# Christofel Symbols Tensors?

#### Karl G.

I'm sort of confused about Christofel symbols being called tensors. I thought that to be considered a tensor, the tensor had to obey the standard component transformation law. For example: Ga'b' = Lca'Ldb'Gcd
But the Christofel symbols don't obey this transformation law; their components transform in a different way (I would like to show it, but I don't know how; see exercise 10.3 of MWT).
What gives?

#### cristo

Staff Emeritus
No, Christoffel symbols are not tensors.

#### Karl G.

Oh ... thought they were

#### Mentz114

Gold Member
Christoffel symbols make the covariant derivative a tensor. Try transforming one.

#### dx

##### when love is, self is not
Homework Helper
Gold Member
I haven't seen a single book on GR which introduces the Christoffel symbols without immediately pointing out that they're not tensors.

#### samalkhaiat

I'm sort of confused about Christofel symbols being called tensors. I thought that to be considered a tensor, the tensor had to obey the standard component transformation law. For example: Ga'b' = Lca'Ldb'Gcd
But the Christofel symbols don't obey this transformation law; their components transform in a different way (I would like to show it, but I don't know how; see exercise 10.3 of MWT).
What gives?
They transform inhomogeneously under general coordinates transformations, i.e., not tensors. However, the inhomogeneous term in the transformation law vanishes if the coordinate transformations are LINEAR. So, they do transform as tensors with respect to all linear coordinate transformations.

sam

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