# New Math

1. Apr 10, 2005

### misskitty

When Enstein developed tensor analysis because all the other math fell apart, there was another type of math that was developed to measure the curvature of space. What is it? How does it work?

2. Apr 10, 2005

Staff Emeritus
Connection? Old name Christoffel symbols. Out of these are built the covariant derivatives and the Riemann-Christoffel tensor (now called the curvature tensor; I don't know what physicists have against old Christoffel).

3. Apr 16, 2005

### misskitty

How did he derive the covariant part? He obviously didn't make it up.

4. Apr 17, 2005

### dextercioby

Einstein didn't develop anythnig into the fields of mathematics (diff.geom.to be exact).He used the knowledge aquired from his pals H.Minkowski (his ex math tech at Zürich),H.Weyl and especially D.Hilbert (there's a long story with Hilbert).

He simply postulated the equations of gravity for a free space and space with matter...
Alongside other axioms,inluding the famous Equivalence Principle.

Daniel.

P.S.The math was not "done" by 1915.Tullio Levi-Civita (1917) and Elie Cartan brought tensor calculus to a complete form.

5. Apr 18, 2005

### misskitty

Ah ok. Is this a widely used level of math?

6. Apr 18, 2005

### ohwilleke

It is now. In addition to general relativity (and related fields like string theory), one of the main areas where tensor math is used is in solid state physics and things like crystal structure. Every legitimate college and university that offers a degree in physics or mathematics teaches it. Tensor analysis is the calculus based big brother of maxtrix algebra which you may have encountered already.

Here is an archieved physics forum thread on tensors:
https://www.physicsforums.com/archive/t-35920_Math_"Newb"_Wants_to_know_what_a_Tensor_is.html [Broken]

They are used among other things to evaluate earthquake data:

http://seismo.berkeley.edu/seismo/annual_report/ar99_00/node12.html

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
7. Apr 18, 2005

### dextercioby

In what sense...?"Widely used".General Relativity is one branch of physics which "widely used" tensor calculus (algebra & analysis),differential geometry to be fair.

Daniel.

8. Apr 18, 2005

### misskitty

Hmmm, sounds very complicated. This is going to sound dumb; could someone please tell me what string theory is because I don't know what it is or what it does and stuff.

9. Apr 18, 2005

### dextercioby

In short,it is a theory aimed to complete the dream of theoretical physics:unifying the 4 interactions:2 long ranged:electromagnetism & gravity and 2 short ranged:weak & strong...If possible,supply a new view on cosmology.

The best model in phsyics (also applied to fundamental interactions) is the "pointlike particle".It's the simplest,the best and so far very successful.This "string theory" doesn't use "pointlike particles",it doesn't use particles at all,actually.It uses strings,unidimensional objects immersed into a higher dimensional space.Particles have 0 dimension,while strings have only one...

This theory,unlike the famous Standard Model of Particles and Interactions (short,SM),is not completed and is under debate and study for more than 20 years...

Daniel.

10. Apr 18, 2005

### misskitty

Does it provide any clues about how the universe works or is it all just theory?

11. Apr 18, 2005

### dextercioby

It does.And it is just theory.Unfortunately we cannot (at this point) experimentally check its predictions.Heck,we didn't even find the Higgs boson...

Daniel.

12. Apr 18, 2005

### misskitty

What experimentation was used to try to find Higgs boson?

13. Apr 18, 2005

### dextercioby

I'm not a specialist at this,i think someone else might tell u more about what kind of experiments will be done at CERN once they get the LHC running.

Daniel.

14. Apr 18, 2005

### misskitty

So there hasn't been anything done yet? So theoretically Higgs' boson could exsist.

15. Apr 18, 2005

Staff Emeritus
Tevatron is looking. They are hoping to get something - either a mass for it or a definite no to a small mass - before LHC comes and rains on their parade.

16. Apr 18, 2005

### misskitty

LHC? How would you go about looking for something like that?

17. Apr 18, 2005

### dextercioby

LHC=Large Hadron Collider is a collider,that is a facility in which preaccelerated particles (in this case large hadrons and even nuclei) are being crushed...

Daniel.

18. Apr 18, 2005

### misskitty

Do they accelerate these particles and launch them at a wall to observe what happens?

19. Apr 18, 2005

### ohwilleke

You accellerate the particles into a target often a thin sheet of gold or magnetically contained particle, which is surrounded by film or other observation technology that shows you where the bits the broke apart landed and you back track from there.

20. Apr 18, 2005

### Chronos

Particle physicists have violent tendencies - they are the academic equivalent of NASCAR fans. They have a reputation for being especially fond of head on collisions between objects travelling in opposite directions at nearly the speed of light.