Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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12
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3answers
591 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
375 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? ...
8
votes
6answers
483 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
48k 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
127 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
587 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
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
8k 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
260 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
193 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
3answers
389 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
172 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
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
141 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
1answer
177 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
91 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
2k 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
692 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 ...