Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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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 ...
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344 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 ...
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208 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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20k 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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229 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
482 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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242 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 $x$.
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152 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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101 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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276 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
156 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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235 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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119 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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403 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 ...
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1answer
262 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
37k 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. ...
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1answer
363 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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3answers
200 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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97 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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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
98 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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4k 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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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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693 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
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 ...
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404 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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104 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
75 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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1answer
300 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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100 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
21k 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
188 views

Deriving cross product from angular momentum algebra

Is it possible to derive: \begin{equation} \hat{L}=\hat{r}\times \hat{p} \end{equation} from the angular momentum algebra: \begin{equation} [\hat{L}_i,\hat{L}_j]=i\ \hbar\ \epsilon_{ijk}\hat{L}_k\ ? ...
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798 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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4answers
600 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
235 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
668 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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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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206 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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1answer
79 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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266 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
5k 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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2answers
150 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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4answers
7k views

What is the difference between dot and cross product?

What is the difference between dot product and cross product? Why do we use cross product to find torque, why can't we use dot product? Also we use dot product to find work done and not cross ...
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4answers
905 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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3answers
235 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
163 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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13k 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
429 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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317 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 ...