A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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3
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2answers
187 views

Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration?

I realize that the curvature of space-time causes acceleration (gravity). Is it possible to have a curvature only of space, or a curvature only of time? If so, would a curvature only of space, or a ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

QM: How to compute position/momentum relation in polar coordinates

So if we are working in one dimensional space, we have the formula: $$\langle x|p\rangle = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi\hbar}} e^{ipx/\hbar}$$ Suppose instead we are confined to a circle of radius $R$ so that ...
3
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Force from point charge on perfect dipole

Have a point charge and a perfect dipole $\vec{p}$ a distance $r$ away. Angle between $\vec{p}$ and $\hat{r}$ is $\theta$. Want to find force on dipole. I'm having more than a little difficulty ...
3
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0answers
66 views

How coordinate system shifting is related to similarity transformations?

I know that coordinate system shifting can be represented using matrices. But how exactly are similarity transformations related to coordinate shifts ?
3
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3answers
2k views

Converting between Galactic and Ecliptic coordinates

I was hoping someone would be able to tell me the formula to convert between ecliptic and galactic coordinates. I've been able to convert values using ...
3
votes
0answers
113 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
286 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: ...
2
votes
3answers
699 views

Jacobian, Lorentz and Fourier Transformation

Jacobian, Lorentz and Fourier Transformation. I am confused with the physical interpretation/meaning of all these transformations. As far as I understood, Jacobian transforms from one coordinate ...
2
votes
3answers
287 views

Why don't we define absolute coordinates?

Why don't we chose a random point in the void present between galaxy clusters and define it as the absolute origin? I know that rest is not absolute and that space expands, but we can easily keep ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

Are solutions coordinate invariant?

In the case of electromagnetism, we can solve the sorceless wave equation in Cartesian coordinates ($x$,$y$,$z$) getting plane waves as solutions: $$ u(x) = A(x-ct) + B(x+ct) $$ and actually I am not ...
2
votes
5answers
245 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
60 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?
2
votes
3answers
184 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
2answers
110 views

Whose reference frame to use for $d \theta$ near a black hole?

Using the Schwarzchild metric for a body circularly orbiting a nonspinning black hole (i.e. $dr=0$), the relation between $d\tau$, the time between two light pulses sent out infinitesimally close ...
2
votes
2answers
6k 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
1answer
470 views

Lightcone coordinates

The Light cone coordinates are defined as $$x^+ = x^0 + x^3$$ $$x^- = x^0 - x^3$$ Then in the light cone coordinates the position 4-vector becomes: $(x^+, x^-, x^1, x^2)$ . Zwiebach in his A First ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Show that two families of curves are orthogonal (without using orthogonal trajectories)

I'm reading through Hartle's General Relativity and came across this question: Consider the following coordinate transformation from rectangular coordinates $(x,y)$, labeling points in the plane ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Expression of kinetic energy in polar coordinates

Expression for kinetic energy in Cartesian coordinate: Expression for kinetic energy in polar coordinate (applying the transformation of coordinates): Why can't we express it in the following ...
2
votes
2answers
301 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
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 = ...
2
votes
2answers
387 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
191 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
97 views

Special Relativity moving in space

Given that time is 'just another' dimension and people get hung up on the fact that we cannot go back and forth in time like the other dimensions. Is there any proof that the corner of 8th Avenue and ...
2
votes
1answer
407 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
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

How do I modify a 3-D simulation grid to be 2-D?

I am creating a particle in cell simulation that models an electron plasma in a cylindrical container. Part of this process is assigning charge density to grid points based on the position of each ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Curvilinear coordinate system around body of revolution

In Boundary-Layer Theory by Schlichting he gives the boundary-layer equations for a body of revolution according to the paper by Boltze$^1$. Unfortunately, this paper is in German. He apparently uses ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Riemann normal chart and special relativity

When you pick Riemann normal coordinates at a point, then the Christoffel symbols vanish and the metric is flat, but the Riemann curvature tensor does not necessarily vanish. Since Einstein said that ...
2
votes
2answers
414 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
658 views

What is a Kustaanheimo-Stiefel transformation?

What is a Kustaanheimo-Stiefel transformation? Which applications has it in physics? Can you point me to a reference, where this transformation is explained?
2
votes
1answer
29 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
306 views

How to transform material permittivity tensor from Cartesian coordinates to another orthogonal coordinate system?

I have a material specified by a permittivity tensor written in Cartesian coordiantes: $$\begin{pmatrix} \epsilon_{xx} & \epsilon_{xy} & \epsilon_{xz}\\ \epsilon_{yx} &\epsilon_{yy} ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Electric field in a cylinder

We have electric charge density $\rho(r) = kr$ in a cylinder of infinite height and radius $a$. I'm asked to find the electric field. I'm doing it using two methods and I don't undesrtand why then ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

Exercise about Lagrange-Euler equations

I'm solving an exercise about the Lagrange-Euler equations, that states the following: Let $\gamma (t) = \{ (t,q) : q = q(t), t_0 \leq t \leq t_1\}$ be a curve in $\mathbb{R} \times \mathbb{R}^2$. ...
2
votes
1answer
283 views

Deriving the Schwarzschild solution

I am CS student and i want to create graphical simulation of black hole, so I need to use The Schwarzschild solution to calculate possible coordinates of given body every second. First try in 2D ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Expression of electrostatic field

An electrostatic field is characterized by the fact that it depends only by $r$, isn't it? If it is true, I don't understand why this expression, given in cylindrical coordinates, $${\bf ...
2
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
74 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
345 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
490 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
235 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
65 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?
2
votes
4answers
95 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Black holes and Time Dilation at the horizon

What is the difference between proper time and the observer time? Whilst thinking about Black holes, when we see the Schwarzschild metric $$c^2\tau ^2 = \left ( 1 - \frac{r_{s}}{r} \right )c^2t^2 - ...
2
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Space-Time Continuum [duplicate]

In special relativity it is said that " Time and space cannot be defined separately from one another. Rather space and time are interwoven into a single continuum known as spacetime. " What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
755 views

Calculate the latitude / longitude coordinates of the location where the Sun is at the zenith

There are plenty of resources showing how to calculate zenith and azimuth of the Sun when the time and the location are given. However, I need to calculate the location where the sun is at the ...