# Tagged Questions

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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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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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### $SU(3)$ 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Two Point Correlator

I have a problem to reproduce the following identity: \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 ) \...
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 ...