# Questions tagged [covariance]

How a quantity behaves under a change of basis vectors. This tag covers relativistic covariance, as well as contravariant and covariant tensors not necessarily in the context of relativity. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for statistical covariance.

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### Momentum operator in QM - scalar or vector?

The momentum operator for one spatial dimension is $-i \hbar d/dx$ (which isn't a vector operator) but for 3 spatial dimensions is $-i\hbar\nabla$ which is a vector operator. So is it a vector or a ...
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### Do contravariant and covariant partial derivatives commute in GR?

I'm considering something like this: $\partial_{\mu}\partial^{\nu}A$ . I feel like we should be able to commute the derivatives so: $\partial_{\mu}\partial^{\nu}A = \partial^{\nu}\partial_{\mu}A$. ...
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### General relativity: Principle of minimal coupling computations

I have a question about computations in general relativity and transition from a Lorentz frame to a general fame just by substituting the flat metric with a general one and ordinary derivatives with ...
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### Choice of metric breaks diffeomorphism invariance?

In Weinberg's paper on the cosmological constant problem (CCP), he states that diffeomorphism invariance is always broken by the presence of any given metric $g_{\mu\nu}$. He then goes on to say that ...
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### Transformation of $g^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu f \partial_\nu f$

I have the expression $$g^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu f \partial_\nu f$$ e.g. inside a Lagrange density, where $g$ is a metric tensor and I want to transform this expression to a new set of coordinates. Do ...
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### Why does the factor $\sqrt{-g}$ make the volume element invariant?

My question is an extension on this and this question. The question is, how or "in what sense" does the factor $\sqrt{-g}$ make the measure invariant? Suppose, I do not add this factor to the measure....
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### Einstein notation: can a free index be upper in one term and lower in another term?

Consider a linear combination of terms written using Einstein notation. Consider one free index in the linear combination: is it necessary that the index is upper in all terms or lower in all terms, ...
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### Why do we need invariants to represent real life quantities?

Often it is said that one of the most useful properties of eigenvalues of a matrix is that they are invariant under change of basis. This in turn is said to be useful in physics because real, physical ...
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### Indices of the Riemann Tensor of the first kind

When establishing the identity $V^i_{,kl}-V^i_{,lk}=-R^i_{tkl}V^t$ (, denotes covariant differentiation), one of the steps involves raising one of the indices of the Riemann Tensor of the first kind . ...
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### Recommendation for contra-variant and contra-variant vectors in the context of special relativity [duplicate]

I have just started studying covariant and contra-variant vectors in special relativity. I am finding difficulty understanding this topic. Can anyone recommend a book (with a detailed chapter) or ...
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### Variations of tensors are tensors?

Recently I posted a question about variation of metric. I thought I understood it and talked with my friend about it. After that he said he's not convinced because he can't prove variation of metric ...
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### Why is the partial derivative a contravariant 4-vector?

The contravariant partial derivative is defined as following: $$\partial ^\mu = \frac{\partial}{\partial x_\mu}$$ where the index $\mu$ runs from 0 to 3. A contravariant vector under Lorentz ...
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### How to determine if a tensor is covariant or contravariant?

In special relativity, the coordenates of a event are in general written using a 4-vector: $$x^{\mu} = \binom{ct}{\textbf{x}}$$ where $\textbf{x} = (x,y,z)$ are the spacial coordenates. This is a ...
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### Symmetry under Lorentz transformation: precise definition

I am studying QFT but I need to fill some gaps in my comprehension of special relativity (I didn't study it very well and I know I still misunderstand things in S.R). In my book it is written: " A ...
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### Coordinate transformation of basis vectors

The question Let $e_a$ be the coordinate basis vectors in a manifold described by coordinate system $x^a$. The vector displacement between two nearby points is given by ds=dx^ae_a=dx'...
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### Do Bianchi identities hold in all coordinates?

I understand by expanding out the Riemann tensor, that the Bianchi identities can be derived within a local inertial frame (LIF) by taking the partial derivatives of the Riemann tensor relations in a ...
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### Covariant and contravariant 4-vector in special relativity

I've just learned about contra- and covariant vector in the context of special relativity (in electrodynamic) and I'm struggling with some concept. From what I found, an intuitive definition of ...
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### General covariance and a running cosmological constant

A running cosmological constant $\Lambda(t)$ can always be included in the perfect fluid source tensor. By the transformation properties of tensors Einstein's field equation is still independent of ...
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### Origin of $\sqrt{-g}$ in the integral of action $S$

I have a question that might (and probably will) be stupid: I do not understand where does the factor $\sqrt{-g}$ (i.e. $\sqrt{-\det\left(g_{\mu\nu}\right)}$) come from in the action integral S when ...
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### Is the addition of a Christoffel symbol and the partial derivative of a vector a tensor?

The partial derivative of a vector $V^\lambda , _\nu$ is not a tensor. Neither is a Christoffel symbol $\Gamma^\lambda _{\mu \nu}$. Is the addition of these two objects a tensor? If they were ...
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### Generally Covariant Dirac equation: The spin connection

Wikipedia, an answer on stackexchange and a few papers in the Arxiv I've found all have different definitions of the spin connection found in the Dirac equation. Can anyone please tell me what the ...
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### 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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### State amplitude and field operator covariance in QFT

I'm studying QFT on Bogoliubov-Shirkov's "Introduction to the theory of quantized fields" (3d edition). In $§9.3$ they discuss transformation properties of quantum states and operators in QFT. Given ...
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### General Covariance, what does Einstein mean?

I have read the papers by Einstein and I am convinced I understand what he means completely. Given there are controversies, maybe I over understood it: It is I am convinced, can be said in two ...
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### Covariant derivative for spinor fields

scalars (spin-0) derivatives is expressed as: $$\nabla_{i} \phi = \frac{\partial \phi}{ \partial x_{i}}.$$ vector (spin-1) derivatives are expressed as: \nabla_{i} V^{k} = \frac{\partial V^{k}}{ \...
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### Derivation of Covariant derivative for fermionic fields

I've been reading about the Dirac equation in curved spacetime and understand the nature of the verbien, but am wondering what the relationship is between the two definitions of the Fermionic ...