A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
65 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 $x'=x-vt$, ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

Solutions of PDEs in different coordinate systems

Suppose we have a PDE, for example the Helmholtz paraxial equation: $$ \nabla_\perp^2A+2ik\frac{\partial A}{\partial z}=0 $$ Solutions depend on the coordinate system we are using, i.e. we obtain ...
2
votes
1answer
168 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
0answers
139 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
177 views

A simple way of calculating Euler Angles from Rotation Matrix — help!

This is a follow up of this question : I have the rotation matrix $$ \left( \begin{matrix} a_{11} & a_{12} & a_{13}\\ a_{21} & a_{22} & a_{23}\\ a_{31} & a_{32} & ...
1
vote
2answers
330 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
107 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 $\mathbf{p}$...
1
vote
1answer
457 views

Does change of coordinate system require acceleration?

This question came about from a side discussion that arose on this: Does GR provide a maximum electric field limit? Can we change our choice of coordinate system completely independent of physical ...
1
vote
5answers
271 views

Is the polar coordinate system non-inertial or inertial?

Consider a car driving around in a circle lying in the plane and suppose we were interested in determining its acceleration as measured by an observer stationary on the "ground" or whatever. ...
1
vote
1answer
43 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
vote
1answer
106 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
vote
1answer
229 views

How can I find the motion equations of the 2-dim harmonic oscillator?

First of all: I am no physicist, so I am rather helpless. I need to find the moving equations of the 2-dim. harmonic oscillator. If it is possible it should be rather elementary, because, as I said, ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Which symmetry for which distance function

For evaluating the electric field of some charge distribution one can use $$\phi(r):= \frac{1}{4 \pi \varepsilon_0}\int_{\mathbb{R}^3} \frac{\rho(r')}{||r-r'||_2} dr'.$$ My question is: What symmetry ...
1
vote
1answer
376 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? ...
1
vote
1answer
675 views

Trajectories using Polar Coordinates

Once I asked my teacher how to find the trajectory of any particle that is acted upon any force.(Generally) He Told me that I couldn't do it as I did not know polar coordinate geometry as of then but ...
1
vote
1answer
246 views

Inverting Generalized Coordinates

In Corben's classical mechanics on pg. 9, it says that given generalized coordinates $q_m = q_m(x_1, ..., x_n,t)$, then if the Jacobian is non-zero everywhere, you may express $x_i = ...
1
vote
1answer
368 views

Understanding P-, CP-, CPT-violation etc. in field theory and in relation to the principle of relativity

I can never get my head around the violations of $P-$, $CP-$, $CPT-$ violations and their friends. Since the single term "symmetry" is so overused in physics and one has for example to watch out and ...
1
vote
1answer
794 views

converting force from spherical to Cartesian coords

So I am working on my assignment, and have a question about converting coordinates. I dont know whether I should ask here or the math SE, so lets give it a try here. The force in question is ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Do rotation matrices rotate about inertial or body angles? [closed]

I have Yaw, pitch, and roll angles in that order (Euler 321) to apply to a body reference frame in cartesian coordinate system. I want to know what the body reference frame vector coordinates are ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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
vote
2answers
162 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
vote
1answer
68 views

Timelike curves in Special Relativity

I have a question that probably might sound silly to most of you. We know that a natural Lorentz-invariant parametrization of a timelike curve is provided by: $$\tau$$ the Lorentz-invariant proper ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

Euler angles derivation

I have been trying to grasp the idea of Euler angles for a while. Can anyone point out if my understanding is correct or not. Situation: We have 3 axes known as principal axes of inertia which define ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

How big or small is a reference frame in Relativity?

What exactly is a frame of reference? Does it have an objective existence and if so what is it? What's the size of a reference frame? Is a reference frame the same size for a stationary frame of ...
1
vote
2answers
185 views

What does it mean to divide space and time?

Goldstein's mechanics book, on the chapter on relativistic mechanics says that "We cannot assume that all observers make the same division into time and space in the same way." What does it mean to ...
1
vote
2answers
332 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
98 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
135 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
93 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
2answers
299 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
10k views

Find radius of curvature, given a velocity vector and acceleration magnitude?

The particle P moves along a space curve. At one instant it has velocity $v = (4i-2j-k)$ $m/s$. The magnitude of the acceleration is 8 $m/s^2$. The angle between the acceleration and the velocity ...
1
vote
1answer
88 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 ...
1
vote
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: ...
1
vote
1answer
104 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Rotation operator for a point in a coordinate system linearly derived from Cartesian coordinates

For some experimental and practical reason, I have created a new coordinate system in the form $$x^\prime_i=T_{ij}x_j$$ where $T_{ij}$ isn't a square matrix. $x_i$ is standard Cartesian coordinates, ...
1
vote
2answers
517 views

Calculating the electric potential in cylindrical coordinates from constant E-field

I am having so much trouble with this problem. I feel like I shouldn't be, but I am. A uniform electric field, $\vec{E} = E_0\hat{x}$. What is the potential, expressed using cylindrical ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Coordinate-free derivation of the Lamé-Navier's elasticity equations

Linear static elasticity provides a local equation $-\mathrm{div}\sigma=f$, the constitutive law $\sigma=2\mu\epsilon+\lambda \mathrm{tr}(\epsilon)I$ as well as the strain-displacement relationship ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
675 views

Radians to Rotate Earth to Match ECI Lat/Lon with ECEF Lat/Lon

I am attempting to model GPS Satellite positions on the globe for a set of ephemerides. I have a verified set of ECI ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth-centered_inertial ) XYZ Coordinates and a ...
1
vote
1answer
239 views

Optimal selection of generalized coordinates in Lagrangian system

EDITED: The number of bonds is actually 2, not 1 (look at edit history). Fixed for archiving purposes. Problem: The edge A of an homogeneous rod (of length $\ell$ and mass $m$) is performing a smooth ...
1
vote
1answer
133 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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 ...
1
vote
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
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

How to explain relativistic mass with 2 moving systems, but not 3?

All the visual explanations I know work in some kind of "If you are moving relative to something A, while inside A something is moving, the stuff in A has to move slower due time dilation and ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Boyer–Lindquist coordinates

In the Kerr solution to the vacuum Einstein Equation written in Boyer–Lindquist coordinates. Because it is not spherical polar coordinates, $r$ ranges from 0 to infinity does not cover all the space, ...