Tensors: The Algebraic Theory
The fact that many physical entities find mathematical expression as numerical functions of points in space, will by now be familiar to the reader; the distance from a fixed point to a variable point is one among many examples. If we have several such entities, then their mathematical counterparts form a collection of functions from the points of space to the numbers (or, in other words, a (single) vector-valued function on the points). Thus for instance to fully determine the position of a point in 3-dimensional space, we need the values at that point of (at least) three functions (and of course we call these values “co-ordinates” of the point): each co-ordinate x i is a function of the point, and together they form an ordered triple (x 1, x 2 , x 3) which specifies the point completely. In Chapter 1 we encountered various kinds of coordinate systems (i.e. triples of functions); for example in the plane we introduced Cartesian co-ordinates x 1, x 2, and polar co-ordinates r, φ, where x 1 = r cos φ, x 2 = r sin φ; and in space Cartesian co-ordinates, cylindrical co-ordinates r, z, φ, and spherical co-ordinates r, θ, φ.
KeywordsVector Field Transformation Rule Algebraic Theory Orthogonal Transformation Finite Subgroup
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