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2
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4answers
816 views

Why can't impulse be instantaneous?

We know from 2nd law of motion that $$\vec{F} = \frac{d\vec{p}}{dt}.$$ Now, a rate of change can be instantaneous. So, rate of change of momentum is instantaneous. But I doubt how can there be ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Which Schrödinger equation is correct?

In the coordinate representation, in 1D, the wave function depends on space and time, $\Psi(x,t)$, accordingly the time dependent Schrödinger equation is $$H\Psi(x,t) = ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Derive vector gradient in spherical coordinates from first principles

Trying to understand where the $\frac{1}{r sin(\theta)}$ and $1/r$ bits come in the definition of gradient. I've derived the spherical unit vectors but now I don't understand how to transform ...
2
votes
3answers
295 views

How do I know what variable to use for the chain rule?

In my textbook the tangential acceleration is given like this: $$a_t=\frac{dv}{dt}=r\frac{dw}{dt}$$ $$a_t=rα$$ I understand that the chain rule is applied here like this: ...
2
votes
4answers
403 views

Poincare invariant Lagrangians

The Lagrangian density of a Poincare invariant theory should not depend explicitly on the space-time coordinates. Does this mean $$ \partial_\mu \mathcal{L}=0~? $$ If this is the case doesn't the ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Any difference between thermodynamic double-derivative and derivative “at constant” value?

Reading about the Maxwell relations has left me confused, and I want a basic sanity check regarding the notation. The Wikipedia article breezes over the following switch of notation without really ...
2
votes
3answers
193 views

Ordering of differential operators

If we write something like: $\partial_a X_{\mu} \partial^a X^{\mu}$ Does that mean the first derivative is only applied to the first X? ($\partial_a X_{\mu})( \partial^a X^{\mu}$) Or is the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the second-order covariant derivative of a scalar computed?

What is second-order covariant derivative $$\nabla_i\nabla_jf(r)$$ in terms of $r,\theta, g(r)$ and partial derivative, given that the metric takes the form $$ds^2=dr^2+g(r)d\theta^2$$ and $f$ is a ...
2
votes
2answers
210 views

Are there general circuits that differentiate/integrate empirically?

Is it possible to construct simple circuits, that given a time-varying input, produce an output that represents the derivative or integral of the input with respect to time?
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Lack of rigour in usual derivation of Work-Energy Theorem

The derivation of the Work-Energy theorem usually goes as follows: You define the work done on a particle under net force $\vec{F}$ as $$W=\int\limits_C \vec{F}\cdot\mathrm{d}\vec{r}$$ And then you ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Derivation of velocities in the Coriolis force

In Fitzpatrick's Newtonian Dynamics book on the Coriolis force, he states \begin{align} v_{x'}&\simeq V_0\cos\theta-2\Omega t V_0\sin\lambda~\sin\theta \tag{433}\\ ...
2
votes
3answers
66 views

Can we measure rates in real time?

I know what it means to say that my position is "X" at a particular moment in time. I can easily take a picture of my motion and observe my exact location at the instant the picture was taken. That is ...
2
votes
1answer
273 views

Partial derivative potential energy of 'free' vibration

I have this rather mathematical question about the calculation of the partial derivative of a potential energy function given by: $$U(x_i)=\frac{1}{2}\sum_{i,j}\frac{\partial^2U(0)}{\partial ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Differential operators in curvilinear coordinates

In the appendix A of Griffith's Electrodynamics text, he cites Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds as a reference more a more complete treatment of taking the gradient, curl, divergence, and Laplacian in ...
2
votes
1answer
266 views

Total and partial derivatives in thermodynamics and Maxwell relations

Consider the expression $$dS=\left(\frac{\partial S}{\partial T}\right)_VdT+\left(\frac{\partial S}{\partial V}\right)_TdV$$ I'm trying to understand how to derive an expression for $\left( ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

Derivation of the Riemann tensor confusion

I'm trying to understand the derivation of the Riemann curvature tensor as given in Foster and Nightingale's A Short Course In General Relativity, p. 102. They start by giving the covariant derivative ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Is this covariant derivative identity true?

Trying to work through a textbook derivation of the geodesic deviation equation, I've calculated this identity:$$u_{;\beta}^{\alpha}u_{\alpha}=u_{\alpha;\beta}u^{\alpha}.$$ If this is true, I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Can these two terms cancel out?

In trying to prove that $$\Gamma_{\mu\nu\lambda} = \eta_{ab}J^a_bJ^b_{\nu\lambda}.$$ The author canceled out while expanding the first equation $$J^a_{\mu\lambda}J^b_\nu$$ with ...
2
votes
3answers
241 views

Physical motivation for differentiation under the integral

I am thinking about the mathematical process of "differentiating underneath the integral", i.e. applying the theorem $$\partial_s \int_{-\infty}^\infty f(x,s)\,dx=\int_{-\infty}^\infty \partial_s ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

How can the D'Alembertian of a field be interpreted intuitively?

The D'Alembertian operator is defined as $$ \Box = g^{\nu\mu}\nabla_\nu\nabla_\mu $$ For the Minkowski metric in Cartesian coordinates that is $$ \Box=\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} - ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Estimating divergence of set of vectors

I have a set of points where directions and intensities of a flow are given (in 3D). Is it possible to estimate the divergence of the flow defined by those vectors? I only need a rough estimate and I ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Why do derivatives act on vector fields on a worldsheet?

The covariant derivative of a vector $A^{\mu}$ at a point $x$ is defined as $$D_z A^{\mu}=\partial_zA^{\mu}+\Gamma^{\mu}_{\rho\sigma}(x)\partial_{z}x^{\rho}A^{\sigma}$$ where Greek symbols are ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Relationship between Connection and Material Derivative

Suppose $D\subset \Bbb R^3$ contains a fluid and that $f : D\times \mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}$ is a time dependent function defined on the fluid region. In that case, the material derivative is defined ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

Are covariant derivatives of Killing vector fields symmetric?

I'm reading the Lecture Notes on General Relativity by Matthias Blau, and in section 9.1 (point 1) he writes: Let $K^\mu$ be a Killing vector field, and ${x^\mu(\tau)}$ be a geodesic. Then the ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

a problem on finding acceleration by differentiation

The displacement of particle along the $x$ and $y$ axis is \begin{cases} x(t)=\omega t-\sin\omega t\\ y(u)=1-\cos\omega t \end{cases} Upon differentiation, the velocity is \begin{cases} ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Determining Acceleration Based On Graph

I understand how to solve this problem, but I am unsure how to generate an equation for the graph (below). My current attempt involves using the mass provided along with the derivative of the line ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Taylor series expansion of $\ln$ and $\cosh$ in distance fallen in time $t$ equation

I want to find the Taylor expansion of $y=\frac {V_t^2}{g} \ln(\cosh(\frac{gt}{V_t}))$ I have tried using the fact $\cosh x= \frac {e^x}{2}$ for large t, which works, I just need help on small values ...
2
votes
3answers
215 views

About field gradient

I read the term field gradient in most of the article about magnetic field. I search it online but most of the explanation is about the math. I wonder in physics, what the gradient field really mean? ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Gravitational force exerted by a rod on a point mass

I have doubts with the solution of a certain problem. I will give the entire solution below and will lay out my doubts as well. A point mass $m_1$ is separated by a distance $r$ from a long rod of ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Temperature in statistical mechanics and differentiating entropy

In statistical mechanics, the entropy of an isolated system with energy $E$ (with fixed volume $V$ and chemical composition $N$) is defined as $S(E) = k \log \Omega$, where $\Omega$ is the number of ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Spin connection and covariant derivative

How to prove explicitly (i.e., to don't postulate it) that by including Lorentz indices $a$ the covariant derivative $D_{\mu}$ looks like $$ D_{\mu}A^{\nu a} = \partial_{\mu}A^{\nu a} + ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

Problems while doing $\dfrac{\partial}{\partial(\partial_\mu \phi)}$ and $\dfrac{\partial}{\partial(\partial_\mu A_\mu)}$

In David Tong's lectures, he gives two Lagrangians as examples to derive the equations of motion: $$\mathcal{L} = \dfrac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\,\partial_\mu\phi\,\partial_\nu \phi-\dfrac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2, ...
1
vote
4answers
341 views

Why is $F=-\nabla V$?

I came across this equation $$F=-\nabla V$$ where $V$ is potential energy. I do understand that $$F(r)=-\frac{dV}{dr}.$$ Hence does this mean the nabla operator in this case means derivative? Because ...
1
vote
5answers
531 views

What is divergence?

What is divergence? I was learning about Maxwells equations and don't understand the divergence part of it. Can someone give an intuition of what divergence is in relation to maxwells equation. To ...
1
vote
2answers
281 views

What does $\textbf{f} = -\boldsymbol{\nabla} u$ mean in practice and how is it computed?

In classical computer simulations such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, one integrates Newton's equations of motion to determine particle trajectories. If we think of Newton's Second Law as ...
1
vote
2answers
256 views

Differentiation in general relativity

If we have: $$ \frac{d\phi^a}{d\tau}= \frac{\partial \phi^a}{\partial x^\mu} \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} \tag{1}$$ Differentiating it, we get: $$ \frac{\partial \phi^a}{\partial ...
1
vote
3answers
198 views

Apparent dimensional mismatch after taking derivative

Suppose I have a variable $x$ and a constant $a$, each having the dimension of length. That is $[x]=[a]=[L]$ where square brackets denote the dimension of the physical quantity contained within them. ...
1
vote
2answers
507 views

How does covariant derivative act on Christoffel Symbols?

the question is how the covariant derivative acts on the following? $\nabla_\nu(\Gamma^\alpha_{\mu\lambda}R^{\beta\lambda})=?$ and ...
1
vote
2answers
167 views

Why is $\nabla\cdot(\hat{\bf r}/r^2)$ giving 0 as answer? [closed]

While I was reading I encountered the statement $\nabla\cdot(\hat{\bf r}/r^2)$ (r cap divided by $r$ square) is 0. Can anyone explain proof of the statement why is it giving 0?
1
vote
4answers
1k views

When we take time derivative of a function of time, then is the result another function of time, again?

(I'll try to explain my question by one known example), for example where the velocity is a function of time v(t) then its time derivative (which is acceleration: $a=\frac {dv}{dt}$) is another ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Geometric meaning of spin connection

A very short question: Does the spin connection that we encounter in General Relativity $$\omega_{\mu,ab}$$ have a geometric meaning? I am supposing it does because it comes from mathematical terms ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Can we say that the instantaneous velocity of an object is the displacement in zero time?

Can we say that the instantaneous velocity of an object is the displacement in zero time? In the image above the instantaneous velocity of the object as change in time gets closer and closer to ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Curl of a vector field with two different systems of coordinates

Let $$\mathbf{H} = H_x \mathbf{u}_x + H_y \mathbf{u}_y + H_z \mathbf{u}_z$$ be a vector field whose components are defined with respect to the unit vectors $\mathbf{u}_x$, $\mathbf{u}_y$ and ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

$\nabla({\bf u}^2)=2({\bf u}\cdot \nabla){\bf u} - 2(\nabla \times {\bf u}) \times {\bf u}$

Please see the next link: http://www3.kis.uni-freiburg.de/~peter/teach/hydro/hydro02.pdf In (2.13), he used: $$\nabla({\bf u}^2)=2({\bf u}\cdot \nabla){\bf u} - 2(\nabla \times {\bf u}) \times {\bf ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Total time derivative of magnetic vector potential $A$

I am looking at this document, which tries to establish the Lagrangian of the Lorentz force. Everything is fine, but I don't see why: $$\frac{dA_i}{dt}=\frac{\partial A_i}{\partial t}+\frac{\partial ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Derivative of the magnetic field to the vector potential

So the magnetic field is defined with the vector potential A as: $$\mathbf{B}=\nabla\times\mathbf{A}.$$ How would I calculate the derivative: $$\frac{\delta}{\delta\mathbf{A}}|\mathbf{B}|^2$$ I ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Commutators involving $\Box$ and $\Box^{-1}$ [closed]

How to determine the followings: $$[\Box,\frac{1}{\Box}]\mathcal{O}=?$$ $$[\nabla,\frac{1}{\nabla}]\mathcal{O}=?$$ $$[\nabla^2,\frac{1}{\nabla^2}]\mathcal{O}=?$$ ...
1
vote
1answer
477 views

Arbitrary tensor covariant derivative

what are the rules for performing covariant derivatives on tensors of arbitrary rank? I found a few examples of Tensor derivatives: $$\nabla_{c} T^a {}_{b} = \partial_{c}T^a {}_{b}+ \Gamma^a{}_{cd} ...
1
vote
2answers
49 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

What is the function type of the generalized momentum?

Let $$L:{\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}\to {\mathbb R}$$ denote the Lagrangian (it should be differentiable) of a classical system with $n$ spatial coordinates. In the action ...