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6
votes
4answers
659 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
votes
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
939 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 ...
10
votes
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
vote
0answers
119 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
votes
1answer
115 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
70 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
vote
1answer
598 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
votes
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
vote
2answers
301 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
1answer
133 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
22
votes
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
250 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
129 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
votes
3answers
486 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
votes
1answer
171 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
457 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
votes
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
votes
0answers
357 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
votes
4answers
1k 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
vote
2answers
534 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
votes
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_{\ ...