To be used for questions on geometry closely pertaining to physics. Includes differential geometry and euclidean geometry.

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11
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7answers
3k views

Experimental evidence of a fourth spatial dimension?

As human beings, we observe the world in which we live in three dimensions. However, it is certainly theoretically possible that more dimensions exist. Is there any direct or indirect evidence ...
12
votes
4answers
39k views

Does the rotation of the earth dramatically affect airplane flight time?

Say I'm flying from Sydney, to Los Angeles (S2LA), back to Sydney (LA2S). During S2LA, travelling with the rotation of the earth, would the flight time be longer than LA2S on account of Los Angeles ...
5
votes
2answers
288 views

Textbook on the Geometry of Special Relativity

I am looking for a textbook that treats the subject of Special Relativity from a geometric point of view, i.e. a textbook that introduces the theory right from the start in terms of 4-vectors and ...
4
votes
10answers
1k views

Is it possible for a physical object to have a irrational length?

Suppose I have a caliper that is infinitely precise. Also suppose that this caliper returns not a number, but rather whether the precise length is rational or irrational. If I were to use this ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

If two ends were a certain “length” apart were they therefore at rest (or at least rigid) to each other? [closed]

Considering the definition of the SI unit of "length" [1] and [2 (" method a.")] I'm missing any requirements about the two "ends" of the required "path travelled by light" being "at rest to each ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

Why is physical space equivalent to $\mathbb{R}^3$?

Why is physical space equivalent to $\mathbb{R}^3$, as opposed to e.g. $\mathbb{Q}^3$? I am trying to understand what would be the logical reasons behind our assumption that our physical space is ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Do perfect spheres exist in nature?

Often in physics, Objects are approximated as spherical. However do any perfectly spherical objects actually exist in nature?
5
votes
2answers
110 views

Which causal structures are absent from any “nice” patch of Minkowski space?

Which "causal separation structures" (or "interval structures") can not be found among the events in "any nice patch ($P$) of Minkowski space"?, where "causal separation structure" ($s$) should be ...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

What is the notion of a spatial angle in general relativity?

Is there a notion of spatial angles in general relativity? Example: The world line of a photon is given by $x^{\mu}(\lambda)$. Suppose it flies into my lab where I have a mirror. I align the mirror ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Are signal fronts in a beam not at rest to each other?

I'd like to investigate how the notion of "mutual rest" might be applied consistently, but distinctively, in the following thought experiment: Consider a light source ("$A$") which directs a beam ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Why can't a piece of paper (of non-zero thickness) be folded more than $N$ times?

Updated: In order to fold anything in half, it must be $\pi$ times longer than its thickness, and that depending on how something is folded, the amount its length decreases with each fold differs. ...
4
votes
1answer
601 views

How is the equation of motion on an ellipse derived?

I would like to show that a particle orbiting another will follow the trajectory \begin{equation} r = \frac{a(1-e^2)}{1 + e \cos(\theta)}. \end{equation} I would like to do this with minimal ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

Can a very small portion of an ellipse be a parabola?

We consider that when a body is projected from any height from the earth surface with a speed lesser than the orbital speed ( tangentially to the earth surface at that point.) it follows an elliptical ...
6
votes
1answer
315 views

Is Dyson Sphere a stable construction?

Suppose that a star is encompassed by a Dyson Sphere. Do we need a position control system for the Dyson Sphere to keep its origin always aligned with the center of the star? Will it stay aligned ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Analytic solution for angle of minimum deviation?

Consider a simple prism with a prism angle $A$, angle of incidence $\theta_1$, angle of emergence $\theta_4$ and the first and second angle of refraction as $\theta_2,\theta_3$. the refractive index ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

Geometry in diagonal matrix and inertia tensor

For this problem, can anyone explain to me why when $x_1$ axis is aligned with the diagonal of the cube, the resulting inertia tensor will become diagonal? How to interpret this result geometrically? ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

How to calculate spatial distance in space-time?

Pinning two test particles at two different points in space, how can I calculate their spatial distance, when the geometry is given by the Schwarzschild metric? Let's say particle 1 is pinned at ...
15
votes
2answers
417 views

Generalized Complex Geometry and Theoretical Physics

I have been wondering about some of the different uses of Generalized Complex Geometry (GCG) in Physics. Without going into mathematical detail (see Gualtieri's thesis for reference), a Generalized ...
10
votes
2answers
659 views

The Reeh-Schlieder theorem and quantum geometry

There have been some very nice discussions recently centered around the question of whether gravity and the geometry and topology of the classical world we see about us, could be phenomena which ...
9
votes
1answer
224 views

Cutting a circle and moving endpoints

A metal (or otherwise, suitably elastic) circle is cut and the points are slid up and down a vertical axis as shown: How would one describe the resultant curves mathematically?
5
votes
4answers
659 views

How did “no prior geometry” father 50 years of confusion?

I've come across this quote attributed to Misner, Thorne & Wheeler from their book, Gravitation: Mathematics was not sufficiently refined in 1917 to cleave apart the demands for "no prior ...
3
votes
2answers
338 views

Shape of electric charges on sphere in equilibrium state

When electric charges of equal magnitude and sign are released on a regular sphere (and assume that they stick to the surface of the sphere, but they are free to move along its surface), what is the ...
-4
votes
3answers
1k views

Should linear algebra and vector calculus from traditional courses be replaced with `geometric algebra`? [closed]

geometric algebra gives geometric meaning to linear algebra and much more. it can provide a coordinate free geometric interpretation of spaces. those who learn of ...
3
votes
0answers
172 views

Geodesic distance in de Sitter space

Consider $N$ dimensional de Sitter space embedded in $N+1$ dimensional Minkowski space: $$\eta_{\mu\nu}X^\mu X^\nu=1, \hspace{1cm}\eta_{\mu\nu}=\text{diag}(-1,1,\dots,1)$$ where I set $H=1$ for ...
3
votes
4answers
366 views

Formulation of general relativity

EDIT: I think I can pinpoint my confusion a bit better. Here comes my updated question (I'm not sure what the standard way of doing things is - please let me know if I should delete the old version). ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Can a value of “length, in meters” be attributed to a pair of ends which are rigid (but not at rest) to each other? [duplicate]

The definition of the SI base unit "metre" [1] doesn't seem to rule out explicitly that a certain value of "length, in meters" could be attributed to a pair of ends which are rigid to each other, but ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Determining the center of mass of a cone

I'm having some trouble with a simple classical mechanics problem, where I need to calculate the center of mass of a cone whose base radius is $a$ and height $h$..! I know the required equation. But, ...
1
vote
2answers
150 views

A simple way of calculating Euler Angles from Rotation Matrix — help!

This is a follow up of this question : I have the rotation matrix $$ \left( \begin{matrix} a_{11} & a_{12} & a_{13}\\ a_{21} & a_{22} & a_{23}\\ a_{31} & a_{32} & ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How to express “curvature scalars” in terms of "discrete curvature values $\kappa_n$?

We know from MTW [1] and Synge [2] how, for participants who were (pairwise) rigid to each other, it may be determined whether or not they were straight to each other, plane to each other, or ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
428 views

Why are fractal geometries useful for compact antenna design?

While most of what I've read about fractals has been dubious in nature, over the years, I keep hearing that these sorts of self-similar (or approximately self-similar) geometries are useful in the ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Flat space metrics

This question concerns the metric of a flat space: $$ds^2=dr^2+cr^2\,\,d\theta^2$$ where $c$ is a constant. Why is it necessary to set $c=1$ to avoid singularities and to restrict $r\ge 0$? Thanks.
3
votes
1answer
637 views

Nanotube chiral angle as a function of $n$ and $m$

I'm looking into nanotubes and I thought I'd assure myself that the basic geometry equations are indeed correct. No problems for the radius, I quickly found the known formula: $$R = ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do far away objects appear to move slowly in comparison to nearby objects?

When we are sitting in a moving train than nearby stationary objects appear to go backwards...in terms of physics we can use the formula velocity of object with respect ...
1
vote
2answers
275 views

Triple-right triangle experiment: what's the minimum distance?

Among the other ways, one way to prove the Earth is round is the triple-right triangle. The idea is simple: Starting from point A you move in a straight line for a certain distance. At point B, ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Did a racer on a “restless” course race at some particular average velocity? (1: Starting blocks, finish line moving uniformly wrt. each o.)

Consider two participants, $A$ and $B$ moving uniformly wrt. each other; first having approached each other, then having met and passed each other, and eventually having separated from each other such ...