Questions tagged [geometry]

To be used for questions on geometry closely pertaining to physics. Includes differential geometry and euclidean geometry.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
10
votes
2answers
861 views

Why are conformal transformations so prevalent in physics?

What is it about conformal transformations that make them so widely applicable in physics? These preserve angles, in other words directions (locally), and I can understand that might be useful. Also, ...
3
votes
1answer
338 views

What's a pseudo-rotation?

I'm sorry for this lexical, probably extremely elementary, question. But what is a pseudo-rotation? I just read this term for the first time, in the beginning of the 4th chapter book of CFT by Di ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Are there any clear and expressive plainword sense of metric tensor components?

Can the following groups of components of metric tensor can assigned a clear sense? https://docs.google.com/drawings/pub?id=1kVqkN1gT-a2fDy2S851l9iQKaMfaatCDo517OSZBHEo&w=467&h=228 I have ...
10
votes
4answers
15k views

How far into space does one have to travel to see the entire sphere of earth?

Virgin Galactic will take passengers aboard SpaceShipTwo as high as 65 miles above the surface of the earth. But from this altitude, passengers will only be able to see a certain segment of the ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Should linear algebra and vector calculus from traditional courses be replaced with `geometric algebra`? [closed]

geometric algebra gives geometric meaning to linear algebra and much more. it can provide a coordinate free geometric interpretation of spaces. those who learn of ...
1
vote
2answers
647 views

Is it necessary to embed a 4D surface in 5D space?

Lets consider the line element: $$ds^2=dr^2+r^2[d\theta^2+\sin^2\theta d\phi^2]$$ There are three variables r,theta and phi. If we use a surface constraint like r=constant the number of independent ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What is the physical meaning of a dot product and a cross product of vectors? [duplicate]

My teacher told me that Vectors are quantities that behave like Displacements. Seen this way, the triangle law of vector addition simply means that to reach point C from point A, going from A to B &...
6
votes
8answers
13k views

Is there a definition of “direction” in physics?

Is there an actual definition of "direction" (that is, spatial direction) in physics, or is it just one of those terms that's left undefined? In physics textbooks it's always just taken for granted ...
22
votes
4answers
176k views

Does the rotation of the earth dramatically affect airplane flight time?

Say I'm flying from Sydney, to Los Angeles (S2LA), back to Sydney (LA2S). During S2LA, travelling with the rotation of the earth, would the flight time be longer than LA2S on account of Los Angeles ...
1
vote
2answers
395 views

The shape of the earth$\ldots$

....is an oblate spheroid because centrifugal force stretches the tropical regions to a point farther from the center than they would be if the planet did not rotate. So we all learned in childhood, ...
2
votes
0answers
105 views

Self-organizing maps

I'm currently interested in this subject but all I can see is about neural networks and I'm more interested on the Theoretical point of view: "how can a system (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) alter it's ...
1
vote
1answer
356 views

Angular Diameter - Perceived size of Objects [closed]

I'm currently in the process of writing a 2.5D application that should display the perceived size of an object. For example, When I have a ball that has a diameter of 1 meter, how big would it appear ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

How does holographic voxel density scale with holographic film metrics?

I'm trying to understand how one can generate bounds on the effective number of voxels (volumetric pixels) in a hologram, or information density, provided various metrics for the two-dimensional ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Generalized Complex Geometry and Theoretical Physics

I have been wondering about some of the different uses of Generalized Complex Geometry (GCG) in Physics. Without going into mathematical detail (see Gualtieri's thesis for reference), a Generalized ...
-1
votes
1answer
426 views

How to get new coordinates after a certain distance was travelled (while accounting for altitude)?

Suppose you start at a location identified by a set of coordinates (latitude, longitude) on Earth, then move a given distance in a given direction. What is the equation that gives you the coordinates ...
65
votes
8answers
113k 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 $\vec{A}...
8
votes
1answer
607 views

Why are fractal geometries useful for compact antenna design?

While most of what I've read about fractals has been dubious in nature, over the years, I keep hearing that these sorts of self-similar (or approximately self-similar) geometries are useful in the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Prerequisites to start the study of noncommutative geometry in physics

What are prerequisites (in mathematics and physics), that one should know about for getting into use of ideas from noncommutative geometry in physics?
5
votes
1answer
165 views

An astronaut and a vengeful pole

Imagine an astronaut floating in free-space with no significant nearby gravitational influences. The astronaut takes an arbitrarily thin pole of uniform density with length $l$ and mass $m$, orients ...
8
votes
1answer
647 views

The role of metric in the Wave Equation

The wave equation is often written in the form $$(\partial^2_t-\Delta)u=0,$$ involving the Laplace-Beltrami operator $\Delta$. However, the Laplace-Beltrami operator $\Delta$ is defined only in the ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Is it possible to mechanically isomerize an sp3 hybridized carbon center?

Imagine I have an sp3 hybridized carbon attached to four separate polyethylene chains. By pulling on the polyethylene chains in some manner, is it possible for me to mechanically isomerize the chiral ...
6
votes
1answer
819 views

Is C60 really the “most spherical” fullerene?

In the late 80's and early 90's, Smalley and others made claims that the C60 fullerene bearing icosahedral symmetry was the most spherical molecule known, and perhaps the most spherical that could ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why was the truncated icosahedron (i.e. soccer ball) geometry chosen for the implosive lenses in the “Fat Man” atomic bomb?

Quoting from Wolfram Mathworld: " It is the shape used in the construction of soccer balls, and it was also the configuration of the lenses used for focusing the explosive shock waves of the ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

How to deduce this free body diagram?

Can someone provide a trigonometry/geometry insight to deduce the angle of the plane is the same as the angle of the component of the weight?
1
vote
1answer
707 views

Calculating angles for tetrahedral molecular geometry

Let's say I have a molecular like CH3F (i.e. fluoromethane), and I'm able to measure the angle (theta) between the C-H bonds. Provided (theta) what is the angle between the C-F bond and the C-H bonds?...
-2
votes
2answers
39k views

The resultant of two forces acting at any angle? [closed]

I am studying about forces as vectors. And they give me this equation: $c^2 = a^2 + b^2 - 2ab \cos C$ Can anybody explain me the second part of the equation? I perfectly understand $c^2 = a^2 + b^2$ ...
5
votes
2answers
377 views

Can the electroweak/strong forces, and/or quantum mechanics be thought of as geometric?

Can the electroweak and strong forces be written as geometric theories? - Why and why not? Can quantum mechanics in general? For example, the Kaluza-Klein theory explains the electromagnetic field ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

How to calculate the projected area at different angles/vectors?

Please help me with the following. I want to know if there is an equation/set of equations to find out the projected area of a (3-D) cube when it is oriented at different angles of attack to the fluid ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

Relativistic space-time geometry

What subject (suggest book titles, etc.) should I study to get a clear grasping of hypersurfaces, 2-surfaces, and integration on them, mostly in special relativity (I'm not messing with general ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

The Reeh-Schlieder theorem and quantum geometry

There have been some very nice discussions recently centered around the question of whether gravity and the geometry and topology of the classical world we see about us, could be phenomena which ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does the light side of the moon appear not to line up correctly with the evening sun?

I live at roughly $(52.4^\circ,-2.1^\circ)$. On sunny evenings I've often looked at the Moon and the Sun and noticed that the light part of the Moon does not appear to line up with the Sun. For ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Is there an upper bound on the gauge group rank in F-theory compactifications on CY 4-folds?

It is known that in F-theory compactifications on CY 4-folds one can get gauge groups with very large ranks. The largest single factor* gauge group for compact CY 4-folds I found in the literature is ...
8
votes
3answers
509 views

Question about associative 3-cycles on G2 manifolds

Let $X$ be a manifold with $G_2$ holonomy and $\Phi$ be the fundamental associative 3-form on $X$. Let $*\Phi$ be the dual co-associative 4-form on $X$. Now consider a particular associative 3-cycle $...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How did “no prior geometry” father 50 years of confusion?

I've come across this quote attributed to Misner, Thorne & Wheeler from their book, Gravitation: Mathematics was not sufficiently refined in 1917 to cleave apart the demands for "no prior ...
22
votes
7answers
8k views

Experimental evidence of a fourth spatial dimension?

As human beings, we observe the world in which we live in three dimensions. However, it is certainly theoretically possible that more dimensions exist. Is there any direct or indirect evidence ...
21
votes
3answers
9k views

Why can't a piece of paper (of non-zero thickness) be folded more than $N$ times?

Updated: In order to fold anything in half, it must be $\pi$ times longer than its thickness, and that depending on how something is folded, the amount its length decreases with each fold differs. –...
17
votes
5answers
8k views

Does it contradict special relativity that an electron beam in a television picture tube can move across the screen faster than the speed of light?

While looking at some exercises in my physics textbook, I came across the following problem which I thought was quite interesting: It is possible for the electron beam in a television picture tube ...

1 9 10 11 12 13