# 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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### Is partial derivative a vector or dual vector?

The textbook(Introduction to the Classical Theory of Particles and Fields, by Boris Kosyakov) defines a hypersurface by $$F(x)~=~c,$$ where $F\in C^\infty[\mathbb M_4,\mathbb R]$. Differentiating ...
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### Tensor Product vs. Direct Product for three spin-1/2 particles

Let us consider three spin-1/2 particles and only focusing on their intrinsic spin $S$. The Hilbert space has then to be $\mathcal H = ℂ^2 ⊗ ℂ^2 ⊗ ℂ^2$. The spin can be described by $V ∈ \text{SU(2)}$ ...
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There seems to be some different conventions on the indexes of the tetrad. I am wondering which is the standard, which is correct, and which is an abuse of notation. In Sean Carroll's notes and in ...
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### What is pseudo-tensor?

What is the pseudo-tensor in relativity? How do we transform tensor and pseudo-tensor under parity?
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### Tensor product of two different Pauli matrices $\sigma_2\otimes\eta_1$

I'm solving problem 3.D in H. Georgi Lie Algebra etc for fun where one is to compute the matrix elements of the direct product $\sigma_2\otimes\eta_1$ where $[\sigma_2]_{ij}\text{ and }[\eta_1]_{xy}$ ...
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### Why is the cosmological constant a scalar?

Maybe my understanding is just off, but the cosmological constant is just a scalar, right? What are it's units? Why a scalar? - was a tensor 'cosmological constant' ever considered or is it just not ...
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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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### Are covariant vectors representable as row vectors and contravariant as column vectors

I would like to know what are the range of validity of the following statement: Covariant vectors are representable as row vectors. Contravariant vectors are representable as column vectors. For ...
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### In relativity, can/should every measurement be reduced to measuring a scalar?

Different authors seem to attach different levels of importance to keeping track of the exact tensor valences of various physical quantities. In the strict-Catholic-school-nun camp, we have Burke 1980,...
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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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### Do Dirac Gamma Matrices act like Tensors?

Do Dirac Gamma Matrices act like Tensors? Is it true that $$\gamma_\mu = \eta_{\mu\nu}\gamma^\nu~?$$ Also what about $\sigma_{\mu\nu}$, where $\sigma_{\mu\nu}$ is defined to be: \begin{align*} \...
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### Gradient, divergence and curl with covariant derivatives

I am trying to do exercise 3.2 of Sean Carroll's Spacetime and geometry. I have to calculate the formulas for the gradient, the divergence and the curl of a vector field using covariant derivatives. ...
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### In what sense can a complex number be a scalar?

A definition of a scalar like A scalar is a one-component quantity that is invariant under rotations of the coordinate system (see http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Scalar.html) seems to exclude ...
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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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### spinor vs vector indices of Dirac gamma matrices

I am struggling to understand the nature of the components of the Dirac matrices. If we view the four components of a Dirac spinor as $\psi^a$ with $a$ being a 'spinor' index, then if a gamma matrix ...
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### How to tell that the electromagnetic field tensor transforms as a tensor?

Is any matrix a tensor in special relativity? My question is inspired by the definition of the electromagnetic field tensor in Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry book. In equation (1.69), he defines a ...
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### Equivalence of two formulation of Maxwell equations on manifolds

I have read about a generalization of Maxwell equation on manifolds that employs differential forms and Hodge duality that goes as follow: $$dF = 0\qquad \text{and}\qquad d \star F = J.\tag{1}$$ As I ...
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### How can a set of components fail to make up a vector?

Many books in Physics insist to define vectors are objects with components with the property that the components transform in a proper way under a change of coordinates. Now, in mathematics, on the ...