A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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2answers
67 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
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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 ...
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0answers
32 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{...
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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^...
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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
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1answer
64 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 $\theta$ ...
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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
219 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
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1answer
70 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
66 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 ...
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1answer
85 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
47 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
229 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
48 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
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7answers
407 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
60 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
166 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
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1answer
210 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
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4answers
943 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
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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
134 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?...
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3answers
135 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 ...
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0answers
34 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
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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
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1answer
72 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
62 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
873 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
104 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
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1answer
51 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
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3answers
558 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
800 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
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1answer
68 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
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2answers
192 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
48 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
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2answers
97 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
36 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
606 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{...
1
vote
3answers
199 views

Covariant and contravariant 4-vector in special relativity

I've just learned about contra- and covariant vector in the context of special relativity (in electrodynamic) and I'm struggling with some concept. From what I found, an intuitive definition of ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Killing field in Minkowski space-time

If we look at the killing equation for a vector field $X$ in $\mathbb{R}^{(p,q)}$ (or on an open subset thereof) in coordinates with constant diagonal pseudo-metric we get: $$X_{\mu,\nu}+X_{\nu,\mu}=...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Shear stress in cylindrical coordinates?

In cylindrical coordinates the momentum flux is given by (in the $r$ direction): $$ \Pi=-\eta \frac{\partial (r\omega)}{\partial r}$$ Where $\eta$ is the viscosity. Therefore one would expect that the ...
2
votes
3answers
250 views

Why doesn't a global frame of reference exist for GR?

I only have at best a layperson's familiarity with GR, so forgive me if I am asking a basic question, but I have heard that in GR, we cannot have a global frame of reference, that is a frame of ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

Conversion of satellite coordinates from ITRF to J2000

I have coordinates of various satellites in two coordinate systems: Cartesian coordinates in the international terrestrial reference frame (ITRF) RA / DEC in J2000 epoch, as derived from plate ...
1
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1answer
85 views

Clarification in deriving the radial momentum operator $p_r$

In deriving an expression for $p_r$, a particle's radial momentum, I am unsure what is happening at a certain step. The derivation given in The Physics of Quantum Mechanics by Binney and Skinner is as ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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 (...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

Change of coordinates [duplicate]

this year I finished off my course of Physics I (the first general physics) at my university and we had a lot of exercises to do where in order to complete them I had to change the system coordinates, ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Calculus of Variations - Virtual displacements

I am currently reading "The Variational Principles of Mechanics - Cornelius Lanczos", in which the author talks about the variation of a function $F(q_1, q_2, \dots q_n)$ where $q_1, q_2, \dots q_n$ ...