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Lecture# Tensors & Indices Recap

Description

This lecture covers the basics of tensors and indices, including contravariant vectors, Minkowski metric, covariant vectors, and tensor operations. The instructor explains key concepts with examples and equations.

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Related concepts (35)

In course

Tensor

In mathematics, a tensor is an algebraic object that describes a multilinear relationship between sets of algebraic objects related to a vector space. Tensors may map between different objects such as vectors, scalars, and even other tensors. There are many types of tensors, including scalars and vectors (which are the simplest tensors), dual vectors, multilinear maps between vector spaces, and even some operations such as the dot product.

Tensor product

In mathematics, the tensor product of two vector spaces V and W (over the same field) is a vector space to which is associated a bilinear map that maps a pair to an element of denoted An element of the form is called the tensor product of v and w. An element of is a tensor, and the tensor product of two vectors is sometimes called an elementary tensor or a decomposable tensor. The elementary tensors span in the sense that every element of is a sum of elementary tensors.

Covariance and contravariance of vectors

In physics, especially in multilinear algebra and tensor analysis, covariance and contravariance describe how the quantitative description of certain geometric or physical entities changes with a change of basis. In modern mathematical notation, the role is sometimes swapped. A simple illustrative case is that of a vector. For a vector, once a set of basis vectors has been defined, then the components of that vector will always vary opposite to that of the basis vectors. A vector is therefore a contravariant tensor.

Tangent vector

In mathematics, a tangent vector is a vector that is tangent to a curve or surface at a given point. Tangent vectors are described in the differential geometry of curves in the context of curves in Rn. More generally, tangent vectors are elements of a tangent space of a differentiable manifold. Tangent vectors can also be described in terms of germs. Formally, a tangent vector at the point is a linear derivation of the algebra defined by the set of germs at .

Tensor contraction

In multilinear algebra, a tensor contraction is an operation on a tensor that arises from the natural pairing of a finite-dimensional vector space and its dual. In components, it is expressed as a sum of products of scalar components of the tensor(s) caused by applying the summation convention to a pair of dummy indices that are bound to each other in an expression. The contraction of a single mixed tensor occurs when a pair of literal indices (one a subscript, the other a superscript) of the tensor are set equal to each other and summed over.

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