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# Questions tagged [tensor-calculus]

Tensor calculus (tensor analysis) is a systematic extension of vector calculus to multivector and tensor fields in a form that is independent of the choice of coordinates on the relevant manifold, but which accounts for respective sub-spaces, their symmetries, and their connections.

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### Are matrices and second rank tensors the same thing?

Tensors are mathematical objects that are needed in physics to define certain quantities. I have a couple of questions regarding them that need to be clarified: Are matrices and second rank tensors ...
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### What is a tensor?

I have a pretty good knowledge of physics, but couldn't deeply understand what a tensor is and why it is so fundamental.
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### Irreducible tensors concept

This might be a little naive question, but I am having difficulty grasping the concept of irreducible tensors. Particularly, why do we decompose tensors into symmetric and anti-symmetric parts? I have ...
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### What is the difference between a spinor and a vector or a tensor?

Why do we call a 1/2 spin particle satisfying the Dirac equation a spinor, and not a vector or a tensor?
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### Why is stress a tensor quantity?

Why is stress a tensor quantity? Why is pressure not a tensor? According to what I know pressure is an internal force whereas stress is external so how are both quantities not tensors? I am ...
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### Tensor Operators

Motivation. I was recently reviewing the section 3.10 in Sakurai's quantum mechanics in which he discusses tensor operators, and I was left desiring a more mathematically general/precise discussion. ...
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### Mathematically, what is color charge?

A similar question was asked here, but the answer didn't address the following, at least not in a way that I could understand. Electric charge is simple - it's just a real scalar quantity. Ignoring ...
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### Introduction to spinors in physics, and their relation to representations

First, I shall say that I am familiar with the intuitive idea that a spinor is like a vector (or tensor) that only transforms "up to a sign" when acted on by the rotation group. I have even rotated a ...
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### Can we generalize relativistic expressions found in specific frames, to arbitrary frames?

A claim is made in Sean Carroll's GR book multiple times that goes along the following lines: Given a problem in relativity, we can find a solution with ease if we choose a convenient reference ...
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### Looking for physical intuition into the Electromagnetic Tensor:

I have done some work with the electromagnetic tensor and I'm fairly good at manipulating it and using it to transform the Maxwell Equations into tensored forms. Admittedly though, I have no physical ...
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### The Spin Connection

Why do we need to introduce the spin connection coefficients $\omega_{\mu \space \space b}^{\space \space a}$ in General Relativity? To me, they just look (mathematically) like the Christoffel ...
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### Group notation $\otimes$ and $\oplus$ used for representations of quarks and mesons

I've been trying to figure out this statement from the PDG quark model summary (PDF). Following $\mathrm{SU}(3)$, the nine possible $q\bar{q}′$ combinations containing the light $u$, $d$, and $s$ ...
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### Tensor decomposition under $\mathrm{SU(3)}$

In Georgi's book (page 143), he calculates the tensor components of $3\otimes 8$ under the $\mathrm{SU(3)}$ explicitly using tensor components. Namely; $u^{i}$ (a $3$) times $v^{j}_k$ (an $8$, meaning ...
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### Irreducible Representations of SO(n) tensors

My interest is purely in $\text{SO}(n)$ tensors and how one works out their irrep decomposition. For instance, for rank 2 tensors we simply split into an antisymmetric part, a traceless symmetric part ...
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### Diffeomorphisms, Isometries And General Relativity

Apologies if this question is too naive, but it strikes at the heart of something that's been bothering me for a while. Under a diffeomorphism $\phi$ we can push forward an arbitrary tensor field $F$ ...
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### Symmetry of the $3\times 3$ Cauchy Stress Tensor

When presenting the stress tensor (say in a non-relativistic context), it is shown to be a tensor in the sense that it is a linear vector transformation: it operates on a vector $n$ (the normal to a ...
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### Lowering/raising metric indexes

So, I was chatting with a friend and we noticed something that might be very, very, very stupid, but I found it at least intriguing. Consider Minkowski spacetime. The trace of a matrix $A$ can be ...
What is the difference between zero-rank tensor $x$ (scalar) and vector $[x]$ in 1D? As far as I understand tensor is anything which can be measured and different measures can be transformed into ...
If I have $A^{\alpha \beta} B_{\beta \gamma}$ then this should be the equivalent to the following matrix multiplication: $AB$ since we're summing over the columns of $A$ and the rows of $B$. By the ...