Galilean invariance of the wave equation

This post follows James Rohlf’s Modern Physics from α to Z0 (p.104-105). See also the slides here. Start with the standard configuration for relativity. The (3+1)D space dependent Galilean transformation is The dual (1+3)D time dependent Galilean transformation is The y, z, s, and r axes are trivially invariant. Consider the one-dimensional wave equation for an …

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Rates and inverses

This post is the latest in a series on rates. A rate is a variable quantity measured with respect to a quantity determined independently. A rate is expressed as a ratio of the quantity measured and the independent quantity. A rate of change is a difference of quantities measured with respect to a difference of …

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An ambiguous problem

Here is a simple word problem: a vehicle travels 80 km in 2 hr, then 60 km in 1 hr. What is its average speed? It is ambiguous because the independent variable is not stated or implied. Was the distance measured based on the time, or was the time measured based on the distance? In …

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Metaphysics of natural science

This is the latest post in a series on science and metaphysics; the previous post is here. The one and only metaphysical postulate of natural science is this: Everything has a fixed nature. This postulate allows the study of classes or kinds or types of things with a common fixed nature. For example, it allows …

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Harmonic sum of vectors

This post is a slight modification of section 2.0 “The Parallel Sum of Vectors” from W. N. Anderson & G. E. Trapp (1987) “The harmonic and geometric mean of vectors”, Linear and Multilinear Algebra, 22:2, 199-210. We will consider vectors in a real N dimensional inner product space, although some of the results given herein …

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Rates of change

The difference quotient is the average rate of change of a function between two points: The instantaneous rate of change is the limit of the difference quotient as t1 and t0 approach each other, which is the derivative of f(t) at that point, denoted by f′(t). Derivatives are added by arithmetic addition, i.e., if f(t) …

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Arithmetic of rates

Euclid wrote that “A ratio is a relation in respect of size between two magnitudes of the same kind.” Magnitudes of different kinds were not considered until Galileo. A ratio between magnitudes a and b is expressed as either a : b or b : a. A quotient is the result of dividing a dividend …

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Two kinds of vector rates

This post builds on the previous one here. Vector rates rates of change are of two kinds. An ordinary rate for the vector change of f relative to a unit of x is defined as: The reciprocal vector rate is the vector reciprocal of an ordinary rate with a vector change of g relative to …

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Two kinds of rates

Rates of change are of two kinds. An ordinary rate for the change of f relative to a unit of x is defined as: The reciprocal rate is the reciprocal of an ordinary rate with a change of g relative to a unit of x is defined as: An ordinary rate has its independent variable …

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From ratios to quotients

Ratios and proportions are symmetric. A:B ≡ B:A and A:B :: C:D iff C:D :: A:B. But when ratios are converted to quotients or fractions, they are no longer symmetric. There must be a convention as to which is the denominator and which is the numerator. In an ordinary fraction or quotient or rate the …

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