# Tagged Questions

How a quantity behaves under a change of basis vectors. This tag covers relativistic covariance, as well as contravariant and covariant tensors not necessarily in the context of relativity. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for statistical covariance.

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### Trace of a Tensor

What is the significance of defining the trace of a tensor as $g^{\alpha\beta} R_{\alpha\beta}$ instead of $R_{\alpha\alpha}$ on a Riemannian manifold?
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### Covariant Taylor Series

I am reading the following lecture notes of Avramidi https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255565392_Analytic_and_geometric_methods_for_heat_kernel_applications_in_finance I want to understand ...
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### Why is speed defined as coordinate derivative over proper time rather than observer's time in STR?

In special theory of relativity, why is 4-velocity defined as: $$u^\mu = \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau}$$ and not as $$u^\mu = \frac{dx^\mu}{dt}$$ where ${\tau}$ is proper-time and t is time in some ...
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### Lorentz Transformations in Minkowski space

If $\Lambda$ represents the Lorentz transformation matrix, then the transformation of contravariant components $x^\mu$ is given by $$x'^\mu=\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu} x^\nu$$ and that of the covariant ...
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### Does $\partial_\mu =\frac{\partial }{\partial x^\mu}$ or $\partial_\mu =\frac{\partial }{\partial x_\mu}$? [migrated]

I am looking at the chain rule with covariant and contravariant vectors. I understand why we have: $$df=\frac{\partial f}{\partial x^\mu} dx^\mu$$ (Please correct me if I am wrong) since even though ...
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### Why is the spatial term for contravariant 4-gradient negative, whereas for other 4-vectors it is the covariant part that is negative spatially?

The contravariant 4-displacement is: $${x}^{\alpha} = (ct,\mathbf{r})$$ And the contravariant 4-gradient is: $${\partial}^{\alpha} = (\frac{1}{c}\frac{\partial}{\partial{t}},-\nabla)$$ From what I ...
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### Is time a vector in Minkowski space? [duplicate]

I am arguing about this topic with my school teacher in so long time, I want to finish this debate. My teacher's opinion is "Yes, Time is vector" because four-vector has $t$ component, and mine is "...
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### Tensor manipulation and showing equality

Im taking GR for the first time and it is definitely throwing me for a loop. The question I am working on is this: Prove that if a contravariant tensor $A^{uv}$ is symmetric, then it remains ...
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### Difference between symmetry and invariance

I'm wondering what's the real difference between symmetry and invariance in Physics? I believe that sometimes the two words are given the same meaning and some other times they are used in a different ...
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### What does it mean to differentiate a spinor-valued field?

Peskin and Schroeder, equation 3.28, states that the Klein-Gordon equation $$(\partial^2+m^2)\psi=0 \tag{3.28}$$ is a valid choice of equation for a Dirac spinor field. Their explanation makes sense (...
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### What does the first postulate of specially relativity really say?

I know these two versions of the same postulate is saying the same thing. But I failed to connect them. Please help me understand the links between them. version1 The laws of physics are the same ...
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### Lorentz Symmetry

Quick question about Lorentz symmetry. From the wiki page the feature of nature that says experimental results are independent of the orientation or the boost velocity of the laboratory through ...
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### When can two quantities be added together?

Whenever two things are to be added together, one typically needs to check whether this actually makes sense, and an addition is said to make sense, in principle, when the units match up. Yet, ...
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### What does it mean by saying the generators of translations transform as vectors under the Lorentz Group?

The commutator of generators of Lorentz transformation and translation is as follow: $$[M^{\mu\nu},P^\sigma]=i(P^\mu\eta^{\nu\sigma}-P^\nu\eta^{\mu\sigma} ).$$ Then from this we usually say that the ...
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### Why are densities not fields?

I have read (in Statistical mechanics of lattice system 2: exact, series and renormalization group methods by D.A. Lavis and G.M. Bell pg 2 ), that intrinsic variables are either fields or densities. ...
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### Clarification on meaning of scalar in math and scalar in physics

When a mathematician says something is a scalar, say on the plane, they mean that it associates to points on the plane real numbers. When a physicist says something is a scalar, they mean that if we ...
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### Parameterisation of the equation of motion for a relativistic massive point particle

The equation of motion for a relativistic massive point particle is given by: $$\frac{dp_{\mu}}{d \tau} = 0,$$ where $p_{\mu}$ is the four-momentum defined by $p_{\mu} = m \frac{dx_{\mu}}{ds/c}$, ...
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### Why do we need coordinate-free descriptions?

I was reading a book on differential geometry in which it said that a problem early physicists such as Einstein faced was coordinates and they realized that physics does not obey man's coordinate ...
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### Invariant equations of motion under Lorentz transformations

My question regards the statement that an equation of motion may be invariant under a Lorentz transformation I just finished watching the Stanford University special relativity lectures on special ...
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### Problem understanding Lorentz invariance [duplicate]

So they usually started with "...This is obviously Lorentz invariant, because of the 4-vector character of the quantity,..., (and after a two page long derivation) another quantity is also obviously ...
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### What is the correct terminology for a “symplectic covariant” equation?

A Lorentz covariant equation is one that takes the same form even when a Lorentz transformation is applied to each variable. Lorentz covariance is generally made manifest by writing the equation with ...
I just read about co- and contravariant vectors and I am not sure that I got it right: If we imagine that we have a n-dimensional manifold $M$ then a tangent space is spanned by the vectors \$\...