A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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3
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1answer
138 views

Diffeomorphism invariance and geodesic action

I'm trying to understand the role of diffeomorphism and isometry invariance in the geodesic action in GR: $$ S = \int_{\tau_1}^{\tau_2} \! d\tau~ g_{ab}(x(\tau)) \frac{dx^a}{d\tau} \frac{dx^a}{d\tau} ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

How do we determine if a certain physical quantity is a vector?

For instance in Newtonian physics we treat position of objects, displacements, velocities, forces, momenta, angular velocities etc all as vector quantities (little arrows in space which have a certain ...
5
votes
3answers
181 views

Velocity in a turning reference frame

I often see the relation that $\vec v=\vec v_0+ \vec \omega \times \vec r$ in a turning reference frame, but where does it actually come from and how do I arrive at the acceleration being $$\vec a=\...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Fluid Mechanics: Stream Function for Axisymmetric flow

I have problem in understanding the result of stream function in Axisymmetric 3D flow: I know that the result is (for spherical coordinates): $$u_r=\frac{1}{r^2sin\theta}\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial\...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Coordinate Transformation in Classical Mechanics

The coordinates in one inertial frame are represented by $(x,t)$. Under coordinate transformation, the coordinates in another inertial frame can be represented by $f(x(t),t)$. It can be shown that the ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Interpreting meaning of coordinates given a metric

I was working problem 3.6 in Carroll's GR textbook and was given the following metric, which is a good approximation to the metric outside the surface of the Earth. $ds^2=-(1+2 \Phi(r))dt^2 + (...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

On the proof of the existence of geodesics coordinates [closed]

From "Introducing Einstein’s Relativity" by Ray D’Inverno page 77-78 In my calculation, the process is $$\frac{\partial{x^{'a}}}{\partial{x^d}}=\frac{\partial{x^{a}}}{\partial{x^d}}+\frac{1}{2} {...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Eddington-Finkelstein coordinate

The Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates in case of Schwarzschild metric are defined as \begin{align} u&=t-r^*\\ v&=t+r^* \end{align} where $$r^*=r+2GM\ln\left|\frac{r}{2GM}-1\right|$$ The ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Different forms of centripetal acceleration

For a circular motion centripetal acceleration can be expressed as $$a_{c}=\frac{v^2}{R} \hat{u_N}\tag{1}$$ Where $\hat{u_n}$ is the normal unit vector. Nevertheless in the expression for ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

How to convert electric field from spherical coordinates to cartesian?

I have 3 components, $r$, $\theta$ and $\phi$, for an electric field in spherical coordinates (and the $\phi$ component happens to be zero), let's say I just want to convert the $r$ component into ...
0
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0answers
36 views

Gradient of $ct'$ axis in spacetime diagrams

This is either an unimportant piece of information or it's meant to be obvious, but I can't find anywhere what the gradient of the $ct'$ axis in a spacetime diagram should be. I know that the $ct'=1$ ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Centrifugal Force and Polar Coordinates

In Classical Mechanics, both Goldstein and Taylor (authors of different books with the same title) talk about the centrifugal force term when solving the Euler-Lagrange equation for the two body ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Centripetal acceleration in polar coordinates

$ \left( \ddot r - r\dot\varphi^2 \right) \hat{\mathbf r} + \left( r\ddot\varphi + 2\dot r \dot\varphi \right) \hat{\boldsymbol{\varphi}} \ $ I'm not convinced about the term $- r\dot\varphi^2 \hat{...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Gauge invariance in gravitational field

I have read that the linearized equation for the metric fluctuations $h_{\mu\nu}$, namely: $$ \partial^2h^{\mu\nu}-\partial_{\alpha}(\partial^{\mu}h^{\nu\alpha}+\partial^{\nu}h^{\mu\alpha}) +\partial^...
0
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0answers
36 views

Help needed to understand Kerr coordinate transformation

The (uncharged) Kerr metric for a black hole of mass $M$ and angular momentum $Ma$ takes the form $$ds^{2} = \Sigma\Big(\frac{dr^{2}}{\Delta} + d\theta^{2}\Big) + (r^{2} + a^{2})\text{sin}^{2}\theta ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Olympiad problem - struggling with polar coordinates [closed]

This is a physics olympiad problem; and I am still struggling with it. I will quote it here: " A particle moves along a horizontal track following the trajectory $r=r_{0}e^{-k\theta}$, where $\theta$ ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Deriving kinetic energy in cylindrical coordinate constraints

Consider a mass $m$ which is constrained to move on the frictionless surface of a vertical cone $\rho = cz$ (in cyclindrical polar coordinates $\rho, \theta, z$ with $z>0$) in a uniform ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

What is the metric tensor for?

I am wondering how to use the metric tensor, in practice? I read the book and done the exercises in A student's guide to vectors and tensors by Dan Fleisch. The concept of a tensor and their ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Derivation of Squared Angular Momentum in Spherical Coordinates

While reading my textbook, I found the following: I tried to prove the above equation by doing the following. Knowing that : $$(\vec{A}\times\vec{B}).(\vec{C}\times\vec{D})=(\vec{A}.\vec{C})(\vec{B}...
-3
votes
1answer
77 views

If we live on the surface of Earth then why Earth images shows maps around it? [closed]

If you visits google map and go to earth we see the image as attached below. My question is if the earth is round like sphere ball and if we live on the surface of this ball (point me if i am ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Transform velocities from one frame to an other within a rigid body

I come from non-physics background but just came to face the following problem. I have a rigid body with two attached frames of reference A and A'. I know: the rotation and translation between A ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

How does angular velocity transform on the surface of a sphere?

If we consider the earth as a sphere than it will have an angular velocity of $\boldsymbol{\omega}=\omega\mathbf{e}_z=\frac{2\pi}{T}\mathbf{e}_z$ where $T\approx24h$. Now we have given a location in ...
6
votes
3answers
230 views

How do we measure Schwarzschild coordinates?

In special relativity, we make a big fuss about setting up inertial frames of reference, and then constructing coordinate systems using networks of clocks and rulers. This gives an unambiguous ...
0
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2answers
49 views

Why is 90 degrees the standard for independence in vectors? [closed]

Why do so many laws and ideas in physics act separately if they are separated by 90 degrees? Say you have a force in one direction, x. You can't add a force within 0-90 degrees without changing the ...
2
votes
7answers
413 views

Why is force a vector? (The Feynman Lectures)

A vector is a quantity that transforms just the way the coordinates transform under rotation (while a scalar remains invariant under rotation). In FLP, he says suppose $F$ is a vector and probably ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Active transformation and passive transformation of a scalar field

For the Lorentz transformation $x \to x'=\Lambda x$, the active transformation is $\phi(x) \to \phi'(x)=\phi(\Lambda^{-1}x)$ and the passive transformation is $\phi(x) \to \phi'(x)=\phi(\Lambda x)$. ...
3
votes
5answers
170 views

Local inertial frame

In general relativity we introduce local inertial frames to be such frames where the laws of special relativity holds. Let $\xi^{\alpha}$ the coordinates in the local inertial frame, so we get $$ds^2=...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

Time dilation simple derivation

In a special theory of relativity we have a phenomenon known as time dilation. There is a simple explanation of this, with a thought experiment with a train and a flash light: We flash a light in a ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Relativity Coordinate transformation of Vector [closed]

I'm taking a first course in General Relativity but I've been struggling with coordinate system transformation. For example, if I have a Vector defined in Cartesian (x,y) coordinates as $V_x=x^2+3y$ ...
11
votes
4answers
945 views

Coordinates vs. Geometries: How can we know two coordinate systems describe the same geometry?

Specifically, I'm asking this because I'm taking a class on General Relativity, and in Hartle's book Gravity, in Ch. 12, after having spent some time using Schwarzschild coordinates, we are introduced ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

Thinking about the properties of 'nothing' [closed]

If a certain identifiable part of space that has no type of measurable energy fields manifesting 'in it' for a given duration ; is such a totally empty space the same as 'nothing'? Anything with any ...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Kerr Metric from rotated Schwarzschild?

Say we have got a system in GR that is described by the Schwazschild metric. Then we perform a coordinate transform that gives the metric in a rotating system. Why is the transformed metric not the ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Is it correct to think about a point in time as the set of positions of all “things”?

Is it correct to think about a point in time as the set of positions of all "things" (photons, electrons, etc) that exist in the universe at that moment, despite the fact that simultaneity is relative?...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

Is the local Lorentz transformation a general coordinate transformation?

There is a saying in Nakahara's Geometry, Topology and Physics P371 about principal bundles and associated vector bundles: In general relativity, the right action corresponds to the local Lorentz ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Divergence theorem for cylindrical coordinates [closed]

I have a Vector field in a cylinder where x^2+y^2=4 and goes from z=0 to z=3 and a vector field A=(4x)i-(2y^2)j+(z^2)k and I'm trying to verify the divergence theorem for the vector field i set set ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

What does a frame of reference mean in terms of manifolds?

Because of my mathematical background, I've been finding it hard to relate the physics-talk I've been reading, with mathematical objects. In (say special) relativity, we have a Lorentzian manifold, $...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Difference between local inertial frame and coordinate chart

In the most cases the local inertial frame is definied "physically" but I'm searching for a mathematically meaningful definition of the local inertial frame to solve my problem: Is the local ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

contravariant and covariant vectors and their orthogonality in Euclidean space

I am reading this paper Sigma Coordinate - Contravariance and covariance and I understand how covariant and contravariant vectors are defined mathematically Covariance and Contravariance and I had ...
6
votes
5answers
896 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

A manifold question: Why smooth functions and what is a Jacobian?

My question is what does a Jacobian have to do with the change of coordinates (coordinate transformation). Why do we care about this notion to start with? Also, why should it be non-singular?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Metric components transformation under change of coordinates

I have been studying Lie derivatives and some applications. While searching the web I found a refence with the following statement: For a general Riemannian manifold $M$, take a tangent vector field $...
10
votes
3answers
566 views

Age of the universe versus absolute time [duplicate]

In Wikipedia, the age of the universe is defined as the "time elapsed since the Big Bang" while "time" links to "the cosmological time parameter of comoving coordinates" which itself links to "the ...
3
votes
5answers
830 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Transformation matrices for basis and coordinate transformation in non-orthonormal coordinates

The transformation matrices for covariant and contravariant vectors are different but in orthonormal coordinate system numerical values in matrices turn out to be same although in mathematical proof ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

How can I convert Right Ascension and declination to distances?

I am calculating galaxy rotation curves for various galaxies in Ursa Major cluster and I want distance of those galaxies from the centre of Cluster. The values referred as coordinated are RA and dec ...
2
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0answers
49 views

Euler angles and curvilinear coordinate systems

If I have a curvilinear coordinate system and supposing I impose the condition that back transformations to Cartesian coordinate system are not permitted. I perform a rotation of the three axes( say ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

What does coordinate invariance mean?

I would like to really understand what the mathematical as well as Physical meaning of coordinate invariance is. I have pretended to know what this means, but upon thinking a little harder today, I am ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Inverse gauge transformation in general relativity [closed]

Can someone explain to me how (8.21) follows from (8.20). The Picture comes from A first course in general relativity (Schutz). Thanks and regards, Jens Wagemaker
4
votes
3answers
612 views

Clarifying what metric counts as flat space

In (2D) Cartesian coordinates, the Euclidean metric... $$\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix}$$ ...is flat space. If the diagonal elements are exchanged for other real numbers ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

Why doesn't $\vec{E} =\frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0} \int\frac{\rho \hat{r}\;dxdydz}{r^2}$ blow up at $r=0$, when $\rho$ is finite?

Electric field at $(x,y,z)$ produced by a continuous distribution of charges is given by:$$\mathbf{E}(x,y,z) =\dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0} \int\dfrac{\rho(x',y',z') \mathbf{\hat{r}} \;\mathrm{d}x'\mathrm{...