Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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209 views

Do $\vec r$ and $d \vec r$ have the same direction?

One question is bugging me for a long time but I couldn't make out anything nor could my friends. Here it goes: We know, $\vec r$ is regarded as the position vector. So we can say, $$\vec r \cdot\vec ...
4
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4answers
403 views

Why perpendicular vectors do not share components?

I just can picture it in my mind or on paper. Can someone explain it with examples? This is the key idea behind the uniform circular motion: if the force has a component in direction of the object's ...
4
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2answers
136 views

Sign of acceleration

I'm developing an application using accelerometer sensor. I'm not good at physics so forgive me if the question is trivial. If I have 3 values of acceleration: $x$, $y$, $z$, I find acceleration ...
4
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4answers
875 views

Why do physics students find vectors so difficult to deal with? [closed]

When I teach introductory physics to undergraduates, I find that although the classes are frequently split into "algebra-based" and "calculus-based" sections, the most difficult concept for any of ...
4
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3answers
459 views

Is it possible to have a non conservative vector field, such that the closed loop integral is $0$ for only some specific path(s)?

I was wondering whether there exists some non conservative field in which the closed loop integral over some specific path(s) is $0$, even if it's not $0$ for all the closed loop integrals. Or to put ...
4
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2answers
239 views

A whole lot of doubts on Lorentz representation

Can someone tell me in layman's language how the $(1/2,1/2)$ represents a vector field and $(0,1/2)$ or $(1/2,0)$ represents spinors and $(0,0)$ represents scalar field. Please don't be pedantic on ...
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2answers
494 views

Why the generators of boosts transform like a vector under rotation?

$$\left[J_i,J_j \right]=i\epsilon_{ijk}J_k$$ $$\left[J_i,M_j \right]=i\epsilon_{ijk}M_k$$ $$\left[M_i,M_j \right]=-i\epsilon_{ijk}J_k$$ where $J_i$ is the generator of rotation of Lorentz group, $M_i$ ...
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3answers
355 views

How to define pseudovector mathematically?

The textbook describes pseudovector like this: Let $a,b$ be vectors and $c=a\times b$, $P$ be the parity operator. Then $P(a)=-a,P(b)=-b$ by definition. But $P(c)=c$ since both $a$ and $b$ reverse ...
4
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1answer
473 views

Equivalent definitions of vectors

Equivalent definitions of vectors. In maths a vector is an object that obeys some axioms of a vector space. But in physics a vector can be thought as an object which is invariant under rotations of ...
4
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2answers
198 views

Vector potential

I have difficulty understanding the following vector calculus example. Text can be found here. It is the 5th Q&A -- starting with equation (31.1035).It concerns finding the vector potential of a ...
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2answers
86 views

What does $(\delta\vec{r}\cdot\nabla)^2$ mean in the derivation of the Lamb shift, and how do you find its expectation?

The Wikipedia page on the Lamb shift includes the following first steps: $$\Delta V = V\bigl(\vec{r}+\delta \vec{r}\bigr)-V(\vec{r})=\delta \vec{r} \cdot \nabla V (\vec{r}) + \frac{1}{2} \bigl(\delta ...
4
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1answer
108 views

Are fundamental forces always attractive/repulsive, i.e. parallel to the separation?

If magnetic monopoles existed it would not be the case - the forces on an electron and a magnetic monopole passing by each other would be at right angles to the vector connecting the two particles! ...
4
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1answer
95 views

Show that getting parallel transported does not change angle between them- Tensors [closed]

I must tell you that I have never seen this kind of question in Tensor Analysis. Our professor had set up this question in our exam, but I don't know whether it belongs to tensors or not. The question ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Can we add any two vectors?

Can we add any two vectors? If not, why is that so? I think this is not true, but I am not sure. My book says it is true, but I guess it is a misprint. For example, adding acceleration to velocity.
3
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3answers
261 views

Notation of vectors

It's very common to see $\text{F} = 30 \text{ N}$ when the problem is unidimensional. Yet, force is a vector. Shouldn't I write $|\overrightarrow{F}| = 30 \text{ N}$? Because if I write ...
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3answers
364 views

Relation between component and algebraic definition of covariant vectors

I studied contravariance and covariance concepts in following way: For any vector if we get its components by parallelogram way we achieve contravariant components, and if we want to get its ...
3
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3answers
366 views

How to distinguish 4D and 3D vectors in handwriting?

Usually vectors are denoted with bold font in printbooks and with arrows above in handwriting. In Thorn's e al. Gravitation, 4D vectors are denoted with bold and 3D vectors with bold italic. How to ...
3
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2answers
345 views

Importance of Kronecker product in quantum computation

To get product state of two states $|\phi \rangle$ and $|\psi \rangle$, we use Kronecker product $|\phi \rangle \otimes |\psi \rangle$. Instead of Kronecker product $\otimes$, can we use Cartesian ...
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3answers
37k views

Why work is a scalar and not a vector?

Work (in physics) is a scalar, but why? And why not a vector?
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4answers
716 views

How to determine which one would not be the resultant?

i had a physics exam yesterday, which was all in all pretty good except for this one question which i just don't get.: ...
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2answers
375 views

Lorentz algebra and its generators

I'm reading Maggiore's book A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory and I'm getting a bit confused when he writes about Lorentz algebra: $$K^i = J^{i0},$$ ...
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2answers
344 views

Position Representation in Quantum Mechanics

How does the 3d position operator look like in position representation? I know that in 1d the position operator $\hat{x}$ is just multiplication by $x$.
3
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2answers
241 views

“Vectors” (i.e. 1-tensors) their definition and motivation for relativity

I'm reading Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell (by Zee) and here he defines a vector as an object which is invariant under coordinate representation; concretely, if in one coordinate representation, $V$, ...
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1answer
111 views

Contradiction of a scalar product

Can anyone resolve this contradiction: ...
3
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1answer
64 views

On a horizontal plane, why does $F_N=W$?

I keep seeing this definition everywhere, but I don't understand. The forces of the weight and the normal force are going in opposite directions, so shouldn't $F_N=-W$?
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4answers
292 views

How to apply an algebraic operator expression to a ket found in Dirac's QM book?

I've been trying to learn quantum mechanics from a formal point of view, so I picked up Dirac's book. In the fourth edition, 33rd page, starting from this:$$\xi|\xi'\rangle=\xi'|\xi'\rangle$$ (Where ...
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2answers
183 views

The force of gravity is $F_g=+mg$ or $F_g=-mg$?

I have noticed that in my classical mechanics course and in the textbook I read for it, seem to ignore the gravitational force's position. For example, if we were dealing with a system with a ball of ...
3
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2answers
97 views

About reference frame in Newton's second law?

Classical physics models events occuring in the spacetime $\mathcal E\times \mathcal T$ where $\mathcal E$ is a dimension 3 euclidean point space and $\mathcal T$ is an interval of $(\mathbb R, ...
3
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1answer
60 views

Is time a vector in Minkowski space? [duplicate]

I am arguing about this topic with my school teacher in so long time, I want to finish this debate. My teacher's opinion is "Yes, Time is vector" because four-vector has $t$ component, and mine is ...
3
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3answers
172 views

4-velocities in different frames

We have an observer in an inertial frame $S$ who measures a particle's 4-velocity as $U$. We then have another inertial frame $S'$ with $X'=\Lambda{X}$, where $\Lambda$ is a matrix representing a ...
3
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5answers
480 views

Forces as vectors in Newtonian mechanics

I seem to be confused about the nature of forces as vectors, in the basic Newtonian mechanics framework. I know what a vector is as a mathematical object, an element of $R^3$. I understand that if a ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

What does relative to something mean?

I just started learning about vector components and relative motion. I don't understand what relative to something means. I looked online but none of the explanations are helpful. If someone could ...
3
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1answer
105 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
497 views

How is weight distributed when legs are astride?

Is there a simple and quick formula to find the weight (the force acting) on each leg, especially when legs are astride and they are not equally stretched? (or, better) not equally distant from the ...
3
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3answers
324 views

What is the relative velocity of this plane relative to the helicopter? [closed]

There is a plane moving 100 m/s due east relative to the ground without vertical motion. There is a helicopter facing north moving straight up at 20 m/s. From the perspective of the helicopter, is the ...
3
votes
1answer
472 views

What is the physical interpretation of the dot/inner/scalar product of two vectors?

What is the physical interpretation of the dot/inner/scalar product of two vectors? See, if we multiply two scalars like 2*3 we say two times three is six. I also do understand multiplication of ...
3
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2answers
104 views

Scattering geometry question

While reading up on light scattering I came across this slide: My vector maths is a bit rusty and I am having trouble understanding the last term (scattering geometry). What is the significance of ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of angular velocity in a rotating system

When you study the motion of a rigid body you have $\vec\omega$, the vector associated to angular velocity. In the case you are using Euler angles and want a quick formula for the rotational kinetic ...
3
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2answers
77 views

Heuristic explanation of the difference between vectors and scalars in physics

I'm trying to give a student a (physically) intuitive, heuristic explanation as to why certain quantities are vectors and others are scalars. Here is what I have come up with: Scalars are quantities ...
3
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3answers
166 views

Geometric definition of the Lorentz inner product

In Euclidean space one can define the dot product as projecting one vector to the other and multiply the length of the projected vector with the length of the other vector. This definition doesn't ...
3
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1answer
144 views

How does the Lorentz group act on a 4-vector in the spinor-helicity formalism $p_{\alpha\dot{\alpha}}$?

Given a 4-vector $p^\mu$ the Lorentz group acts on it in the vector representation: $$ \tag{1} p^\mu \longrightarrow (J_V[\Lambda])^\mu_{\,\,\nu} p^\nu\equiv \Lambda^\mu_{\,\,\nu} p^\nu. $$ However, I ...
3
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2answers
112 views

Why scalar function of vector can only depend on norm of vector?

In Field Quantization by Greiner and Reinhardt as well as The Qunatum Theory of Fields by Weinberg, concerning the spectral function, the authors say a scalar function of the four-vector $p^\mu$ can ...
3
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3answers
582 views

Why does the moment of force (aka. torque) depend on the perpendicular distance?

Couyld anyone explain how the lecturer concluded that $$(\underline{r_2} - \underline{r_1}) \times \underline{H} = \underline{p} \times \underline{H}$$
3
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4answers
662 views

More about the right hand rule?

We started learning about electromagnetism in physics class, and the Right Hand Rule comes in handy as seems easy to use, but I'm curious as to how it actually works. I guess it's more of a math ...
3
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2answers
6k views

Resultant of two forces acting in the same line

I'm quoting the definition of Resultant of two forces acting in the same line from the book "A FIRST COURSE IN PHYSICS" one of whose authors is Robert Andrews Millikan: The resultant of two forces ...
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2answers
2k views

Finding force vectors

A tugboat tows a ship at a constant velocity. The tow harness consists of a single tow cable attached to the tugboat at point $A$ that splits at point $B$ and attaches to the ship at points $C$ and ...
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3answers
732 views

How do I meaningfully divide by a vector?

How long does it take a baseball with velocity $(30, 20, 25) m/s$ to travel from location $r_1 = (3, 7,−9) m$ to location $r_2 = (18, 17, 3.5)m$? I am thinking that it should be the ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Electric field a distance $z$ above the center of a circular loop. The Hard way [closed]

Problem 2.5: Find the electric field a distance $z$ above the center of a circular loop of radius $r$ which carries a uniform line charge $\lambda$. This problem is in refereced here (with ...
3
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1answer
462 views

Why can we use just one angular velocity vector to describe the rotation of a whole non-inertial reference frame?

The other day in class the professor was explaining non-inertial reference frames. We were working out how to find the acceleration of a point as measured from the non-inertial reference frame, and ...
3
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2answers
146 views

Why is the “complete metric space” property of Hilbert spaces needed in quantum mechanics?

I have been learning more about Hilbert spaces in an effort to better understand quantum mechanics. Most of the properties of Hilbert spaces seem useful (e.g. vector space, inner product, complex ...