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2
votes
1answer
355 views

Stress energy tensor and the covariant derivative of the 4-momentum

Another basic question. I have usually seen the stress energy tensor $T^{ij}$ described as the flow of the 4-momentum field $p^i$ along direction $x^j$ in spacetime with $p^0$ as energy and $x^0$ as ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Second Rank Tensors [duplicate]

I'm a little confused, for the twentieth time, on what tensors are. I thought they were a generalization of matrices-but then they have special transformation rules. I'm looking for a concise ...
6
votes
2answers
475 views

Tensor decomposition under $\mathrm{SU(3)}$

In Georgi's book (page 143), he calculates the tensor components of $3\otimes 8$ under the $\mathrm{SU(3)}$ explicitly using tensor components. Namely; $u^{i}$ (a $3$) times $v^{j}_k$ (an $8$, meaning ...
6
votes
2answers
537 views

Do Dirac Gamma Matrices act like Tensors?

Do Dirac Gamma Matrices act like Tensors? Is it true that $$ \gamma_\mu = \eta_{\mu\nu}\gamma^\nu~? $$ Also what about $\sigma_{\mu\nu}$, where $\sigma_{\mu\nu}$ is defined to be: \begin{align*} ...
0
votes
1answer
202 views

Stress-energy tensor explicitly in terms of the metric tensor

I am trying to write the Einstein field equations $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu} R=\frac{8\pi G}{c^4}T_{\mu\nu}$$ in such a way that the Ricci curvature tensor $R_{\mu\nu}$ and scalar curvature ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

Hypersurface Normal

Could anyone explain why $$n^{a}n_{a}=\pm1$$ where $n^{a}$ is the normal to the hypersurface
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Soft brehmsstrahlung classical computation

On page 177 in Peskin & Schroeder there is a derivation I have a hard time with. They write the current for a charge at rest as $$j^\mu = (1,0)^\mu e \delta(x). $$ I don't understand what the ...
4
votes
0answers
151 views

Lie derivative of a scalar and PDE

I am reading about differential geometry, and in particular the Lie derivative and its relation to (relativistic) hydrodynamics. In particular, I was wondering if, given two scalar functions ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Transformation of Electromagnetic Four-Tensor

I apologize if I am missing something obvious, but I am in my first class with tensors and I am still learning the notation. I am running into a problem with the transformation of the transformation ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

What is the difference between a skew-symmetric and an antisymmetric tensor?

What is the difference between a skew-symmetric and an anti-symmetric tensor? If they represent the same tensor, then why use different labeling.
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Inner products in relativity

In physics, the definition of a dot (inner) product is often between a vector (“contravariant vector”) and a covector (“covariant vector”). However, in mathematics, a dot product is always defined ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Why are these specific stress invariants chosen?

I've seen these invariants of the Cauchy stress tensor $S$ defined in multiple places: $$J_1 = \lambda_1+\lambda_2+\lambda_3 = Tr(S)$$ $$J_2 = \lambda_1^2+\lambda_2^2+\lambda_3^2$$ $$J_3 = ...
12
votes
4answers
494 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
55 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
352 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}+ ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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
263 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
349 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
206 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
1answer
108 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
104 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
731 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Derivation of normal shear stress

I am self-studying this note and I am stuck in the derivation of the normal shear stress. Specifically I can't see how the relations (23) and (24) come about. Specifically, what I don't understand is ...
0
votes
1answer
120 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
365 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
93 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
603 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
383 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
255 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

What does $|x⟩|0⟩$ actually mean in bra-ket notation?

Consider the following quote from Wikipedia's page on Shor's algorithm: Initialize the registers to $Q^{-1/2} \sum_{x=0}^{Q-1} \left|x\right\rangle \left|0\right\rangle$ where $x$ runs ...
9
votes
5answers
453 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
147 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
849 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
150 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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
172 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}, ...
1
vote
1answer
307 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
317 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
163 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
230 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
523 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?
8
votes
3answers
803 views

Covariant and contravariant vectors

Reading Weinberg's Gravitation and Cosmology, I came across the sentence (p.115, above equation (4.11.8)) The partial derivative operator $\partial/\partial x^\mu$ is a covariant vector, or in ...
2
votes
2answers
391 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
400 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
89 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
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
920 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
306 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
445 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: ...
2
votes
2answers
380 views

How are the Weyl & Riemann curvature tensors related to the stress energy tensor in GR?

Einstein's vacuum equations, that is without matter, allows the possibility of curvature without matter. For instance, we may consider gravitational waves. The question is: Is there some link ...