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# Vector and Tensor Mathematics 23

## 3.2 Vector and Tensor Mathematics

The variables used to describe physical quantities are of a number of types,
including scalars, vectors, and tensors. Eort has been made in the notes to
indicate these types consistently as follows:
s = scalar, lightface italic
v = vector, boldface with single underscore
T = tensor, boldface with double underscore . (3.10)
Scalars are used to represent physical quantities with no directional qualities,
such as temperature, volume, and time. Vectors are used for quantities which
have a single directional quality such as velocity and force. Tensors (we will
consider only second-order tensors) are associated with quantities which have
two directional characteristics, such as a momentum ux.
3.2.1 Vectors and Vector Operations
Given a coordinate system in three dimensions, a vector may thus be repre-
sented by an ordered set of three components which represent its projections
v
1
, v
2
, v
3
on the coordinate axes 1, 2, 3:
v = [v
1
, v
2
, v
3
] . (3.11)
The three most commonly used coordinate systems are rectangular, cylindri-
cal, and spherical, as described in the Coordinate Systems Notebook. Alter-
natively, a vector may be represented by the sum of the magnitudes of its
projections on three mutually perpendicular axes:
v = v
1

1
+ v
2

2
+ v
3

z3
=
3

i=1
v
i

i
. (3.12)
The unit vectors
1
,
2
,
3
are
x
,
y
,
z
in the rectangular coordinate system,

r
,

,
z
in cylindrical coordinates and
r
,

## in spherical. Each of these

unit vectors points in the direction of the indicated spatial coordinate, and
has a magnitude of exactly one. The formulas for the vector and tensor
operations described below are generally applicable to these three coordinate
systems, with the exception of dierential operators. Dierential operators in
Vector and Tensor Mathematics 24
cylindrical and spherical coordinates must be handled more explicitly because
in those cases
i
are not constant in direction (with the sole exception of
z
in cylindrical coordinates).
The magnitude of a vector is given by:
|v| =
_
v
2
1
+ v
2
2
+ v
2
3
=

_
3

i=1
v
2
i
. (3.13)
Addition and subtraction of vectors is easily executed:
v +w = (v
1
+ w
1
)
1
+ (v
2
+ w
2
)
2
+ (v
3
+ w
3
)
3
=
3

i=1
(v
i
+ w
i
)
i
, (3.14)
as well as multiplication by a scalar
sv = (sv
1
)
1
+ (sv
2
)
2
+ (sv
3
)
3
= s
3

i=1
v
i

i
. (3.15)
The dot product of two vectors results in a scalar:
v w = v
1
w
1
+ v
2
w
2
+ v
3
w
3
=
3

i=1
v
i
w
i
. (3.16)
3.2.2 Tensors and Tensor Operations
A tensor is similarly represented by an ordered array of nine components:
T =
_

_
T
11
T
12
T
13
T
21
T
22
T
23
T
31
t
23
T
33
_

_ . (3.17)
The diagonal elements of a tensor are those which have two identical sub-
scripts, while the other elements are termed nondiagonal. The transpose of
a tensor is obtained by interchanging the subscripts on each element:
T
T
=
_

_
T
11
T
21
T
31
T
12
T
22
T
32
T
13
T
32
T
33
_

_ . (3.18)
Vector and Tensor Mathematics 25
A tensor is described as symmetric when T = T
T
. One special tensor is the
unit tensor:
=
_

_
1 0 0
0 1 0
0 0 1
_

_ . (3.19)
The dyadic product of two vectors results in a tensor, as follows:
v w =
_

_
v
1
w
1
v
1
w
2
v
1
w
3
v
2
w
1
v
2
w
2
v
2
w
3
v
3
w
1
v
3
w
2
v
3
w
3
_

_ . (3.20)
This leads to the denition of the unit dyads, of which there are nine:

1

1
=
_

_
1 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
_

_ ; (3.21)

1

2
=
_

_
0 1 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
_

_ , etc. (3.22)
In a similar manner to vectors, tensors are easily added
T+U =
_

_
T
11
+ U
11
T
12
+ U
12
T
13
+ U
13
T
21
+ U
21
T
22
+ U
22
T
23
+ U
23
T
31
+ U
31
T
32
+ U
32
T
33
+ U
33
_

_ =
3

i=1
3

j=1
(T
ij
+ U
ij
)
i

j
,
(3.23)
or multiplied by scalars:
sT =
_

_
sT
11
sT
12
sT
13
sT
21
sT
22
sT
23
sT
31
sT
23
sT
33
_

_ = s
3

i=1
3

j=1
T
ij

j
. (3.24)
The double dot product of two tensors results in a scalar:
T:U =
T
11
U
11
+ T
12
U
21
+ T
13
U
31
+
T
21
U
12
+ T
22
U
22
+ T
23
U
32
+
T
31
U
13
+ T
32
U
23
+ T
33
U
33
=
3

i=1
3

j=1
T
ij
U
ji
. (3.25)
The dot product of a tensor with a vector is:
T v =

1
(T
11
v
1
+ T
12
v
2
+ T
13
v
3
) +

2
(T
21
v
1
+ T
22
v
2
+ T
23
v
3
) +

3
(T
31
v
1
+ T
32
v
2
+ T
33
v
3
)
=
3

i=1

i
_
_
3

j=1
T
ij
v
j
_
_
. (3.26)
Vector and Tensor Mathematics 26
In contrast, the dot product of a vector with a tensor is:
v T =

1
(v
1
T
11
+ v
2
T
21
+ v
3
T
31
) +

2
(v
1
T
12
+ v
2
T
22
+ v
3
T
32
) +

3
(v
1
T
13
+ v
2
T
23
+ v
3
T
33
)
=
3

i=1

i
_
_
3

j=1
v
j
T
ji
_
_
. (3.27)
In general, (T v) = (v T), however, they are equal if T is symmetric.
The magnitude of a tensor is dened as:
|T| =

1
2
(T:T
T
) =

_
1
2

j
T
2
ij
. (3.28)
3.2.3 Further Reading
A simple introduction to vectors and tensors is provided by:
H. Anton, Elementary Linear Algebra, 4th Ed., John Wiley and
Sons, New York (1984).
Numerous problems, some with solutions may be found in:
M.R. Spiegel Vector Analysis, Schaums Outline Series, McGraw-Hill
Book Company (1959).
F. Ayres, Matrices, Schaums Outline Series, McGraw-Hill Book Com-
pany (1962).
An excellent discussion of vector and tensor notation which is particularly
relevant to polymer processing is in Appendix A of:
R.B. Bird, R.C. Armstrong, O. Hassager, Dynamics of Polymer
Liquids, Vol. 1, John Wiley and Sons, New York (1987).
Copyright 2001, PolymerProcessing.com.