Tensor calculus (tensor analysis) is a systematic extension of vector calculus to multivector and tensor fields in a form that is independent of the choice of coordinates on the relevant manifold, but which accounts for respective sub-spaces, their symmetries, and their connections.

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Tensor indices and row and column labels of corresponding representation matrices

When reading undergraduate GR literature, I often see that the authors represent tensors ${\eta^\alpha}_{\beta}$, ${\eta^\beta}_{\alpha}$, $\eta_{\alpha \beta}$, $\eta^{\alpha \beta}$ as matrices. ...
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To prove uniqueness of Rotation Tensor [closed]

How can you prove that a rotation tensor which rotates some given vector is a unique tensor? Let's say we have a vector 'a' and we take a tensor product of that vector with some tensor 'Z' such that: ...
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345 views

How should Christoffel symbols be written (in LaTeX)? [closed]

I'm writing a summary of a lecture on relativity, and we've recently introduced the Christoffel symbols. It seems that the upstairs indices are the "leftmost" and the downstairs indices are somewhat ...
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What is the metric tensor for?

I am wondering how to use the metric tensor, in practice? I read the book and done the exercises in A student's guide to vectors and tensors by Dan Fleisch. The concept of a tensor and their ...
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167 views

Repeated index in covariant derivative using abstract index notation

The same index showing up twice in the charge conservation law $\nabla_a j^a = 0$, as stated using abstract index notation, highly confuses me. If we chose a coordinate basis $\{\partial_\rho\}_{\...
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187 views

Invariant tensors in a general representation and their physical meaning

I'm trying to use tensor methods to find invariant elements of representations. Specifically I'm looking at representations of $SU(5)$. I can show that the invariant element in $5\otimes\bar{5}$ (or ...
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66 views

Is an event formally a 4-vector? [duplicate]

An event is a 4D point in spacetime. At every point in spacetime there is a tangent space. 4-vectors live in the tangent space. One can contract two events using a metric tensor. Is there a process ...
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70 views

Variation of a tensor

Let a change of coordinates be given by $x^{\mu}\to x^{\mu '}=x^{\mu}+\varepsilon \xi^{\mu}(x)$ with epsilon a small quantity. Given a tensor $T$ we define $\delta T:=T'(x)-T(x)$. I guess this means $...
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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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68 views

Cauchy stress tensor in different coordinate system

The general form of the cauchy stress tensor is given by the dyadic decomposition $$\boldsymbol \sigma = \sigma_{ij}\,\,\mathbf{e}_i \otimes \mathbf{e}_j$$ I want to know how this can be expanded in ...
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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 = U^0V^...
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Cauchy stress tensor for a spherically symmetric problem [closed]

Given a sperically symmetric problem, I am asked to show that its Cauchy stress tensor, in spherical coordinates will assume the form: $${\overline{\overline{\sigma}}}=\sigma_{RR}(r)\overline{e_r}\...
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144 views

What exactly does the Kretschmann scalar implies and how does it work?

From the General Relativity class lectures I understood that this particular invariant, the Kretschmann scalar namely $$R_{\mu\nu\lambda\rho} R^{\mu\nu\lambda\rho}$$ is really important because, ...
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84 views

How can I prove that for a Killing vector $\nabla^a \nabla_a \xi^\mu = -R^b_a \xi^a$? [closed]

I'm taking a course on General Relativity and I'm trying to prove that for a Killing vector field $\xi^\mu$ the following equation holds: $$\nabla^a \nabla_a \xi^\mu = -R^\mu_a \xi^a$$ Where $R_ab$ ...
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71 views

What is the significance of 'energy ellipsoid'?

Well, today I was reading Tensors by Feynman in his lectures, where he introduced the concept of 'energy ellipsoid'. This is the following excerpt: [...] the polarization tensor can be measured ...
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83 views

Gradient of vector dot tensor dot vector [closed]

Im new to tensor notation. How would one take the gradient of the expression below? $$\nabla (\vec{r}\dot{}A\dot{}\vec{r})$$ $A$ is a 3 by 3 symmetric tensor independent of $\vec{r}$.
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105 views

Why is not the D'Alembert operator a scalar?

I am taking a course on classical electrodynamics and my professor has defined the D'Alembert operator to me as: $$\square=\eta^{\mu \nu} \partial_{\mu} \partial_{\nu}$$ I have been operating using ...
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How do I decide when to use raised/lowered indices when calculating the amplitude of a Feynman diagram?

I am learning the Feynman rules for QCD. The book I am reading tells me that gluon propagators contribute a factor of $$\frac{-ig_{\mu\nu}\delta^{\alpha\beta}}{q^2}$$ However, in one of the ...
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How is the Von Mises stress used in 1D or 2D?

The Von Mises Stress is given by: $\sigma_{VM} = \sqrt{\frac{3}{2}\boldsymbol{\sigma}^{'}:\boldsymbol{\sigma}^{'}}$ My understanding is that the $\frac{3}{2}$ is included to ensure that the von mises ...
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111 views

What is the difference between scalar and vector mesons?

My understanding is that vectors and pseudooscalars change sign under parity operation and pseudovectors and scalars do not. However, I don't understand what the difference between a vector and ...
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67 views

Possible inconsistency of mixed index tensor notation

I am posting this here, because in my experience, this sort of thing exists in physics-related works only. Given a local frame $\{e_{(i)}\}$ on some $n$-dimensional manifold $M$, and given a local ...
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physical meaning of major symmetry of the stiffness tensor

What happens if a stiffness tensor does not have the "major symmetry" $C_{ijkl}=C_{klij}$? Background: In linear elasticity (generalising Hooke's law from a spring to a continuous medium), the ...
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65 views

Notation: tetrad indices

I am trying to understand the meaning of upper and lower indices as used in the Newman-Penrose formalism. The tetrad is $\lbrace l^{a},n^{a},m^{a},\overline{m}^{a}\rbrace$, where the upper index ...
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214 views

Riemann tensor with 2nd and last indice the same will vanish?

I calculated that Riemann tensors are antisymmetric with respect to 2nd and last indice,as the symmetry properities of $R_{\rho\nu\sigma\mu}$ goes. $$R^{\omega}_{\ \ \ \nu\sigma\mu}=g^{\rho\omega}R_{\...
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Is it right to write $\varepsilon_{ijk} \delta_{jl}=\varepsilon_{ilk}$? (indices notation)

Consider the $l$ component of vector position $\vec{r}$, $r_l$, and the $i$ component of angular momentum $\vec{L}$, $L_i$. We have that $$L_i=[r\times p]_{i}=\varepsilon_{ijk}r_jp_k$$ $\...
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Show that $R_{\mu\nu}=C g_{\mu\nu}$ from the vacuum Einstein equation with a nonzero $\Lambda$ [closed]

If I begin with the vacuum field equation with a nonzero cosmological constant: $$R_{\mu\nu}-\dfrac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu}R+g_{\mu\nu}\Lambda=0$$ How can I show that $$R_{\mu\nu}= \frac{\Lambda}{\frac{D}{...
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138 views

$SU(3)$ Tensor Methods in a Tetraquark

I am trying to understand the Georgi chapter of tensor methods in $SU(3)$ representations, and I don't know how to resolve the tensor product of 2 matrices in a 2 heavy quark + 2 light antiquark ...
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1answer
85 views

relativistic addition of velocities using tensor notation? [closed]

I know the way of deriving the formula using usual lorentz transformation formulas,,but is there a way out of deriving it using 4-vector notation??please help
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Differentiation of functions defined of invertible matrices

Let $f:GL(n,\mathbb{R}) \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$. I would like to compute the directional derivative of this function. An example of one such function would be $\det(A)$, $A \in GL(n,R)$. Can I use the ...
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125 views

Tensor decomposition

I came across what a Physicist called "decomposing a tensor with respect to a congruence", something I simply cannot grasp. I searched a lot and I couldn't find any reference on that. I know that "...
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Tensor product of spin states

I just wanted to check that I carried out this problem correctly. I got the correct answer, but I'm not sure if what I did to get it is completely correct. This is from the second part of problem 3.4 ...
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Irreducible representations of $SU(2)$, Tensor-operators under rotations

First of all: this is my first question so please give feedback to the way I'm formulating the question! The question is about an exercise I have to solve, but I simply get nowhere. It is given the ...
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311 views

Commutation of vector operators

I'm supposed to show that $\left[\mathbf A,\mathbf B\right]=0$ (for two vector operators $\mathbf A$ and $\mathbf B$) if and only if all components of $\mathbf A$ commute with all components of $\...
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119 views

Does $g_{\mu\mu}$ in an expression follow the Einstein summation convention?

Assume that I have the expression for a Christoffel symbol: $$ \Gamma^\mu_{\alpha \beta}=\frac{1}{2}g^{\mu \lambda}(\partial_\alpha g_{\beta \lambda}+\partial_\beta g_{\alpha \lambda} - \partial_\...
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I have problem understanding the direction of the shear stress [duplicate]

Is it in the direction of the velocity ? If it is, can anybody describe it somehow that matches my physical feeling? How the shear stress affects another layer of fluid ? I faced a question ...
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Constructing Killing tensors from Killing vectors

Background: After reading about Carter constant and symmetries in GR, I became interested in Killing tensors. I tried reading this paper by Alan Barnes, Brian Edgar and Raffaele Rani, discussing ...
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Explicit calculation using metric tensor

I'm trying to calculate the following quantity: $$S_{\bar{\alpha} \bar{\beta}} \equiv \left( \Lambda^{-1} \right)^\alpha_{ \ \bar{\alpha}} \left( \Lambda^{-1} \right)^\beta_{ \ \bar{\beta}} \eta_{\...
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Does the definition of tensor include basis?

From my understanding, a vector is a geometric object, which can be expressed as $$ v = v_i e^i $$ where $v_i$ and $e^i$ are components and basis, respectively. It seems to me that many people, e.g. ...
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Tensor product postulate [duplicate]

Non relativistic quantum mechanics assumes that a composite system should be described with the tensor product of the component systems. This is the tensor product postulate of quantum mechanics. I ...
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2answers
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Interference of two non-entangled photons, calculation using tensor product of Hilbert spaces

I'm trying to calculate the interference of two non-entangled photons, like in a double-slit experiment with two photon sources, one behind each slit (follow-up on this question). The individual ...
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Interference between two photons, tensor product of individual wave functions?

I have learned that the wave function cannot be visualized as a real physical wave like for example the EM field, because for multi-particle systems, it is not a wave in $\mathbb{R}^3$ but in $\mathbb{...
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LinAlg based physics textbooks [duplicate]

I'm in my second year studying physics, and ever since I took LinAlg, I've been noticing LinAlg-related concepts pop up all over the place, but it has never been presented directly as matrices, bases, ...
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272 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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77 views

Two Point Correlator

I have a problem to reproduce the following identity: \begin{equation} \Pi_{\mu\nu}(q^2) = i \int d^Dx e^{iqx} \langle 0 | T \{j_\mu(x) j_\nu(0) \} | 0 \rangle = (q_\mu q_\nu - g_{\mu\nu} q^2 ) \...
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Lowering/raising metric indexes

So, I was chatting with a friend and we noticed something that might be very, very, very stupid, but I found it at least intriguing. Consider Minkowski spacetime. The trace of a matrix $A$ can be ...
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Transformation of Christoffel symbols [closed]

Friends I have little problem with transformations:) In General relativity is Christoffel symbol of second kind defined as: $$ \Gamma^{l}_{ij}=g^{lk}\left(\frac{\partial g_{ki}}{\partial x^{j}}+\...
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From tensor seen as linear maps on vector spaces to index contraction

I am considering a second-order tensor $\mathbf T$ seen as a linear maps on vector spaces, acting on a vector $\mathbf v$ to create a new vector $\mathbf u$, thus, $\mathbf u= \mathbf{T}(\mathbf{v})$. ...
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332 views

What is a Christoffel symbol?

What is a Christoffel symbol? I often see that Christoffel symbols describe gravitational field and at other times that they describe gravitational accelerations. Then, on some blogs and forums, ...
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300 views

What exactly is $T_{\mu\nu}$?

Continuous matter is described in special relativity by the matter tensor which is the so-called stress-energy-momentum tensor. I am finding a difficulty understanding how a tensorial tool (...
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How do you solve for flux density when you are given the E(x,y,z) and relative permittivity as a tensor?

This given material is not isotropic therefore the relative permittivity is represented as a tensor given by the matrix: $$\left(\begin{matrix} 3 & 1 & 2 \\ 2 & 3 & 3 \\ 2 & 2 &...