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Unformatted text preview: Thus, tensor analysis is as important as dimensional analysis in any formulation of physical relations. Dimensional analysis considers how a physical quantity changes with the particular choice of fundamental units. Two physical quantities cannot be equal unless they have the same dimensions; any physical equation cannot be correct unless it is invariant with respect to change of fundamental units. Whether a physical quantity should be a tensor or not is a decision for the physicist to make. Why is a force a vector, a stress tensor a tensor? Because we say so! It is our judgement that endowing tensorial character to these quantities is in harmony with the world. Once we decided upon the tensorial character of a physical quantity, we may take as the components of a tensor field in a given frame of reference...
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course ENG 501 taught by Professor Thomson during the Fall '05 term at MIT.
- Fall '05