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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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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40 views

dot products and covariant derivatives [on hold]

What is the physical meaning of the dit product between a normal vector and its the covariant derivative of its component? Why is it that there is a geodesic if the result is proportional to the ...
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2answers
43 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
71 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
138 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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1answer
73 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
239 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
89 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 ...
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What is the distribution for this function? [migrated]

Suppose we let X1, X2,...,Xn be an IID random sample of observations on the random variable X. So what my question is: Assuming that X ~ (μ,σ^2), find the distribution of √n(μ̂-μ)/σ. This is a ...
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1answer
74 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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1answer
56 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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48 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
46 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
127 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
135 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
28 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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1answer
43 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
355 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
151 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 ...
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1answer
81 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 ...
3
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2answers
81 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 ...
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1answer
47 views

What is the point of defining the lie algebra of the proper Lorentz group in a “covariant” way?

In Muller-Kirsten's book Introduction to Supersymmetry, the author first defines the proper Lorentz group's lie algebra basis in the standard manner - antisymmetric matrices consisting of $0$s and ...
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2answers
53 views

Transformation of spinors due to Lorentz group

Assume we have a Dirac spinor $\psi(x)$ which satisfies the Dirac equation: $$(i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu} - m)\psi(x) = 0.$$ If we boost our spacetime coordinates to a new system with a Lorentz ...
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0answers
56 views

Expressing the gauge field strength tensor in terms of covariant derivatives of the vector potential

Writing the covariant derivative as $$ \tag{1} D_\mu = \partial_\mu -ig A_\mu $$ it is easy to show that (in the non-abelian case) $$ \tag{2} [D_\mu,D_\nu] = -ig (\partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu ...
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1answer
72 views

Proof of the relation $d^4 \xi = \sqrt{|g|} \,\, d^4x$ switching between local and non-inertial coordinates

Denoting with $d\xi^m$ and $dx^\mu$ respectively flat and non-inertial coordinates, we have the following relation between the volume elements in the two coordinate systems: $$ d^4 \xi = \sqrt{|\det ...
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2answers
134 views

What does it mean to transform as a scalar or vector?

I'm working through an introductory electrodynamics text (Griffiths), and I encountered a pair of questions asking me to show that: the divergence transforms as a scalar under rotations the ...
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1answer
43 views

How can we see that the Riemann curvature tensor is covariant?

The Riemann curvature tensor, using the conventions of wikipedia, is written in terms of Christoffel symbols as: $$ \tag{1} R^\lambda_{\,\,\mu \nu \rho} = \partial_\nu \Gamma^\lambda_{\,\,\rho \mu} - ...
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0answers
55 views

Explicit demonstration of the relativistic invariance of the Weyl equation

It can be demonstrated explicitly that the Dirac equation is relativistically invariant. This is a proof (borrowed from Peskin & Schroder, see the unnumbered equation after the eqn. 3.31): ...
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1answer
125 views

Time derivative of time-translation Killing vector

I'm working with the spherically symmetric, static black hole metric. In the problem I'm working on, I'm told that $K$ is the time-translation Killing vector, $\frac{\partial}{\partial t}$ or $K = (1, ...
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2answers
147 views

Is four-current a vector or a vector density?

According to MTW, $$F^{\alpha\beta}{}_{;\beta} = 4\pi J^\alpha$$ and we can infer that the four-current must be an ordinary vector field because the left side is tensorial. But Wikipedia says that ...
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2answers
75 views

Meaning of general covariance

Quoting from Wald's GR: In the context of special relativity, the principle of general covariance states that the spacetime metric $\eta_{ab}$, is the only quantity pertaining to spacetime ...
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4answers
164 views

How does the Lorentz transformation $\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu}$ transform?

For example the Four-velocity transforms as $$U^{a'}=\Lambda^{a'}{}_{\nu}U^{\nu},$$ the Faradaytensor as $$F^{a'b'}=\Lambda_{\,\,\mu}^{a'}\Lambda_{\,\,\nu}^{b'}F^{\mu\nu}$$ or in Matrixnotation: ...
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1answer
195 views

Invariance of action $\Rightarrow$ covariance of field equations?

Invariance of action $\Rightarrow$ covariance of field equations? Is this statement true? I have only seen examples of this, like the invariance of Electromagnetic action under Lorentz ...
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2answers
228 views

The definition of transpose of Lorentz transformation (as a mixed tensor)

In the appendix of the textbook of Group Theory in Physics by Wu-Ki Tung, the transpose of a matrix is defined as the following, Eq.(I.3-1) $${{A^T}_i}^j~=~{A^j}_i.$$ This is extremely confusing for ...
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4answers
445 views

Is partial derivative a vector or dual vector?

The textbook(Introduction to the Classical Theory of Particles and Fields, by Boris Kosyakov) defines a hypersurface by $$F(x)~=~c,$$ where $F\in C^\infty[\mathbb M_4,\mathbb R]$. Differentiating ...
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4answers
423 views

Is there a fundamental reason not to define the work vice-versa

My question arises from something which has never been really clear: in continuum mechanics, why is strain energy defined as: $$W=\int_\Omega ...
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1answer
131 views

How can we derive the gauge field Lagrangian?

I learned the gauge field Lagrangian is given in this form: $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4} \mathrm{Tr}(F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu}).$$ But how one can derive this equation starting from defining the ...
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2answers
138 views

What is $V^\mu$ if $\nabla_{\mu} V^{\mu}$=scalar?

Suppose there is a quantity written as $\sum\limits_\mu \nabla_\mu V^\mu$ which is invariant under a coordinate transformation, i.e. scalar, where $V^\mu=(V^0,V^1,V^2,V^3)$ and $\nabla_\mu$ is a ...
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1answer
152 views

Vector fields and tensors in E&M

I'm confused by a very basic property of electric fields. The electric field is a vector field. Vectors are tensors. Wikipedia has the following statement in the article about the electromagnetic ...
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1answer
89 views

Gauge SU(2) with real triplet

I have come across a model of gauge $SU(2)$ with a real triplet. The covariant derivative for $SU(2)$ complex doublet is written as $$D_\mu=\partial_\mu-igT^aA^a_\mu$$ where $T^a$ are generators of ...
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2answers
175 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 ...
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2answers
86 views

Independent components in a 4-vector representing massless fields

In Ryder Page141, it is written "the electromagnetic field, like any massless field, possesses only two independent components, but is covariantly described by a 4-vector $A_{\mu}$". Why are there ...
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5answers
2k views

What problems with Electromagnetism led Einstein to the Special Theory of Relativity?

I have often heard it said that several problems in the theory of electromagnetism as described by Maxwell's equations led Einstein to his theory of Special Relativity. What exactly were these ...
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2answers
58 views

Magnetic force and relative frame

The magnetic field for to a moving charge depend on its velocity (Biot Savart's law). My question is that is it then not frame dependent? If it is, it means if a man is walking and other is standing ...
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3answers
485 views

How to understand the definition of vector and tensor?

Physics texts like to define vector as something that transform like a vector and tensor as something that transform like a tensor, which is different from the definition in math books. I am having ...
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3answers
212 views

Relation between component and algebraic definition of covariant vectors

I studied contravariance and covariance concepts in following way: For any vector if we get its components by parallelogram way we achieve contravariant components, and if we want to get its ...
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4answers
418 views

Gradient is covariant or contravariant?

I read somewhere people write gradient in covariant form because of their proposes. I think gradient expanded in covariant basis $i$, $j$, $k$, so by invariance nature of vectors, component of ...
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7answers
813 views

Why should a (physical) principle be applicable to different systems in different positions in space and time?

This is a question with a philosophical, as well as physical, flavor. Why should a physical principle (or a description of one), be applicable to different systems that can be in different positions ...
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1answer
250 views

Levi Civita covariance and contravariance

I read some older posts about this question, but I don't know if I'm getting it. I'm working with a Lagrangian involving some Levi Civita symbols, and when I calculate a term containing ...
5
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1answer
146 views

Invariance of a tensor under coordinate transformation

I know, that a tensor is a mathematically entity that is represented using a basis and tensor products, in the form of a matrix, and changing a representation doesn't change a tensor, is kind of ...