Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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15
votes
8answers
851 views

Is it foolish to distinguish between covariant and contravariant vectors?

A vector space is a set whose elements satisfy certain axioms. Now there are physical entities that satisfy these properties, which may not be arrows. A co-ordinate transformation is linear map from a ...
13
votes
6answers
23k views

What is the physical significance of dot & cross product of vectors? Why is division not defined for vectors?

I get the physical significance of vector addition & subtraction. But I don't understand what do dot & cross products mean? More specifically, why is it that dot product of vectors ...
13
votes
3answers
675 views

Representing forces as one-forms

First of all, sorry if any of those things are silly or nonsense, I'm just trying to understand better how the concepts of forms, exterior derivative and so on can be used in physics. This question ...
1
vote
4answers
429 views

Vectors with more than 3 components

I have some confusion over Vectors, Its components and dimensions. Does the number of vector components mean that a vector is in that many dimensions? For e.g. $A$ vector with 4 components has 4 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Direction of Magnetic force from a current running through a coil of wire

What is the direction is the magnetic force vectors pointing from a coil of wire that has current running through it? ...
9
votes
6answers
549 views

In coordinate-free relativity, how do we define a vector?

Relativity can be developed without coordinates: Laurent 1994 (SR), Winitzski 2007 (GR). I would normally define a vector by its transformation properties: it's something whose components change ...
5
votes
3answers
488 views

Meaning of the direction of the cross product

I was doing calculations with torque and then I came across something very confusing: I understand that the magnitude of the torque is given by product of the displacement(from the center of ...
2
votes
1answer
155 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
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is current a scalar quantity?

Current has both magnitude and direction. As per the definition of vector defined in encyclopedia, current should be a vector quantity. But, we know that current is a scalar quantity. What is the ...
3
votes
3answers
52k views

Linear acceleration vs angular acceleration equation

I'm learning about angular velocity, momentum, etc. and how all the equations are parallel to linear equations such as velocity or momentum. However, I'm having trouble comparing angular acceleration ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Why consider only direction cosines?

Why are these called direction angles? Why do we consider only direction cosines and not direction sines or tans. What is its actual significance? And How to use them? Why are they called ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Vertical component of moving weight at a 45 degree angle

Here's an easier one. I use the leg press machine at the gym so I don't have to worrying about hurting myself while lifting heavier weight. The weight glides on a track that looks to be 45 degrees. ...
0
votes
2answers
604 views

Understanding weight on an inclined plane

I'm trying to solve a problem where I have an object resting on an inclined plane, with the angle of the plan being alpha, and the weight being w. I'm having trouble figuring out how I can calculate ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Uniqueness of Helmholtz decomposition?

Helmholtz theorem states that given a smooth vector field $\pmb{H}$, there are a scalar field $\phi$ and a vector field $\pmb{G}$ such that $$\pmb{H}=\pmb{\nabla} \phi +\pmb{\nabla} \times \pmb{G},$$ ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

How can area be a vector?

My professor told me recently that Area is a vector. A Google search gave me the following definition for a vector: Noun: A quantity having direction as well as magnitude, esp. as determining ...
6
votes
4answers
345 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
204 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
78 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, $V$, ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

A simple way of calculating Euler Angles from Rotation Matrix — help!

This is a follow up of this question : I have the rotation matrix $$ \left( \begin{matrix} a_{11} & a_{12} & a_{13}\\ a_{21} & a_{22} & a_{23}\\ a_{31} & a_{32} & ...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

How to calculate roll, yaw and pitch angles from 3D co-ordinates (Euler Angles)

I have digitized a video of a flying fly in a 3-dimensional space. At all instants I know the x, y, and z co-oridinates of the following points on the fly's body --- The points are my choice, and ...
2
votes
3answers
506 views

What is the general approach to calculating time of impact in 3D?

Given two objects a and b moving at fixed velocities, how would you determine (a) whether they will collide at all, and if so, (b) time of impact? (Let us assume these are spherical bodies each with ...
1
vote
2answers
198 views

Angular position vector?

I'm a mathematician, so I like my angular velocities to be vectors. It makes my angular momenta and torques vectors as well, and so they have nice operations I can do on them. Because of that, I pick ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

Spinor formalism in QFT

We can describe fields by two formalisms: vector and spinor. This is the result of possibility of representation of the Lorentz's group irreducible rep as straight cross product of two $SU(2)$ or two ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Angular displacement and the displacement vector

I've been recently introduced to angular displacement, and I'm a little bit confused about it. I think that displacement which is a vector and which is defined as the shortest distance between any two ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Determine the flow and amplitude equation for thermal energy (with Del operator)

It is a question vector calculus and Maxwell's laws. I put it this way. Let's say, we are working in a $3$-Dimensional space ( e.g $x\cdot y\cdot z = 4\cdot3\cdot2$, a certain room/class of that size ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

Applying the right-hand rule for magnetic forces

I am confused about the right-hand rule for the Lorentz force. I am using same method as Brightstorm.com is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK7hv4LX3ys But for some reason it does not match op with ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Confused on how to properly use right hand rule

I am having trouble using the right hand rule properly and often find myself putting my hand in awkward orientations. I know you point your hand in the direction of $r$ and then point your fingers in ...
0
votes
2answers
771 views

Vector Nature Of Angular Velocity

I am currently reading about angular position, angular velocity, and angular acceleration. I came across this paragraph that was particularly confusing, and was wondering if someone could perhaps help ...
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

Determine the number of days with North-East wind direction from the number of days with North and East wind direction? [closed]

I have some data like: Wind flow from north direction = “X” Numbers of days. Wind flow from east direction = “Y” Numbers of days. Then is there any formula to know numbers of days wind flows ...