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Index to matrix form

  1. Jul 25, 2008 #1
    Hi everybody!

    I have a question concerning tensors and hope you could help me :)

    http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~mbernha3/tensoren.pdf [Broken]

    I would like you to look at expressions 13 and 16 :) I hope you won't be bothered by the fact the file is in German. I'm was wandering how these transformations are being made (from the index form to the matrix form) :)

    Take in consideration I'm just an amateur :D

    Thanks in advance!

    Best regards, Marin
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2008 #2
    Lets look at (13). The a and c on the omega run like an index, that is a=x,y,z , c=x,y,z.
    Then let the (x,x) be the first entrance in the matrix, and (y,x) be the next (the one directly below), just like you would say fx. entrance (2,3) now you just use (y,z) instead.

    Now lets try to calculate (y,x), that is (remembering summing over repeated index)

    [tex] \Omega^{yx} = \epsilon^{ybx} \omega_b = \sum_{b=x,y,z}\epsilon^{ybx} \omega_b = \epsilon^{yxx} \omega_x + \epsilon^{yyx} \omega_y + \epsilon^{yzx} \omega_z = 0 \omega_x + 0 \omega_y + 1 \omega_z = \omega_z[/tex]

    just like that entrance in the matrix, you see?
  4. Jul 25, 2008 #3


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    All they are doing is representing Aij as the number in the ith row, jth column of the matrix.
  5. Jul 25, 2008 #4
    Thanks a lot, I got it :)

    It's a little bit of tedious calculations, but I'll try and get these to examples by myself, to get some practice :)

    Thanks once again :)
  6. Jul 25, 2008 #5
    There's another question risen up :)

    what's the difference between:

    [tex]\Omega^{ac} = \epsilon^{abc}\omega_b [/tex]

    [tex]\Omega_{ac} = \epsilon_{abc}\omega^b[/tex]

    [tex]\Omega_a^c = \epsilon_a^b^c\omega_b[/tex]

    [tex]\Omega^a_c = \epsilon^a_b_c\omega^b[/tex]

    I know that the upper indexes are the contavariant, the lower - for the covariant components. But the matrix will always be one and the same. Maybe this has some physical meaning? And there are actually two more combinations to be made: e.g.

    is [tex]\Omega_a^c = \epsilon_a^b^c\omega_b[/tex]

    equal to that [tex]\epsilon_a_b^c\omega^b[/tex]

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2008
  7. Jul 25, 2008 #6
    I don't know what the thrust of your text is. But I don't see any references to basis vectors or metrics, which is what raising and lowering indeces is all about. Without the metric concept it must seem a bit of a mystery what sort of objects beyond arrays of numbers are being manipulated. Perhaps that comes in later chapters.

    In the mean time, it may help to treat objects like the Levi-Civita tensor [tex]\epsilon^{ab}\:_c[/tex] as a matrix that has vectors as elements [tex] (\epsilon^a)^b\:_c [/tex].

    The basic equation that bridges matrices and tensors is

    [tex] u = Tv [/tex], that becomes [tex] u^a = T^a\!_b v^b [/tex] in tensors.

    The column vector v is transformed to the column vector u. This requires that T have a raised index for rows and a lower index for columns.

    A strange object like [tex]U_{ab}[/tex], that seems have rows in both directions can be viewed as a row vector of row vectors.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  8. Jul 25, 2008 #7
    I apologise for the misunderstanding, I also try to learn LateX and it's a bit of complicated.
    So, let's try again typing something:

    [tex]: \\Omega^{ac} = \\epsilon^{abc}\\omega_b [/tex]

    [tex]: \\Omega_{ac} = \\epsilon_{abc}\\omega^b [/tex]

    [tex]: \\Omega_a\\^c = \\epsilon_a\\^b\\^c\\omega_b [/tex]

    [tex]: \\Omega^a\\_c = \\epsilon^a\\_b\\_c\\omega^b [/tex]

    are these equations correct and what's the difference between them. If they are correct, is every possible combination of upper and down indexes possible, in order to contract the 'b' abd get the initial tensor?

    This part with vectors in the vectors and so on is already clear, but does not explain the physical meaning of Omega in 13 and L in 16 in:

    http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/...3/tensoren.pdf [Broken]

    which transformed both give normal matrices, despite in the first case both indexes are up (contarvariant) and in the second - both are down (covariant) the tensor.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  9. Jul 25, 2008 #8
    ok, I give up latex, here it is the traditional way: O is omega e is epsilon and o i omega small, so:

    O^(ac) = e^(abc)o_b
    O_(ac) = e_(abc)o^b
    O(_a/^c) = e(_a/^b/^c)o_b
    O^(a/_c) = e(^a/_b/_c)o^b
  10. Jul 25, 2008 #9


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    I've tidied up post #5 for you. Click on each equation to see the code.
  11. Jul 25, 2008 #10
    cristo, thanks fore retyping the equations above :) So the command for LaTex is jsut '[tex]' :) ?

    Btw, do you have any suggestions to my questions above? I'm pretty interested in tensor algebra, but I find all Wikipedia definitions and expressions a bit out of my current mathematical abilities :(

    And another question: Do you happen to know, where I can download Latex from, so that I could practise at home and not make these lame mistakes over here?

    with best regards, Marin
  12. Jul 25, 2008 #11
    Martin-- In Euclidian space in Cartesian coordinates, upper and lower indices are often interchangable. This is why I brought up bases and metrics. Chapter 1 may have as well be titled tensors for the physical sciences: http://preposterousuniverse.com/grnotes/" Open the .dpf 1. Special Relativity and Flat Spacetime.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  13. Jul 26, 2008 #12
    Thanks, Phrak!

    I got it :)
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