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Cube Matrices

  1. May 7, 2013 #1
    I just had my last Linear Algebra class, and I didn't get a chance to ask the one question that has been bugging me ever since we started in earnest with matrices.

    Why aren't there cube matrices? I mean, mathematical entities where numbers are 'laid out' in 3d not in 2d (not quite mathematically rigorous, but you get the idea). Obviously one could do this with successive matrices, but I wonder if more is to be gained by studying this object as a whole.

    Is this a thing? Is there an obvious reason I'm missing as to why there is nothing to gain by doing this?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2013 #2
    There are, and they certainly are useful; physics wouldn't have got much beyond Newton without them. Google "tensors".
  4. May 7, 2013 #3
    Huh, you know I've known about tensors for a while but in a purely pop-science way (the only actual tensors I've been exposed to were in a five-minute digression by my teacher briefly explaining them), I hadn't ever been told to think of them that way!
  5. May 7, 2013 #4
    That's a shame, although you have actually been exposed to tensors for some time. Ordinary numbers (scalars), vectors and matrices are just special cases of tensors with 0, 1 and 2 dimensions respectively.
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