A set of numbers used to quantify location in space.

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3
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1answer
244 views

Quantum mechanics with non-cartesian coordinates

Let say we have the classical hamiltonian of a harmonic oscillator: $$H=\frac{p_x^2+p_y^2+p_z^2}{2m}+\frac{k_1x^2+k_2y^2+k_3z^2}{2}$$ and we want to find the hamiltonian operator in quantum mechanics, ...
2
votes
1answer
199 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 - ...
3
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0answers
83 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 ?
4
votes
4answers
251 views

What makes a coordinate curved?

Bear with me while I try to explain exactly what the question is. The question Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration? is imagining a coordinate system in which the curvature is ...
-1
votes
2answers
887 views

How to know the Direction of the Acceleration Vector?

If the exercise doesn't give you the direction, how to know the correct one? Sometimes I assume its to the right and it was actually to the left, and I get everything wrong. Example here: How can I ...
3
votes
2answers
237 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
558 views

Why isn't invariant notation common?

In principle, one can write quantities in a manifestly invariant - rather than covariant - fashion in e.g. special relativity. For example, rather than writing just $x^\mu$, we could write the basis ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

Curvilinear Coordinates and basis vectors

In these notes, $\frac{\partial \vec{r}} {\partial q_i}$ is stated to form a basis set for the vector space. How does this happen? Also, how does one justify this equation from Goldstein's ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

How to calculate roll, yaw and pitch angles from 3D co-ordinates (Euler Angles)

I have digitized a video of a flying fly in a 3-dimensional space. At all instants I know the x, y, and z co-oridinates of the following points on the fly's body --- The points are my choice, and ...
1
vote
1answer
113 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
1answer
847 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
578 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} ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Inconsistent integral and distance in spherical coordinates

I am currently studying this problem: 14 b) There you see an integral $$A(r) = \int f(\theta) (-\sin(\phi), \cos(\phi),0) d \Omega$$ where $f$ is the function containing all the rest of the integrand ...
2
votes
2answers
69 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
649 views

Understanding and deriving ellipsoidal coordinates geometrically

If one were to read old texts on mathematical physics, like Maxwell, Morse & Feshbach, Hilbert and Courant, Jacobi, etc... they'd find ellipsoidal coordinates popping up, but the authors derive ...
5
votes
3answers
175 views

Integral in different coordinate systems

In Griffiths' electrodynamics book, he uses the equation, $$\nabla^2\mathbf{A}=-\mu_0 \mathbf{J},$$ to state that $$\mathbf{A}(\mathbf{r}) = ...
0
votes
1answer
409 views

How do I find the generalized coordinates in a certain system?

I'm learning about constraints and I know the following: If there are $N$ particles in 3 dimensional space, I have $3N$ degrees of freedom. If I have $n_b$ holonomic constraints and I switch over to ...
2
votes
3answers
364 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
82 views

Prove one of the following trajectories is circular

In his classical mechanics lecture, Prof Susskind gives a short exercise, which I "feel" is very simple, but don't know where to start with. The question is: "There is a coordinate system ...
3
votes
2answers
810 views

The wave equation in general relativity, special relativity, and Cartesian coordinates

The relativistic wave equation is $$\square\varphi=\rho$$ where $\varphi$ is the field, $\rho$ is the source, and $\square$ is the D'Alembert operator, defined by ...
0
votes
3answers
168 views

Is this webcomic accurate?

I was considering this xkcd comic from 5/10/14, with the alt-text "Trains rotate the Earth around various axes while elevators shift its position in space." I'm wondering about its accuracy. I ...
1
vote
0answers
227 views

About the proof of the second Bianchi Identity

The second Bianchi Identity is $$ \nabla_{[a}R_{bc]de}=0 $$ As far as I know, the proof (say, Walfram Mathword) start by stating the representation of Riemann tensor in local inertial coordinates $$ ...
2
votes
1answer
375 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
272 views

Compute and plot satellite position on 2D Earth map

I would like to create a simple satellite tracking software, that will compute the position of a satellite at any time, and show its location on a 2D map of Earth. Let's assume it is possible to ...
2
votes
2answers
99 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 ...
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0answers
392 views

How to solve the Laplace equation in ellipsoidal coordinates?

It seems that popular textbooks on electrodynamics do not discuss how to solve the Laplace equation in ellipsoidal coordinates. I could not find any reference, but there must be references about this. ...
1
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1answer
132 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there a technical term for “meaningfulness” of mathematical operations?

Is there a technical term for "meaningfulness" of mathematical operations? For example, adding vectors that represent forces has a meaning regardless of the coordinate frame, but an elementwise ...
11
votes
1answer
340 views

Polar Decomposition of a Complex Scalar Field

People often write a complex scalar field via polar decomposition. What does this parametrization precisely mean? To be more explicit consider the following Lagrangian of a complex scalar field with ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Minkowski Metric Signature

When I learned about the Minkowski Space and it's coordinates, it was explained such that the metric turns out to be $$ ds^{2} = -(cdx^{0})^{2} +(dx^{1})^{2} + (dx^{2})^{2} + (dx^{3})^{2} $$ where $ ...
0
votes
0answers
85 views

Active and passive transformations and the change in potential energy

Under active transformation, the particle moves. On the other hand, for a passive one, the coordinate is just relabel. I've read that the passive one will not affect the potential energy and the ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Which coordinate system confirms quantum-level experimental data?

We often use the Cartesian coordinate system, since it is the naive approach at macro level (placing a box just "next to" or "above" the other box). There are, however, many more such systems, incl. ...
1
vote
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
76 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
424 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 ...
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vote
0answers
129 views

How to prove the relations between the variables in bispherical coordinates?

When I was reading papers about the forces between two charged spherical conductors in a uniform electric field, I was confused with bispherical coordinates the author used to describe the spherical ...
1
vote
1answer
256 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Heliocentric Worldview [duplicate]

Isn't the whole historic Discussion of Heliocentric vs. Geocentric Worldview just about a Calculation-Technique. I mean I could also choose my coordinate-center to be in the middle of Earth and setup ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

What coordinate system is used to describe planets positions in the universe?

How are planets positions described in the space and in respect to what? For example is Sun the origo and right now at this moment Earth has [coord_X, coord_Y, coord_Z]? or maybe [lng, lat]? ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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
313 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
183 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 ...
1
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2answers
216 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
100 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 ...
1
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1answer
329 views

Symmetry, Transformations and non-linear transformations

I am a physics student. My mathematical background is quite weak. I just want to know the similarities (if there are any) or differences between coordinate transformation of two kinds : Rotation of ...
2
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
516 views

Does the Relativity Principle of Special Relativity imply homogeneity and isotropy of all the reference frames?

In Rindler's book: Relativity, Special, General and Cosmological, is stated on page 40 that the Relativity Principle (RP), when applied to just one Inertial Frame (IF), guarantees the homogeneity and ...