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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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28
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4answers
11k views

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?
4
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1answer
479 views

How quantum field transforms in case of some particular spin

Except when a particle is spin-0, field of all particles transforms when frame of reference is changed, and this defines what spin is. The question is, specifically how does the quantum field ...
3
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2answers
641 views

What are $\partial_t$ and $\partial^\mu$?

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: $\rho=\phi^*\phi\,$ ...... $J = -\frac{i\hbar}{2m}(\phi^*\nabla\phi - \phi\nabla\phi^*)$ with the conservation of probability ...
1
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1answer
525 views

Tensors: relations between physics and linear algebra

In continuum mechanics we use finite deformation tensors to exprime deformations in a point. The 9 components of the tensor (in reality 6 because of its symmetry) are defined as $$ \sigma_{ik}(\vec{r})...
0
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2answers
244 views

Tensor Product of two doublets

What will be the tensor product of two doublets $$ (x_1,x_2) ~\text{and}~ (y_1,y_2)? $$ I am very much confused in determining this.
13
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
14
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3answers
8k views

What does the dual of a tensor mean (e.g. dual stress tensor in relativistic ED)?

I know what the dual of a vector means (as a map to its field), and I am also aware of of the definition a dual of a tensor as, $$F^{*ij} = \frac{1}{2} \epsilon^{ijkl} F_{kl}\tag{1}$$ I just don't ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Levi-Civita symbol in Euclidean space

Suppose a component of tensor field is described by $B^k=\varepsilon^{kij} \phi_{ij}$. If we define $B^k$ in an Euclidean space then does the rising or lowering of the indices of the Levi-Civita ...
2
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5answers
2k views

Understanding Tensors

I don't seem to be able to visualize tensors. I am reading The Morgan Kauffman Game Physics Engine Development and he uses tensors to represent aerodynamics but he doesn't explain them so I am not ...
5
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1answer
3k views

Covariant derivative and Leibniz rule

I read the Wikipedia page about the covariant derivative, my main problem is in this part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covariant_derivative#Coordinate_description Some of the formulas seem to lead ...
5
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1answer
382 views

Confused about indices of the Ricci tensor

In an intro to GR book the Ricci tensor is given as: $$R_{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\lambda}\Gamma_{\mu \nu}^{\lambda}-\Gamma_{\lambda \sigma}^{\lambda}\Gamma_{\mu \nu}^{\sigma}-[\partial_{\nu}\Gamma_{\mu \...
2
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0answers
312 views

How do I extend the Lorentz transformation metric to dimensions>4?

How do I extend the general Lorentz transformation matrix (not just a boost along an axis, but in directions where the dx1/dt, dx2/dt, dx3/dt, components are all not zero. For eg. as on the Wikipedia ...
1
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2answers
147 views

What should I call an n>4 dimensional Minkowski metric?

I am manipulating an $nxn$ metric where $n$ is often $> 4$, depending on the model. The $00$ component is always tau*constant, as in the Minkowski metric, but the signs on all components might be +...
46
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9answers
13k views

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.
3
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1answer
552 views

Symmetrical Spinors and Symmetrical Tensors

In Quantum Electrodynamics by Landau and Lifshiz there is the following: The correspondence between the spinor $\zeta^{\alpha \dot{\beta}}$ and the 4-vector is a particular case of a general rule:...
2
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3answers
316 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 ...
1
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0answers
158 views

How to integrate twice of this viscous term?

I am reading a paper, and I do not understand why the author said the following term when integrated twice will become, $\int\limits_\Omega {{\rm{d}}\Omega {{\bf{\psi }}^{\bf{u}}}\cdot\nabla \cdot\...
0
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1answer
133 views

Positive Permutation Tensor

I have seen that one can make an operator with $$ L^i=\epsilon^{ijk}x_{j}\partial_{k} $$ But what if I want to make instead items that are sums, instead of differences. For instance $$\mathcal{L}^z=...
1
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1answer
101 views

true three index tensors

is such a tensor, $T_{\alpha\beta\, \gamma}$, possible such that $$T_{\alpha\beta\, \gamma}=T_{\beta\alpha\, \gamma}=-T_{\alpha\gamma\, \beta}=-T_{\gamma\beta\, \alpha}$$ That is, symmetric under two ...
3
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1answer
3k views

Metric signature explanation

Can anyone explain what metric signature is? I have a basic knowledge regarding tensors, btw. Also, how is it related to fundamental understanding of general relativity?
1
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2answers
538 views

Question with Einstein notation

Let’s consider this equation for a scalar quantity $f$ as a function of a 3D vector $a$ as: $$ f(\vec a) = S_{ijkk} a_i a_j $$ where $S$ is a tensor of rank 4. Now, I’m not sure what to make of the ...
13
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1answer
425 views

Shape of the state space under different tensor products

I am currently studying generalized probabilistic theories. Let me roughly recall how such a theory looks like (you can skip this and go to "My question" if you are familiar with this). Recall: In a ...
0
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1answer
5k views

Conversion of motion equation from Cartesian to Polar coordinates: Is covariant differentiation necessary?

I have earlier posted the same question here on math stackexchange but without any answer. As the question concerns tensors, I guess that I have come to the right ...
2
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2answers
244 views

Question from Schutz's

In q. 22 in page 141, I am asked to show that if $$U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha} V^{\beta} = W^{\beta},$$ then $$U^{\alpha}\nabla_{\alpha}V_{\beta}=W_{\beta}.$$ Here's what I have done: $$V_{\beta}=...
2
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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 ...
4
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1answer
138 views

Spatial and polarizing beam splitters in a graphical calculus

Suppose I have four wires, and I tensor product them together $A \otimes B \otimes C \otimes D$ I pass $A \otimes B$ through a spatial beam splitter $Spl: A \otimes B \rightarrow A^\prime \otimes ...
56
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7answers
30k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
275 views

Torsion and gauge invariant EM kinetic term

Everytime I hear about adding torsion to GR, something struggles me: how do you create a kinetic term for the electromagnetic field that is still gauge-invariant? One of the consequences of torsion is ...
0
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3answers
1k views

Need some basic help with notation and the Christoffel symbols

Apologies in advance if some of the questions below seem overly simple. In an introductory GR book, I find the following expression for the autoparallel of the affine connection (the upper bound of ...
0
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1answer
303 views

Determine the tensor of contraint and deformation of a cube under compression

We have a cube under compression with dimension l1*l2*l3, is put between 2 rigid plates in the axis 1 (two plates block the deformation of the cube in thí axis), the cube is also put on a rigid plate, ...
29
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4answers
8k views

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 ...
8
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3answers
373 views

From Manifold to Manifold?

Tensor equations are supposed to stay invariant in form wrt coordinate transformations where the metric is preserved. It is important to take note of the fact that invariance in form of the tensor ...
3
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2answers
852 views

What is the mathematical formulation for buckling?

Argument: Buckling is an engineering concept that can only be applied to thin columns with compressive loading. (Is it possible to) Prove the above sentence right or wrong with mathematical ...
24
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
3k views

What is the covariant derivative in mathematician's language?

In mathematics, we talk about tangent vectors and cotangent vectors on a manifold at each point, and vector fields and cotangent vector fields (also known as differential one-forms). When we talk ...
3
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0answers
531 views

I lost a factor of two in the electromagnetic field tensor

I apologize for this simple question, but I lost a factor of 2 and can't find it anymore, so now I'm looking on the internet, perhaps one of you has some information about its whereabouts. :-) ...
18
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4answers
2k views

History of Electromagnetic Field Tensor

I'm curious to learn how people discovered that electric and magnetic fields could be nicely put into one simple tensor. It's clear that the tensor provides many beautiful simplifications to the ...
1
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2answers
689 views

What kind of invariants are proper time and proper length?

Under the Lorentz transformations, quantities are classed as four-vectors, Lorentz scalars etc depending upon how their measurement in one coordinate system transforms as a measurement in another ...
43
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the physical meaning of the connection and the curvature tensor?

Regarding general relativity: What is the physical meaning of the Christoffel symbol ($\Gamma^i_{\ jk}$)? What are the (preferably physical) differences between the Riemann curvature tensor ($R^i_{\ ...