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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46 views

contravariant and covariant vectors and their orthogonality in Euclidean space

I am reading this paper Sigma Coordinate - Contravariance and covariance and I understand how covariant and contravariant vectors are defined mathematically Covariance and Contravariance and I had ...
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2answers
72 views

What does coordinate invariance mean?

I would like to really understand what the mathematical as well as Physical meaning of coordinate invariance is. I have pretended to know what this means, but upon thinking a little harder today, I am ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Is there any way to justify or derive the form of the Lorentz force from relativity theory?

Lorentz force is in this form: $$\vec{F}=q[\vec{E}+\vec{u}\times\vec{B}]$$ As we know, it is Lorentz-invariant. Is there any way to justify or derive its form from relativity theory?
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0answers
100 views

Canonical second quantization vs canonical quantization with multisymplectic form in AQFT

First of all, I'm a mathematician that knows less than the basics of QFT, so forgive me if this question is trivial. Please, keep in my mind that my background in physics is very poor. 1) The usual ...
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2answers
48 views

How does one show Maxwell's equations in vector calculus form describe the same motion in all reference frames?

The covariant form of Maxwell's equations is Lorentz invariant. $$\partial_{\alpha}F^{\alpha\beta} = \mu_{0} J^{\beta}$$ $$\partial_{\alpha}F_{\beta\gamma} + \partial_{\beta}F_{\gamma \alpha} + ...
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3answers
126 views

Covariant and contravariant 4-vector in special relativity

I've just learned about contra- and covariant vector in the context of special relativity (in electrodynamic) and I'm struggling with some concept. From what I found, an intuitive definition of ...
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2answers
81 views

Understanding Tensor-operations, covariance, contravariance, … in the context of Special Relativity

I'm currently learning about special relativity but I'm having a really hard time grasping the Tensor-operations. Let's take the Minkowski scalar product of 2 four-vectors: $$\pmb U . \pmb V = ...
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0answers
34 views

Is there a general procedure for covariantizing equations?

I am currently attempting to derive covariant forms of equations whose domains are D=3 space. I am considering Lorentzian $(\mathbb{R}^4, \Omega, x, \nabla)$, where $\Omega \subset\mathbb{R}^4$ has a ...
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0answers
48 views

solutions of wave equation with cubic term

Does the following equation $$ \nabla^\mu \nabla_\mu \psi + a \psi^3 = b \psi $$ where $\psi$ is a real function, $a$ and $b$ are real constants, have other solutions that extend beyond a one ...
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1answer
136 views

Gradient, divergence and curl with covariant derivatives

I am trying to do exercise 3.2 of Sean Carroll's Spacetime and geometry. I have to calculate the formulas for the gradient, the divergence and the curl of a vector field using covariant derivatives. ...
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2answers
54 views

Invariance and conservation

Why in a collision between particles is the four-momentum conserved within a frame of reference but not invariant between frames of reference?
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1answer
63 views

Proving the invariance of the inner product

If we define the inner product as ${\textbf{u}\cdot\textbf{v}=g_{ij}u^{i}v^{j}}$, where ${g_{ij}}$ is the metric tensor, ${S}$ and ${T}$ are transformation matrices, ${S}$-for covariant indices and ...
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1answer
118 views

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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2answers
72 views

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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2answers
437 views

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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1answer
43 views

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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0answers
216 views

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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2answers
106 views

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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1answer
187 views

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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2answers
86 views

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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2answers
43 views

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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5answers
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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 ...
4
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1answer
134 views

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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1answer
115 views

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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0answers
41 views

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 ...
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2answers
151 views

Making sense out of covariance and contravariance

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 ...
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1answer
118 views

Lorentz invariance vs. covariance

I am a bit confused whether relativistic theory is Lorentz invariant or covariant. And please explain why?
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2answers
114 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?
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1answer
33 views

Matrix dimensions in the spacetime interval equation don't seem to agree? (Possible notation misunderstanding)

The spacetime interval in flat space can be expressed as $(\Delta s)^2 = g_{\alpha \beta} \Delta x^\alpha \Delta x^\beta$. I understand covariant, $x_a$, and contravariant, $x^a$, vectors to be row ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

In continuum mechanics, why is the stress vector $T=\sigma\cdot n$ not a covector?

In continuum mechanics, the stress vector (see Cauchy stress tensor) $T=\sigma\cdot n$ is the surface density of a force. Forces are covectors, since they map a displacement vector to a scalar energy. ...
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vote
1answer
135 views

Covariant formulation of physical equations?

Is it possible to rewrite equations like the Klein-Gordon, the Dirac or the Proca equation in a generally covariant way? And if yes, how and how can the general covariance be shown? (I searched ...
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vote
1answer
90 views

Covariance of the Dirac Equation

i want to show that the following equation holds: $$ \frac{1}{8}\left[\gamma^{\mu},\omega_{\mu \nu} [\gamma^{\mu},\gamma^{\nu} ] \right] = \omega^{\mu}_{~~~\nu}\,~ \gamma^{\nu} $$ $\gamma^{\mu}$ ...
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2answers
105 views

Index gymnastics and representing bra-kets as covariant and contravariant tensors

I am trying to figure out how to write, in Einstein notation as well as pick out elements of $$\langle A|[\mu]|B\rangle \langle X|[\nu]|Y\rangle$$ where $[\mu] = \begin{bmatrix} \mu_{11} & ...
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2answers
177 views

Off-diagonal terms in metric for 4D space-time [closed]

Consider a delta between two events in 4D space-time written as a 4-vector, $x^\mu=(dt, dR)$. The time $dt$ is a scalar difference in time. The 3-vector $dR$ points some direction in space. One ...
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3answers
236 views

How can a Physical law not be invariant?

In Relativity, both the old Galilean theory or Einstein's Special Relativity, one of the most important things is the discussion of whether or not physical laws are invariant. Einstein's theory then ...
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votes
1answer
114 views

Transpose of (1,1) tensor

When we transpose a (1,1) tensor, shall we simply switch the two indices while keeping their upper/lower positions or switch them and also switch their upper/lower positions? In general, would the ...
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7answers
310 views

How can a set of components fail to make up a vector?

Many books in Physics insist to define vectors are objects with components with the property that the components transform in a proper way under a change of coordinates. Now, in mathematics, on the ...
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2answers
210 views

Relation between Vector space $V$ and its dual $V^{*}$ [closed]

I asked the same question in Math.SE, but I was suggested to ask it here as well. I am studying relativity, and as you know the theory extensively uses the notion of covariant and contravariant ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Geodesic equation

I have a technical question about the geodesic equation. Assume we have a frame $(E_{1},E_{2},E_{3},E_{4})$ (not necessarily a coordinate frame). Assume we have a parametrized curve $\gamma(s)\in M$ ...
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vote
1answer
137 views

Understanding the covariant derivative and its relation to parallel transport

I have been reading section 3.1 of Wald's GR book in which he introduces the notion of a covariant derivative. As I understand, this is introduced as the (partial) derivative operators $\partial_{a}$ ...
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0answers
73 views

The Covariant Spinor Derivative in the Locally Supersymmetric Generalisation of the Polyakov Action and Potential Mistakes in the Literature

Questions) I recently came upon the thesis The Landscape of Free Fermionic Gauge Models by D. G. Moore and G.B. Cleaver. On pages 20 and 21 they explain that the locally supersymmetric action, ...
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2answers
114 views

Identifying a scalar function

We know that a scalar is invariant under rotations. What about a scalar function? Should it also be invariant under rotations? Therefore, under rotation $\phi(x,y,z)$ must be equal to ...
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2answers
169 views

Is a vector field not a vector quantity?

I'm trying to make sense of Poisson bracket relation $$\{L_i,A_k\}_{PB}~=~\epsilon_{ikl}A_l,\tag1$$ where $L_i$ is $i$th component of angular momentum, $A_k$ is $k$th component of an arbitrary ...
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2answers
253 views

Is there an accepted axiomatic approach to general relativity?

I am reading Steven Weinberg's book Gravitation and Cosmology. He makes a big deal out of the equivalence principle and showed a bunch of deductions you can make based on it. This surprised me since ...
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0answers
37 views

Is energy-momentum of curvature a boundary/holographic density?

Since the beginnings of General Relativity, we have had this awkward, unholy separation of the universe in marble versus wood. divergence of the stress-energy momentum holds at all points of ...
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votes
1answer
50 views

Transformation of $q_k$ and $p_k$ from invariance of Hamiltonian

This is a step in Nakahara's Geometry, Topology and Physics, 2nd edition, 2003, on pages 7-8: Given that $q_k ' = q_k +\epsilon f_k(q)$, we have that $$\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q_i'}{\partial ...
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7answers
737 views

What does the statement “the laws of physics are invariant” mean?

In the first paragraph of Wikipedia's article on special relativity, it states one of the assumptions of special relativity is the laws of physics are invariant (i.e., identical) in all inertial ...
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2answers
180 views

Metric tensor in SRT

I just read on this webpage that we have (click me) $g_{\alpha \beta} = g_{\alpha}^{\beta} = g^{\alpha \beta}.$ Now, although I understand that the first and the last one are equal, I don't think ...
3
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1answer
95 views

Naturalness of tensor fields in general relativity?

In the third chapter of the book The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, the authors say regarding the matter fields in general relativity: These fields will obey equations which can be expressed ...
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2answers
84 views

Why does choosing a time break covariance?

I'm reading that in EM theory, in hamiltonian formalism, we choose a specific reference frame with a specific time, and that this breaks covariance. Why? Surely it's simple because it's just stated ...