A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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5
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2answers
188 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
114 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
votes
2answers
387 views

Electric Dipoles and Spherical Coordinates

I've become confused over the use of spherical coordinates when working with dipole moments. It would probably be best o use an example to show where I'm confused. If we have a pure dipole, with a ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Why is it not possible to distinguish left from right by means of a coil?

Why is it not possible to explain to an alien "at the phone" which side is left and which is the right side by defining a simple experimental setup using induction? Defining for instance downwards ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Interchaning a position between two reference frames?

$\vec{r}_a$ is a positional vector from reference frame $a$. What is the position of same point from reference frame $b$ ? If required, assume position of origin of frame $a$ is $\vec{m}$ and ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Primary direction in planet-centered equatorial reference frame

I am given the classical orbital elements of the orbit of a spacecraft around a planet which is not the Earth, say Venus. I assume those are referred to a reference frame whose fundamental plane is ...
5
votes
1answer
300 views

What do up-left orthogonality has in common with up-down and what is their relationship?

I am familiar with the true (or general) notion of orthogonality, given in the Linear Algebra and Pythagoras theorem derived from the $\vec x \cdot \vec y = 0$. I have also recently got to know that ...
3
votes
0answers
91 views

Is a solution to the Klein-Gordon equation homeomorphic (or even diffeomorphic) to a solution of an equation with a different covariance group?

Consider some solution $\psi(x,t)$ to the linear Klein-Gordon equation: $-\partial^2_t \psi + \nabla^2 \psi = m^2 \psi$. Up to homeomorphism, can $\psi$ serve as a solution to some other equation ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Wick rotation and 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Is it incorrect to explain the direction of a coded vector quantity?

For example, let's say that in a linear physics problem, all the data are given to a certain direction, and coded positively for direction to the right. So +5m/s would be a velocity of 5m/s to the ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

What do the components of light velocity look like in polar coordinates?

The Schwarzschild solution makes use of polar coordinates, and I'm wondering how the different components of velocity of light change with the position. Might I get some examples of light velocity ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Electromagnetic Tensor in Cylindrical Coordinates

I understand that the Electromagnetic Tensor is given by $$F^{\mu\nu}\mapsto\begin{pmatrix}0 & -E_{x} & -E_{y} & -E_{z}\\ E_{x} & 0 & -B_{z} & B_{y}\\ E_{y} & B_{z} & ...
2
votes
2answers
60 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
228 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
686 views

Christoffel symbol for Schwarzschild metric

I know that the christoffel (second kind) can be defined like this: $$\Gamma^m_{ij} = \frac{1}{2} g^{mk}(\frac{\partial g_{ki}}{\partial U^j}+\frac{\partial g_{jk}}{\partial U^i}-\frac{\partial ...
-2
votes
1answer
149 views

How to smooth a path (and speed calculation) based on randomly timed coordinates? [closed]

first my actual problem. then my try on improving the current way of solving this with the wish for feedback or even a solution :) gpx file with lat/long, elevation and time. wanna calculate speed... ...
3
votes
2answers
233 views

Explanation for Negative $\rho$ (radial distance) in Cylindrical Coordinates

My question : What does it mean when we arrive at negative values for distance variables like $\rho$ in cylindrical coordinates? (after some discussion here,I revised the question, at the end of the ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

Can false origin be anywhere in a graph?

Can I start labeling my $x$ and $y$ axes from non-zero values when drawing a graph? Or is there any convention to only label $x$-axis from non-zero value when using a false origin and not $y$-axis? ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

coordinate change differential equation polar

I noticed that v [in step (2.5)] is not the same as the terms from the first formula, even if they are related.. I tried to understand how did he reach to this ...
1
vote
2answers
247 views

Coordinate and conformal transformations of the FRW metric

I'm considering a metric of the following form (signature $(+,-,-,-)$): $$ds^2 = (F(r,t)-G(r,t))dt^2 - (F(r,t)+G(r,t))dr^2 - r^2(d\Omega)^2$$ where $F(r,t)$ and $G(r,t)$ are arbitrary scalar ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Can the fuzzball conjecture be applied to microscopically explain the entropy of a region beyond the gravitational observer horizon?

In this article discussing this and related papers, it is explained among other things, how the neighborhood of an observer's worldline can be approximated by a region of Minkowsky spacetime. If I ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Privileged coordinate system (or lack thereof) in general relativity

What does the following statement mean and why is it true? The Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP) implies that in general curved space-time there is no privileged coordinate system. I have looked ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Degrees of freedom in the infinite momentum frame

Lenny Susskind explains in this video at about 40min, as an extended object (for example a relativistic string) is boosted to the infinite momentum frame (sometimes called light cone frame), it has no ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Curved space to flat space calculation

When changing the curved space co-ordinate into a flat space co-ordinate if a cone. I got the result transformation that i cannot get a transformation at the vertex(apex) why?
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Can we change frame of reference twice in a single problem?

My question has an inclined plane of mass $M$ and simple block kept on it, of mass $m$ (Both on a table). All surfaces are friction-less. Both of the objects would move, block down the incline and ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

How big is an inertial frame?

How big is an inertial frame? Consider a huge rod which is rotating about a fixed point in a plane, its length is 1 light year. Thus light from its end closer to the fixed point to the end farther ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How to add magnitude data in an ENU coordiante system

I have water velocity data taken in an ENU (East, North, UP) or XYZ coordinate system. The data is contained in 3 columns like this: ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

From momentum to solid angle

Why $d^3\mathbf{p}=p^2\;dp \; d\Omega$ ? where $d\Omega$ is the solid angle that covers a particle with 3-momentum $\mathbf{p}$...
2
votes
0answers
127 views

Falling into a black hole emitter vs observer

Let's say we are working with the Schwarzschild metric and we have an emitter of light falling into a Schwarzschild black hole. Suppose we define the quantity $$u=t- v$$ where $$dv/dr= ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

Rotate vector in spherical coordinates

I have two arbitrary vectors $\vec{x}$ and $\vec{x}'$ given in spherical coordinates $(|\vec{x}|=x,\theta,\phi)$ (as convention I take the "physics notation" given on Wikipedia ...
0
votes
2answers
608 views

Role of unit vectors in cylindrical coordinates

I know how the unit vectors are defined in cylindrical coords. If I have a point P, how do I express it as a combination of the unit vectors uρ, uφ and uz. In the case of Cartesian coordinates this ...
-1
votes
1answer
530 views

How do I express the Kepler general orbit $r(\phi)$ in rectangular coordinates?

How do I express the Kepler general orbit $r(\phi)$ in rectangular coordinates? I use the identities $x=r\cos\phi$, $y=r\sin\phi$, and $r^2 = x^2 + y^2$, but I block at some point.
1
vote
1answer
687 views

RA/dec to Alt/Az program or method

I've been looking for a program to convert from RA/dec into Alt/Az; having used a couple of online versions I haven't seemed to find one yet that works reliably. I've tried to do it myself and half ...
6
votes
3answers
169 views

From Manifold to Manifold?

Tensor equations are supposed to stay invariant in form wrt coordinate transformations where the metric is preserved. It is important to take note of the fact that invariance in form of the tensor ...
5
votes
2answers
318 views

Lorentz transformation in light cone coordinates in string theory

What is the explicit form of the Lorentz transformation changing the light cone coordinates in the light cone gauge in string theory? The extended nature of the strings complicate matters, especially ...
4
votes
1answer
739 views

Convert ECI coordinates to latitude/longitude?

I have been given output in (what I believe to be) ECI format (from OrbitTools): ...
1
vote
2answers
191 views

What does “equinox of date used” mean?

The documentation for an API I often use for quick astronomical modeling and figure drawing says Positions are given in FK5 heliocentric coordinates in the equinox of the date used. What does ...
0
votes
2answers
686 views

Vector Nature Of Angular Velocity

I am currently reading about angular position, angular velocity, and angular acceleration. I came across this paragraph that was particularly confusing, and was wondering if someone could perhaps help ...
2
votes
2answers
395 views

Does the length of the sidereal day vary systematically?

I'm confused about some properties of the sidereal day, in particular whether its duration varies systematically over the course of the year.1 It seems to me that that must be the case, but the ...
0
votes
1answer
857 views

How to get the gradient potential in polar coordinate

In polar coordinate, $$\nabla U = \frac{\partial U}{\partial r}\hat{\mathbf{r}} + \frac{1}{r}\frac{\partial U}{\partial \theta}\hat{\mathbf{\theta}} .$$ Can anyone show me how to get this result?
3
votes
4answers
430 views

Why are coordinates and velocities sufficient to completely determine the state and determine the subsequent motion of a mechanical system?

I am a Physics undergraduate, so provide references with your responses. Landau & Lifshitz write in page one of their mechanics textbook: If all the co-ordinates and velocities are ...
3
votes
2answers
475 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
247 views

Coordinate transformation from earth to solar

I am building a 3d model of the solar system and need to figure out the position of the pole stars of each planet in order to tilt the planets in the correct direction the correct amount. I've already ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

Mass Shell in Light Cone Coordinates

I'm reading Zweibach's introduction to string theory, and don't understand one of his claims. He defined the mass shell to be the set of points in momentum space s.t. $p^2+m^2 = 0$. Then the physical ...
3
votes
7answers
433 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
271 views

First Postulate of Special Relativity: What does it mean?

Wikipedia has this quote: Special principle of relativity: If a system of coordinates K is chosen so that, in relation to it, physical laws hold good in their simplest form, the same laws hold ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

What is the physical intepretation of harmonic coordinates?

When I see harmonic coordinates used somewhere, what should my association be? Is there some general use or need to consider the harmonic cooridnate condition? I don't really see what's ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is light described by a null geodesic?

I'm trying to wrap my head around how geodesics describe trajectories at the moment. I get that for events to be causally connected, they must be connected by a timelike curve, so free objects must ...
2
votes
1answer
930 views

The trajectory of a projectile launched from a hilltop

Here is the problem: A boy stands at the peak of a hill which slopes downward uniformly at angle $\phi$. At what angle $\theta$ from the horizontal should he throw a rock so that it has the greatest ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

is it possible to construct a contravariant basis in 1D

why is the magnitude of the basis vector at the point differ by a scale factor when considering the tangent as compared to the normal to the coordinate surface? what exactly is the coordinate surface ...