its kinetic energy: ...
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1answer
23 views

Components of acceleration in spherical polar co-ordinate

I wanted to calculate two component of acceleration in polar co-ordinate. Starting from the lagrangian $$L= \frac{1}{2}m( \dot{r} ^{2}+ r^{2} \dot{ \theta } ^{2} ) -V(r, \theta )$$ I ...
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0answers
27 views

commutation relation of angular momentum operator in non cartesian coordinates

The angular momentum operator $J$ in quantum mechanics with the commutation relation \begin{equation*} [J_i,J_j]=i\hbar\epsilon_{ijk}J_k \end{equation*} has the structure of a Lie-algebra. It is ...
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0answers
32 views

What exactly are generalized coordinates and how do they differ from regular coordinates?

I'm trying to learn the basics of Hamiltonian mechanics, which typically distinguishes itself from Newtonian mechanics as being described in terms of "generalized coordinates and momenta". What ...
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3answers
110 views

How can we define a frame of reference in general relativity?

I have started reading general relativity. (A First Course in General Relativity, Bernard Schutz). I am finding very hard to understand a frame of reference. When I was reading special relativity ...
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2answers
143 views

Locally flat coordinate and Locally inertial frame

I am having some doubts on myself regarding the above concepts in General Relativity. First, I want to point out how I understand them so far. A male observer follows a timelike worldline ($\gamma$) ...
0
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2answers
33 views

How to calculate centre of mass

How do I find the centre of mass with given coordinates? For example if we have four objects with mass $m$ at coordinates of a square $(0,0,0),(0,0,a),(0,a,0),(0,a,a)$ or another example with eight ...
2
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1answer
77 views

What is the most general definition of a coordinate system?

What is the most general definition of a coordinate system? Specificly: given a suitably general metric space $(\mathcal S, s)$ consisting of a set $\mathcal S$ of elements (for instance: a set ...
0
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2answers
107 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 ...
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1answer
113 views

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 ...
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0answers
13 views

How do I calculate the right ascension of the ecliptic at the points where it intersects the horizon?

Given an observer's location on the Earth's surface, and time, how do I calculate the right ascensions of the points along the ecliptic where it intersects the observer's horizon?
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1answer
43 views

Solving Lagrangian equations of motion for two point-bodies with gravitational interaction

I would like to solve the equations of motion with the Lagrangian function for two point-bodies that interact gravitationally via the potential $$V= {-Gm_1m_2 \over r_{12}} $$ where $$r_{12} = **r_1 ...
2
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2answers
61 views

Under what representation do the Christoffel symbols transform?

I often read the statement, that the Christoffel symbols aren't tensors. But then, under which representation do they transform?
3
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7answers
495 views

Relation between coordinates and frames of reference

I always get a little uneasy that all the theories I can think of (at least since Newton) are constructed in a way such that they would be true in heaven and on earth ... but we can never go ...
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2answers
156 views

At what point does force stop translating an object and start purely rotating it? [duplicate]

At what point (or distance) from the axis of rotation, does force applied on a rigid body stop translating and purely rotating the body? Can such a point even exist? Does the body always have to ...
2
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2answers
5k views

Derive vector gradient in spherical coordinates from first principles

Trying to understand where the $\frac{1}{r sin(\theta)}$ and $1/r$ bits come in the definition of gradient. I've derived the spherical unit vectors but now I don't understand how to transform ...
2
votes
5answers
137 views

A reference frame is any coordinate system or just a set of Cartesian axes?

In Physics the idea of a reference frame is one important idea. In many texts I've seem, a reference frame is not defined explicitly, but rather there seems to be one implicit definition that a ...
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1answer
45 views

Description of charged sphere with Heaviside function in cylindrical coordinates

I need to describe density of charge of uniformly charged sphere (radius R, total charge Q, position of centre (0,0,0)) with Dirac delta function and Heaviside step function. The hard part is to ...
1
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1answer
64 views

What is the function type of the generalized momentum?

Let $$L:{\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}\to {\mathbb R}$$ denote the Lagrangian (it should be differentiable) of a classical system with $n$ spatial coordinates. In the action ...
2
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1answer
53 views

Gradient and curl of a field in polar coordinates

How do we determine the gradient and curl of a scalar/vector field in polar coordinates? For instance, if we have the following potential energy function for a force, $$U = ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

Do rotation matrices rotate about inertial or body angles? [closed]

I have Yaw, pitch, and roll angles in that order (Euler 321) to apply to a body reference frame in cartesian coordinate system. I want to know what the body reference frame vector coordinates are ...
-1
votes
3answers
209 views

Finding the appropriate coordinate transformation given two metrics

Given the two-dimensional metric $$ds^2=-r^2dt^2+dr^2$$ How can I find a coordinate transformation such that this metric reduces to the two-dimensional Minkowski metric? I know that ...
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0answers
22 views

from right ascension and declination to angle from semi-major axis

I am working on a research project and having trouble converting from ascension and declination to angles with respect to the semi-major axis. The target coordinate system has its origin at the ...
2
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
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0answers
81 views

Boyer–Lindquist coordinates

In the Kerr solution to the vacuum Einstein Equation written in Boyer–Lindquist coordinates. Because it is not spherical polar coordinates, $r$ ranges from 0 to infinity does not cover all the space, ...
4
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2answers
698 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 ...
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vote
2answers
187 views

What does it mean to divide space and time?

Goldstein's mechanics book, on the chapter on relativistic mechanics says that "We cannot assume that all observers make the same division into time and space in the same way." What does it mean to ...
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5answers
393 views

Is the polar coordinate system non-inertial or inertial?

Consider a car driving around in a circle lying in the plane and suppose we were interested in determining its acceleration as measured by an observer stationary on the "ground" or whatever. ...
2
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1answer
66 views

In the Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In Heisenberg uncertainty principle why do we only talk about uncertainty in position along $x$ axis, why not along other dimensions as well?
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1answer
62 views

Computing the angular momentum in spherical coordinates [closed]

How to compute the angular momentum of a particle in spherical coordinates? It's given by: $$x_1=r\cdot\cos(\phi)\cdot\sin(\theta)$$ $$x_2=r\cdot\sin(\phi)\cdot\sin(\theta)$$ ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Can a free falling observer localize the event horizon by calculations?

I'm think that in general relativity we can always pass the one curve in one coordinate system for another coordinate system. My intuition say that the free falling observer locate the event horizon ...
4
votes
3answers
104 views

If a Killing vector field is timelike, can it be set to $\partial/\partial t$?

If one has a Killing vector that turned out to be a timelike Killing vector field because of negative norm. Can we set this Killing vector field equal to $\partial/\partial t$?
4
votes
3answers
184 views

Coordinates for FLRW metric

In GR, coordinate are just a tool for us to describe the physics, they should be equivalent. However, in standard form of FLRW metric, it can be inferred that the universe is expanding, but we can do ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

How is north defined for any point on the surface of the earth?

While studying about terrestrial magnetism, references were made to north direction, and the geographic meridian and later magnetic meridian defined using that. But what is actually the north ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

Peskin and Schroeder passive and active translation

In peskin and Schroeder's qft book, in chapter two, they're discussing Noether's theorem with respect to translations of co-ordinates. They describe and "infinitesimal" translation $x^\mu\rightarrow ...
0
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3answers
111 views

Is there any use for non-orthogonal frames? [closed]

In regular three dimensional space we always limit ourselves to Cartesian (i. e. orthonormal) frames. This has lots of advantages: dot products are easy, no need to distinguish between vectors and ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Why we can omit some forces while applying linear momentum principle

While applying linear momentum principle, namely that if force is zero linear momentum of the system is constant, in textbook they don't count for $N$ force from $M \to m.$ This force have component ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Curved space-time VS change of coordinates in Minkowski space

I'm looking for a rather intuitive explanation (or some references) of the difference between the metric of a curved space-time and the metric of non-inertial frames. Consider an inertial reference ...
0
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0answers
63 views

Invariant Form of The Material Derivative

Why is the RHS of the following equation invariant to coordinate transformation and the LHS is not? And is there a way to show the equivalency between the LFS and RHS? \begin{align} \vec{V} \cdot ...
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0answers
44 views

Determine generalised coordinates in Lagrangian problems

Can someone teach me how to find out generalised coordinates in a particular system? I've been struggling few days about this...here are 2 cases... A body with mass $m$ is lying on a smooth, ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

Is there an equivalent of Rindler coordinates for an object in centripetal motion?

Rindler coordinates are a parametrization of (a subset of) Minkowski space that are "natural" for an object experiencing constant acceleration - more specifically, an object experiencing constant ...