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3
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

The Spin Connection

Why do we need to introduce the spin connection coefficients $\omega_{\mu \space \space b}^{\space \space a} $ in General Relativity? To me, they just look (mathematically) like the Christoffel ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

Viscosity tensor in Navier-Stokes equation?

In my Hydrodynamics notes the viscosity term in the Navier-Stokes equation is of the form: $$ \nabla\cdot(\underline{\underline{h}}\cdot\nabla)\mathbf{u} $$ where $\underline{\underline{h}}$ is the ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Stress tensor in product of 2D CFTs

I was struggling with a question, hoping someone could point me in the right direction. I'm interested in 2D CFTs on a cylinder. I want to take the tensor product of two CFTs. My questions are these: ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Covariant derivative of a vanishing tensor component [closed]

Is the covariant derivative of a vanishing tensor component necessarily zero?
9
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
401 views

What are the local covariant tensors one can form from the metric?

Normally in differential geometry, we assume that the only way to produce a tensorial quantity by differentiation is to (1) start with a tensor, and then (2) apply a covariant derivative (not a plain ...
4
votes
0answers
89 views

Tensor fields and vector bundles [migrated]

Let $M$ be a differentiable manifold, $TM$ and $T^*M$ a tangent and cotangent bundle of $M$ and let $\Gamma (TM),\ \Gamma (T^*M)$ be spaces of smooth sections of $TM$ and $T^*M$. Let $T_s^r (M)$ ...
0
votes
2answers
62 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 = ...
6
votes
0answers
67 views

What is the intepretation of the electromagnetic tensor?

Let $A$ be the four-potential, then we know that we can form the electromagnetic tensor as $F=dA$. This is usually done as a way to have a better writing of Maxwell's equations. So, to simplify the ...
8
votes
5answers
307 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

Einstein frame vs. Matter frame

What is the difference between Einstein frame and Matter frame in General Relativity? -A brief comment on each could be useful too. These two frames were used in this manuscript ...
2
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
426 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
1answer
74 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
176 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
269 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*} ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Hypersurface Normal

Could anyone explain why $$n^{a}n_{a}=\pm1$$ where $n^{a}$ is the normal to the hypersurface
0
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
37 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
80 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
78 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
1answer
42 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
298 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
2answers
103 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
52 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}+ ...
1
vote
1answer
168 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
95 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
135 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
32 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
89 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
94 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between a spinor and a vector or a tensor?

Why do we call a 1/2 spin particle satisfying the Dirac equation a spinor, and not a vector or a tensor?
0
votes
1answer
93 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
143 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
253 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
61 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Mathematically, what is color charge?

A similar question was asked here, but the answer didn't address the following, at least not in a way that I could understand. Electric charge is simple - it's just a real scalar quantity. Ignoring ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views
0
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
715 views

Why do Maxwell's equations contain each of a scalar, vector, pseudovector and pseudoscalar equation?

Maxwell's equations, in differential form, are $$\left\{\begin{align} \vec\nabla\cdot\vec{E}&=~\rho/\epsilon_0,\\ \vec\nabla\times\vec B~&=~\mu_0\vec J+\epsilon_0\mu_0\frac{\partial\vec ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the physical significance of the off-diagonal moment of inertia matrix elements?

The tensor of moment of inertia contains six off-diagonal matrix elements, which vanishes if we choose the principle axis of the rotating rigid body and the components of the angular momentum vector ...
2
votes
1answer
346 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
108 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
1answer
268 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
454 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} ...
18
votes
5answers
675 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. ...