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12
votes
4answers
452 views

Is the concept of tensor rank useful in physics?

The term 'tensor rank' is sporadically used in the mathematical literature to denote the minimum number of simple terms (i.e. tensor products of vectors) needed to express the tensor. This is ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Contracting Indices in General relativity [duplicate]

I was reading a book about general relativity and I came across these two equations $$ \begin{align} \mathrm{g}^{\mu\nu}_{,\rho}+ \mathrm{g}^{\sigma\nu}{\Gamma}^{\mu}_{\sigma\rho}+ ...
9
votes
1answer
311 views

Contracting Indices

Does anyone know how to get from (1) to (2) in the system $$ \begin{align} \mathrm{g}^{\mu\nu}_{,\rho}+ \mathrm{g}^{\sigma\nu}{{\Gamma}}^{\mu}_{\sigma\rho}+ ...
1
vote
1answer
380 views

Proving Lorentz invariance of Maxwell equations

I've read somewhere that one does not need to prove Lorentz invariance of the Maxwell equations $F_{\mu\nu,\sigma}+F_{\nu\sigma,\mu}+F_{\sigma\mu,\nu}=0$ because it is "manifestly Lorentz invariant" ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Rank $L$ spherical harmonic tensor as a $2L+1$ dimensional Cartesian vector?

Rank two Cartesian tensors can be decomposed into $L=0,1,2$ spin like things 3x3=1+3+5. But the second equation below does not transform like a "tensor", it looks more like a vector transform in ...
4
votes
1answer
208 views

Interpretation of rank 2 spinors

While inspecting the $(\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2})$ representation of the Lorentz group and defining a right-handed spinor with upper dotted index and a left-handed spinor with lower undotted index and ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Recovering 4-vector Lorentz transformation from spinor formalism

I'm trying to recover the 4-vector transformation laws using spinors. I have defined $$v^{\dot{a}b} = v^{\nu} \sigma_{\nu}^{\dot{a}b}$$ as usual, with $\sigma_0=1$. Now with the rules for dotted ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

The inertia tensor is “global”, how do I make it local?

A solid cuboid has the following moment of inertia: $$I= \begin{pmatrix} \frac{1}{12}h^2+d^2 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & \frac{1}{12}w^2+d^2 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & \frac{1}{12}w^2+h^2 ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Physical interpretation of $Q^i = \partial _\nu T^{i \nu}$

I'm trouble with exercise 1.8 of Carroll's Space-Time and Geometry: If $\partial_\nu T^{\mu \nu} = Q^\mu$, what physically does the spatial vector $Q^i$ represent? Use the dust energy momentum ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

What does this summation mean in relativity?

Equation 1.2 of 't Hooft's Introduction to General Relativity gives the Lorentz transformations: $$ (x^\mu)' = \sum\limits_{\nu = 1}^4 {L^\mu}_\nu x^\nu $$ Is this the sum of four square matrices ...
4
votes
2answers
368 views

Understanding the difference between co- and contra-variant vectors

I am looking at the 4-vector treatment of special relativity, but I have had no formal training in Tensor algebra and thus am having difficulty understanding some of the concepts which appear. One ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Quantum Mechanics mistake in partial trace

I have a given a density matrix by $\rho:=\frac{1}{2} |\psi_1 \rangle \langle \psi_1|+\frac{1}{8} |\psi_2 \rangle \langle \psi_2|+\frac{3}{8} |\psi_3 \rangle \langle \psi_3|.$ Where $|\psi_1\rangle ...
1
vote
2answers
182 views

How to prove the raising/lowering indices operation?

I've read this related question, though it didn't satisfy me; I hope this complements it. I know that if I contract a covariant tensor ${A_{\alpha\beta}}$ with a vector ${B^\beta}$, I get some other ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Quark space tensor product Vs Angular momentum space tensor product

For two triplet angular momenta states, say $J=1$ and $I=1$, if we wanna look at it in the coupled basis $F=I+J$, we use the regular Angular Momentum rules: $$|I-J|\leq F\leq I+J,$$ and from that ...
6
votes
4answers
345 views

Is the covariance or contravariance of vectors/tensors something that can be “visualized”?

I'm taking an undergrad GR course, and our text (Lambourne) mentions covariant and contravariant vectors and tensors ad-nauseum, but never really gives a formal definition for what they are, and how ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

The signature of the metric and the definition of the electromagnetic tensor

I've read the definition of the electromagnetic field tensor to be ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Electrooptic Tensor, Relating Tensors to Orientations

So I'm trying to gain a better understanding of electrooptic tensors: An example of a quartz electrooptic tensor is given. I know in order to best implement this crystal, in order to get the highest ...
9
votes
5answers
337 views

Motivation for tensor product in Physics

This question is about a mathematical object (the tensor product) but thinking about the motivation that comes from Physics. Algebraists motivate the tensor product like that: "given $k$ vector spaces ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Are there cases in which we should consider tensors as equivalence classes?

Usually in texts about Physics that uses tensors defines them as multilinear maps. So if $V$ is a vector space over the field $F$, a tensor is a multilinear mapping: $$T:V\times\cdots\times V\times ...
2
votes
1answer
450 views

Deriving an equation involving Killing vectors

I'm currently studying Carroll's GR book Spacetime & Geometry, and ran into some trouble understanding the text. When discussing Killing vectors, Carroll mentions that one can derive ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Tensor contra- and covariance concept

Imagine we have $p$-contravariant and $q$-covariant tensor, such that $$ t~=~t^{i_1, \dots, i_p} _{j_1, \dots, j_q} e_{i_1}\otimes \dots \otimes e_{i_p} \otimes e^{j_1} \otimes \dots \otimes ...
4
votes
2answers
642 views

What's the idea behind the Riemann curvature tensor?

The Riemann curvature tensor can be expressed using the Christoffel symbols like this: $R^m{}_{jkl} = \partial_k\Gamma^m{}_{lj} - \partial_l\Gamma^m{}_{kj} + \Gamma^m{}_{ki}\Gamma^i{}_{lj} ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Spin tensor and Lorentz group operator in bispinor case

For infinisesimal bispinor transformations we have $$ \delta \Psi = \frac{1}{2}\omega^{\mu \nu}\eta_{\mu \nu}\Psi , \quad \delta \bar {\Psi} = -\frac{1}{2}\omega^{\mu \nu}\bar {\Psi}\eta_{\mu \nu}, ...
0
votes
1answer
178 views

Density matrix and irreducible tensor operators

I'm reading those lecture notes on atomic physics. Yesterday I posed a question on reducible tensors, and today I have a question on their relation to the density matrix. If there's any information ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Riemann tensor notation and Christoffel symbol notation

In paper by Barnich and Brandt Covariant theory of asymptotic symmetries, conservation laws and central charges they defined the Riemann tensor like this: $$R_{\rho\mu\nu}^{\quad \ \ ...
2
votes
3answers
131 views

What does “transform among themselves” mean?

I'm reading a script on atomic physics, and there's a chapter on irreducible tensors. I can't understand the meaning of "transform among themselves" in this context: An arbitrary rotation of the ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Transformation rule of a partial derivative

We know the following transformation rule: $$ \partial'_b = \frac{\partial}{\partial x'^b} = \frac{\partial x^c}{\partial x'^b} \, \frac{\partial}{\partial x^c} = \frac{\partial x^c}{\partial x'^b} ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

Notation for anti-symmetric part of a tensor

I know that $A_{[a} B_{b]} = \frac{1}{2!}(A_{a}B_{b} - A_{b}B_{a})$ But how can write $E_{[a} F_{bc]}$ like the above? Can you provide a reference where this notational matter is discussed?
2
votes
1answer
266 views

Weight of a tensor density

Is there any freedom in choosing the weight of a tensor density? I have seen in some papers that they introduce a tensor density made from metric with a special weight. There is a tensor density with ...
16
votes
2answers
371 views

In relativity, can/should every measurement be reduced to measuring a scalar?

Different authors seem to attach different levels of importance to keeping track of the exact tensor valences of various physical quantities. In the strict-Catholic-school-nun camp, we have Burke ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Direct sum of the spinors and EM field tensor

EM field tensor refer to the direct sum of $(1, 0), (0, 1)$ spinor representation of the Lorentz group. How to show it? Each of these spinor representations corresponds to the symmetrical spinor ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Riemann tensor in 2d and 3d

Ok so I seem to be missing something here. I know that the number of independent coefficients of the Riemann tensor is $\frac{1}{12} n^2 (n^2-1)$, which means in 2d it's 1 (i.e. Riemann tensor given ...
3
votes
2answers
418 views

Coordinate Transformation of Scalar Fields in QFT

By definition scalar fields are independent of coordinate system, thus I would expect a scalar field $\psi [x]$ would not change under the transformation $x^\mu \to x^\mu + \epsilon^\mu $. Correct? ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

How would one show that a nonabelian field strength tensor transforms in a certain way under a local gauge transformation?

How would one show that the nonabelian ${F_{\mu\nu}}$ field strength tensor transforms as ${F_{\mu\nu}\to F_{\mu\nu}^{\prime}=UF_{\mu\nu}U^{-1}}$ under a local gauge transformation? Rather than going ...
1
vote
2answers
235 views

How do you show from the index notation that the change of frame formula for a metric must involve the transpose?

Let $x^\mu$ and $x^{'\mu}$ be two coordinate systems related by $$dx^{'\mu}~=~S^\mu{}_\nu~ dx^\mu.$$ In index notation the metric in both systems are related by: ...
1
vote
1answer
206 views

Weyl & Riemann curvature tensors and gravitational “physical” quantities in Einstein vacuum equations

If we look at the Einstein vacuum equations, that is without matter (there is the possibility or curvature without matter), for instance we may consider gravitational waves. The question is: Is there ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

S. Weinberg, “The Quantum theory of fields: Foundations” (1995), Eq. 2.4.8

Unfortunately I'm struggling to understand how do we get eq. (2.4.8) from eq. (2.4.7), p. 60; namely how $(\Lambda \omega \Lambda^{-1} a)_\mu P^\mu$ is transformed into ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Type/Valence of the stress tensor

In classical continuum mechanics, the stress tensor is said to be of type/valence (1,1) and I do not see why. If I am correct, its maps a vector $n$ defined in $\mathbb{R}^3$ (which is the normal to ...
10
votes
2answers
409 views

Introduction to spinors in physics, and their relation to representations

First, I shall say that I am familiar with the intuitive idea that a spinor is like a vector (or tensor) that only transforms "up to a sign" when acted on by the rotation group. I have even rotated a ...
1
vote
1answer
272 views

Interpretation of the off-diagonal terms of the conductivity tensor

Say we have the electrical conductivity tensor expressed as a 3x3 matrix. I've seen that if it's cubic material then the conductivity tensor reduces to just the diagonal terms and these are equal, ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

How to calculate independent componets of tensor for crystal symmetry?

I have a question as title says. For a formula $j_i = \beta_{ijl} e_j e_l^*$, where $i$, $j$, $k$ are coordinate and $\beta_{ijk}$ is the tensor, if I know the tensor should be satisfied for crystal ...
1
vote
0answers
232 views

Eigenvalues of the square of Pauli-Lubanski operator

Let's have Pauli-Lunanski 4-operator: $$ \hat {W}^{\nu} = \frac{1}{2}\varepsilon^{\nu \alpha \beta \gamma}\hat {J}_{\alpha \beta}\hat {P}_{\gamma}, $$ which easy transforms to $$ \hat {W}^{\nu} = ...
-1
votes
1answer
215 views

Metric tensor in General Relativity or otherwise [closed]

What is the metric tensor? How can this be a covariant and contravariant tensor, or a mixed tensor, by raising and lowering indices? How it relates to distance function (metric) and angles? How ...
18
votes
6answers
787 views

Tensor Operators

Motivation. I was recently reviewing the section 3.10 in Sakurai's quantum mechanics in which he discusses tensor operators, and I was left desiring a more mathematically general/precise discussion. ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Tensors in general relativity

This is a question on the nitty-gritty bits of general relativity. Would anybody mind teaching me how to work these indices? Definitions: Throughout the following, repeated indices are to be summed ...
4
votes
2answers
366 views

Irreducible Representations of SO(n) tensors

My interest is purely in $\text{SO}(n)$ tensors and how one works out their irrep decomposition. For instance, for rank 2 tensors we simply split into an antisymmetric part, a traceless symmetric part ...
4
votes
1answer
325 views

Irreducible decomposition of higher order tensors

I am familiar with the notion of irreps. My question refers simply to tensor representations (not tensor products of representations) and how can we decompose them into irreducible parts? For example, ...
2
votes
0answers
337 views

The connection between classical and quantum spins

I have two questions, which are connected with each other. The first question. In a classical relativistic (SRT) case for one particle can be defined (in a reason of "antisymmetric" nature of ...
3
votes
2answers
307 views

Tensor Product of Hilbert spaces

This question is regarding a definition of Tensor product of Hilbert spaces that I found in Wald's book on QFT in curved space time. Let's first get some notation straight. Let $(V,+,*)$ denote a set ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

Center of a mass of a hemisphere [closed]

How can I show that position vector of the center of a mass of a hemisphere is $(0,0,\frac{3a}{8})$ where $a$ is radius of a hemisphere, $x$ and $y$ axis are laying on the base and $z$-axis is ...