A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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2answers
58 views

Adding rotations onto a vector

I have a vector with spherical co-ordinates $(r_1,\theta_1,\phi_1)$, then I want this vector to be rotated by $\theta_2$ $\phi_2$ spherical angles but I cannot figure out how. I have tried using the ...
2
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2answers
403 views

Local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates

It is said that we can introduce local inertial coordinates/Fermi normal coordinates for any timelike geodesic. But why only for timelike geodesics? What about null geodesics? Perhaps it has to do ...
1
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0answers
92 views

Free fall coordinates/Fermi (normal) coordinates

It makes sense intuitively given the equivalent principle, and I've seen many times it stated, that for a free fall (geodesic) path in an arbitrary spacetime, we can choose our coordinate system to ...
1
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1answer
44 views

A particular coordinate transformation of a metric tensor

So, this was a problem set question for my GR class due yesterday, and I can't for the life of me solve it, it seems I am missing something very trivial. Either the given answer is wrong, or I am. ...
1
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1answer
59 views

Why is $\mathbb{R}^1$ different than Euclidean space $\mathbb{E}^1$? Roger Penrose road to reality

In Roger's book, the following is stated: (I'm paraphrasing because my book is in spanish) "We consider time as part of a space, namely $\mathbb{E}^1$, instead of it just being a copy of the line ...
2
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4answers
88 views

Why is coordinate time frame dependent? [duplicate]

Here is what I understand by coordinate time. It is the time difference measured between two events, using two synchronized clocks, one present at each event, and the difference is measured in an ...
-1
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1answer
35 views

Plane-polar coordinates [closed]

I have to make a presentation about them (7 minutes long) and I was wondering in what projects where they used. Like real life application of Plane-polar coordinate system.
1
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1answer
46 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?
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0answers
108 views

Covariant Derivative Chain rule? [duplicate]

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 ...
1
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3answers
2k views

When an object moves downward, is its height negative?

The question is: A ball is thrown directly downward with an initial speed of 8.00m/s from a height of 30.0m. After what time interval does it strike the ground. So I went through the problem ...
1
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1answer
79 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 ...
1
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2answers
363 views

What is the physical meaning of the Eddington - Finkelstein coordinates?

I want to see a some physical process (experimental) that could explain the many transformations of coordinates into this mathematical procedure. (really two transformations, but i think that is a ...
2
votes
3answers
177 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

Trajectory of a photon around a Schwarzschild black hole?

Consider a photon coming from the infinity in a unbounded orbit to a Schwarzschild black hole (Schwarzschild radius $r_{s}$) (see this for illustration). Its impact parameter is $b$ and its distance ...
0
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1answer
32 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
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2answers
223 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
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0answers
38 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
1answer
67 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
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0answers
143 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
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0answers
64 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 ...
-2
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1answer
56 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
377 views

Tensor equations in General Relativity

In the context of general relativity it is often stated that one of the main purposes of tensors is that of making equations frame-independent. Question: why is this true? I'm looking for a ...
2
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
0
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1answer
183 views
3
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2answers
159 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
2answers
326 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?
0
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2answers
102 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 ...
1
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1answer
92 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
133 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
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2answers
353 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
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1answer
125 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
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1answer
45 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
187 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
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1answer
108 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
66 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 $x'=x-vt$, ...
15
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6answers
1k views

Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...
0
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2answers
31 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
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0answers
148 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
272 views

A thought experiment on vision and curved spacetime

What follows is a long self-made example to deal with my conceptual issues of visualizing curved spacetime. Imagine an observer floating somewhere in space. He feels no strain on his body, ...
0
votes
4answers
134 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
270 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
847 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 ...
1
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0answers
87 views

Wick rotation and special relativity

CMIIW, but as I understand it, Wick rotation replaces the Minkowski basis (t,x,y,z) with the Euclidean basis (it,x,y,z). Suppose that $t_2=t_1 \cosh \beta+x_1 \sinh \beta$ and $x_2=t_1 \sinh \beta+x_1 ...
-2
votes
1answer
67 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
705 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
54 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
172 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
107 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
562 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
239 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 ...