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2answers
349 views

What is the Riemann curvature tensor contracted with the metric tensor?

Can the Ricci curvature tensor be obtained by a 'double contraction' of the Riemann curvature tensor? For example $R_{\mu\nu}=g^{\sigma\rho}R_{\sigma\mu\rho\nu}$.
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3answers
382 views

Relativistic basic question - four vector, Lorentz matrix

I have heard relativistics only very compressed during my student time. Now I looked up the definitions again and a question comes into my mind: A contravariant vector is transformed like this: ...
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1answer
280 views

Covariant derivative with upper index

I just need clarification, that is, to see that I'm doing the right thing. When calculating central charge for certain metric, I need to solve an integral that contains Lie brackets etc. And I have ...
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3answers
3k views

Why is the covariant derivative of the metric tensor zero?

I've consulted several books for the explanation of why $$\nabla _{\mu}g_{\alpha \beta} = 0,$$ and hence derive the relation between metric tensor and affine connection $\Gamma ^{\sigma}_{\mu ...
2
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1answer
288 views

Tensor Introduction

I have recently started learning about tensors during my course on Special Relativity. I am struggling to gain an intuitive idea for invariant, contravariant and covariant quantities. In my book, ...
11
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2answers
823 views

Can any rank tensor be decomposed into symmetric and anti-symmetric parts?

I know that rank 2 tensors can be decomposed as such. But I would like to know if this is possible for any rank tensors?
2
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1answer
54 views

Testing covariance of an expression?

This is something I've been unsure of for a while but still don't quite get. How does one tell whether an expression (e.g. the Dirac equation) is covariant or not? I get it for a single tensor, but ...
0
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1answer
79 views

Writing a tensor with respect to a particular basis

When defining tensors as multilinear maps, I am having trouble understanding why a tensor, let's say of type (2,1), can be written in the following way: $$T = T^{\mu\nu}_{\rho} e_\mu \otimes e_\nu ...
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1answer
287 views

Tensors: relations between physics and linear algebra

In continuum mechanics we use finite deformation tensors to exprime deformations in a point. The 9 components of the tensor (in reality 6 because of its symmetry) are defined as $$ ...
6
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4answers
674 views

Are covariant vectors representable as row vectors and contravariant as column vectors

I would like to know what are the range of validity of the following statement: Covariant vectors are representable as row vectors. Contravariant vectors are representable as column vectors. ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What does the dual of a tensor mean (e.g. dual stress tensor in relativistic ED)?

I know what the dual of a vector means (as a map to its field), and I am also aware of of the definition a dual of a tensor as, $$F^{*ij} = \frac{1}{2} \epsilon^{ijkl} F_{kl}\tag{1}$$ I just don't ...
4
votes
1answer
947 views

Covariant derivative and Leibniz rule

I read the Wikipedia page about the covariant derivative, my main problem is in this part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covariant_derivative#Coordinate_description Some of the formulas seem to lead ...
12
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6answers
2k views

What is a tensor?

I have a pretty good knowledge of physics but couldn't understand what a tensor is. I just couldn't understand it, and the wiki page is very hard to understand as well. Can someone refer me to a good ...
1
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0answers
120 views

How to integrate twice of this viscous term?

I am reading a paper, and I do not understand why the author said the following term when integrated twice will become, $\int\limits_\Omega {{\rm{d}}\Omega {{\bf{\psi }}^{\bf{u}}}\cdot\nabla ...
0
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1answer
116 views

Positive Permutation Tensor

I have seen that one can make an operator with $$ L^i=\epsilon^{ijk}x_{j}\partial_{k} $$ But what if I want to make instead items that are sums, instead of differences. For instance ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

true three index tensors

is such a tensor, $T_{\alpha\beta\, \gamma}$, possible such that $$T_{\alpha\beta\, \gamma}=T_{\beta\alpha\, \gamma}=-T_{\alpha\gamma\, \beta}=-T_{\gamma\beta\, \alpha}$$ That is, symmetric under two ...
1
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1answer
634 views

metric signature explanation

Can anyone explain what metric signature is? I have a basic knowledge regarding tensors, btw. Also, how is it related to fundamental understanding of general relativity? Thanks.
0
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0answers
79 views

How do I write the energy of a constant, uniform 2D charge distribution?

Let's consider a 2D electromagnetic field defined in a square domain $[0,\Lambda]^2$, with periodic boundary conditions, with a constant charge distribution, uniform all over the aforementioned ...
1
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2answers
304 views

Question with Einstein notation

Let’s consider this equation for a scalar quantity $f$ as a function of a 3D vector $a$ as: $$ f(\vec a) = S_{ijkk} a_i a_j $$ where $S$ is a tensor of rank 4. Now, I’m not sure what to make of the ...
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1answer
2k views

Conversion of motion equation from Cartesian to Polar coordinates: Is covariant differentiation necessary?

I have earlier posted the same question here on math stackexchange but without any answer. As the question concerns tensors, I guess that I have come to the right ...
2
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1answer
134 views

Question from Schutz's

In q. 22 in page 141, I am asked to show that if $U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha} V^{\beta} = W^{\beta}$, then $U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha}V_{\beta}=W_{\beta}$. Here's what I have done: $V_{\beta}=g_{\beta ...
2
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1answer
137 views

Are there any clear and expressive plainword sense of metric tensor components?

Can the following groups of components of metric tensor can assigned a clear sense? https://docs.google.com/drawings/pub?id=1kVqkN1gT-a2fDy2S851l9iQKaMfaatCDo517OSZBHEo&w=467&h=228 I have ...
4
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1answer
77 views

Spatial and polarizing beam splitters in a graphical calculus

Suppose I have four wires, and I tensor product them together $A \otimes B \otimes C \otimes D$ I pass $A \otimes B$ through a spatial beam splitter $Spl: A \otimes B \rightarrow A^\prime \otimes ...
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4answers
5k views

Are matrices and second rank tensors the same thing?

Tensors are mathematical objects that are needed in physics to define certain quantities. I have a couple of questions regarding them that need to be clarified: 1-Are matrices and second rank tensors ...
2
votes
1answer
252 views

Is there symmetry in 2d stress tensor in linear elastic fracture mechanics?

Assumptions: Cross terms in strain tensor are defined as equal $\varepsilon_{xy} = \varepsilon_{yx}$. pure mode I crack. Far from crack tip, material is purely elastic and we are way below yield ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Torsion and gauge invariant EM kinetic term

Everytime I hear about adding torsion to GR, something struggles me: how do you create a kinetic term for the electromagnetic field that is still gauge-invariant? One of the consequences of torsion is ...
0
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3answers
500 views

Need some basic help with notation and the Christoffel symbols

Apologies in advance if some of the questions below seem overly simple. In an introductory GR book, I find the following expression for the autoparallel of the affine connection (the upper bound of ...
0
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1answer
175 views

Determine the tensor of contraint and deformation of a cube under compression

We have a cube under compression with dimension l1*l2*l3, is put between 2 rigid plates in the axis 1 (two plates block the deformation of the cube in thí axis), the cube is also put on a rigid plate, ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Irreducible tensors concept

This might be a little naive question, but I am having difficulty grasping the concept of irreducible tensors. Particularly, why do we decompose tensors into symmetric and anti-symmetric parts? I have ...
3
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2answers
464 views

What is the mathematical formulation for buckling?

Argument: Buckling is an engineering concept that can only be applied to thin columns with compressive loading. (Is it possible to) Prove the above sentence right or wrong with mathematical ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What is the covariant derivative in mathematician's language?

In mathematics, we talk about tangent vectors and cotangent vectors on a manifold at each point, and vector fields and cotangent vector fields (also known as differential one-forms). When we talk ...
3
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0answers
360 views

I lost a factor of two in the electromagnetic field tensor

I apologize for this simple question, but I lost a factor of 2 and can't find it anymore, so now I'm looking on the internet, perhaps one of you has some information about its whereabouts. :-) ...
14
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4answers
2k views

History of Electromagnetic Field Tensor

I'm curious to learn how people discovered that electric and magnetic fields could be nicely put into one simple tensor. It's clear that the tensor provides many beautiful simplifications to the ...
1
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2answers
536 views

What kind of invariants are proper time and proper length?

Under the Lorentz transformations, quantities are classed as four-vectors, Lorentz scalars etc depending upon how their measurement in one coordinate system transforms as a measurement in another ...
22
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4answers
4k views

What is the physical meaning of the connection and the curvature tensor?

Regarding general relativity: What is the physical meaning of the Christoffel symbol ($\Gamma^i_{\ jk}$)? What are the (preferably physical) differences between the Riemann curvature tensor ($R^i_{\ ...