Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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100 views

Contradiction of a scalar product

Can anyone resolve this contradiction: ...
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1answer
59 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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17k 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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272 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
197 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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4answers
349 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 ...
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151 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 ...
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114 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 ...
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3answers
170 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 ...
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368 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
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1answer
241 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 ...
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1answer
33k views

How does force relate to velocity

I had originally asked this question on math overflow and it was suggested that I ask it here. So I know that a force will change the magnitude of velocity if it is at an angle other that 90 degrees. ...
3
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1answer
320 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 ...
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175 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 ...
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2answers
96 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
92 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 ...
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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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1k 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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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
383 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 ...
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2answers
91 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 ...
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1answer
71 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 ...
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685 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 ...
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1answer
224 views

Rolling a ball into a cone; what should the forces overall be?

This is my solution to finding angular displacement/velocity/acceleration on cone so far. Consider a cone, with an apex of half-angle $\psi$ pointing down, and a height of $h$. If I roll a ball into ...
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0answers
96 views

Sound - for purposes of vibration

What is the best way to distribute noise from more than one source (I'm envisioning a system with many), within a dome, with the ground as its primary target, at optimal frequencies and volumes to ...
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3answers
19k views

Uses of vectors in real life [closed]

I always wonder how vectors are used in real life.Vectors and decomposition of vectors,dot and cross products are taught in the early stage in every undergraduate physics course and in every ...
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3answers
719 views

The velocity formula $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for 1D, 2D, 3D . What is the difference?

Could I use $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for calculating velocity in these 3 different dimensions? If not, what's the difference between these 3 dimensions? How would you calculate ...
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2answers
132 views

Is a vector field not a vector quantity?

I'm trying to make sense of Poisson bracket relation $$\{L_i,A_k\}_{PB}~=~\epsilon_{ikl}A_l,\tag1$$ where $L_i$ is $i$th component of angular momentum, $A_k$ is $k$th component of an arbitrary ...
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4answers
459 views

Gradient is covariant or contravariant?

I read somewhere people write gradient in covariant form because of their proposes. I think gradient expanded in covariant basis $i$, $j$, $k$, so by invariance nature of vectors, component of ...
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3answers
224 views

Dimension of vector resulting from tensorial product

I'm quoting what I found in a book about quantum computation: Individual state spaces of $n$ particles combine quantum mechanically through the tensor product. If $X$ and $Y$ are vectors, then ...
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2answers
641 views

Nature of spacetime 4-vector and tangent space?

An entry level confusion about spacetime. I understand that a 4-vector describes a point or event in spacetime. But I've also read (Bertschinger, 1999) that re spacetime "we are discussing tangent ...
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2answers
194 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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70 views

Considering the theory of special relativity: Is torque still a vector?

Considering the theory of special relativity: Is torque still a vector? In classical mechanics it is easy: You have 3 axes and thus 3 planes. Every plane has its own torque so torque has 3 ...
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2answers
214 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
4k views

split gravitational force into x, y, and z componenets

I am writing a program for a computer science class in which I am doing an n-body simulation in 3-dimensional space. Currently, I have figured out the gravitational force along the hypotenuse between ...
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4answers
658 views

Sum of acceleration vectors

If a point mass has some accelerations $\mathbf{a_1} $ and $\mathbf{a_2} $, why is mathematically true that the "total" acceleration is $\mathbf{a}= \mathbf {a_1}+\mathbf {a_2}$?
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Derive vector gradient in spherical coordinates from first principles

Trying to understand where the $\frac{1}{r sin(\theta)}$ and $1/r$ bits come in the definition of gradient. I've derived the spherical unit vectors but now I don't understand how to transform ...
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3answers
168 views

How to visualize the gradient as a one-form?

I am reading Sean Carrol's book on General Relativity, and I just finished reading the proof that the gradient is a covariant vector or a one-form, but I am having a difficult time visualizing this. I ...
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1answer
151 views

What type of mathematical structure is a physicist's definition of a vector space?

A vector space as defined by a mathematician lacks the invariant scalar product that lies at the heart of what I would define as a physicist's definition of a vector space that models the physical ...
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3answers
11k views

Vertical and horizontal components of forces and vectors

I'm getting a bit confused when finding components of vectors and forces. In problems for vectors, I've always known that if you want to get the components of a vector, you would use the following: ...
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2answers
383 views

About vector form of friction

I read a text on mechanics and in the chapter on friction, there written that the kinetic friction is in the form $$f_k = \mu_k F_N$$ where $f_k$ is the kinetic friction, $\mu_k$ is the kinetic ...
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2answers
299 views

Coordinate transformation from earth to solar

I am building a 3d model of the solar system and need to figure out the position of the pole stars of each planet in order to tilt the planets in the correct direction the correct amount. I've already ...
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4answers
138 views

Normal Vectors to these Hypersurfaces on a Lorentzian Manifold

With respect to the coordinates $(x^{0},x^{1},x^{2},x^{3})=(v,r,\theta,\phi)$, we have the following components of the metric tensor: $\begin{bmatrix} g_{00} & g_{01} & g_{02} & ...
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2answers
112 views

How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ and $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$? [closed]

I'm French. I would like to know: How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ : "A scalar B" or "A dot B" ? How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$ : "A vectorial B", "A vector B", "A cross ...
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2answers
157 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 ...
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105 views

Reflection - reaction force direction

Let's say an object hits a wall. When the object is reflected does the direction of the reaction force caused on the wall look like the red arrow? Does that direction depend on how "strong" object is ...
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2answers
80 views

Orthogonality in curved space/spacetime

When are two vectors orthogonal in curved spacetime? From wikipedia: "In 2-D or higher-dimensional Euclidean space, two vectors are orthogonal if and only if their dot product is zero, i.e. they ...
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510 views

Why do smaller objects become harder to break?

When grabbing a typical tree branch of at least two feet, it's so easy to snap with a less than one inch circumference that even a toddler can do it. However, after breaking it, the smaller halves ...
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1answer
2k views

Which are other anomalies like Divergence of 1/r^2?

As one might have learned in the basic science (ex. Electrodynamic theory), when we apply the divergence theorem to the vector function like 1/r^2 with it pointing in the radial direction (like ...