Relativistic multivector surface integrals

Background.

This post is a continuation of:

Surface integrals.

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We’ve now covered line integrals and the fundamental theorem for line integrals, so it’s now time to move on to surface integrals.

Definition 1.1: Surface integral.

Given a two variable parameterization $$x = x(u,v)$$, we write $$d^2\Bx = \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v du dv$$, and call
\begin{equation*}
\int F d^2\Bx\, G,
\end{equation*}
a surface integral, where $$F,G$$ are arbitrary multivector functions.

Like our multivector line integral, this is intrinsically multivector valued, with a product of $$F$$ with arbitrary grades, a bivector $$d^2 \Bx$$, and $$G$$, also potentially with arbitrary grades. Let’s consider an example.

Problem: Surface area integral example.

Given the hyperbolic surface parameterization $$x(\rho,\alpha) = \rho \gamma_0 e^{-\vcap \alpha}$$, where $$\vcap = \gamma_{20}$$ evaluate the indefinite integral
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:40}
\int \gamma_1 e^{\gamma_{21}\alpha} d^2 \Bx\, \gamma_2.

We have $$\Bx_\rho = \gamma_0 e^{-\vcap \alpha}$$ and $$\Bx_\alpha = \rho\gamma_{2} e^{-\vcap \alpha}$$, so
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:60}
\begin{aligned}
d^2 \Bx
&=
(\Bx_\rho \wedge \Bx_\alpha) d\rho d\alpha \\
&=
\gamma_{0} e^{-\vcap \alpha} \rho\gamma_{2} e^{-\vcap \alpha}
}
d\rho d\alpha \\
&=
\rho \gamma_{02} d\rho d\alpha,
\end{aligned}

so the integral is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:80}
\begin{aligned}
\int \rho \gamma_1 e^{\gamma_{21}\alpha} \gamma_{022} d\rho d\alpha
&=
-\inv{2} \rho^2 \int \gamma_1 e^{\gamma_{21}\alpha} \gamma_{0} d\alpha \\
&=
\frac{\gamma_{01}}{2} \rho^2 \int e^{\gamma_{21}\alpha} d\alpha \\
&=
\frac{\gamma_{01}}{2} \rho^2 \gamma^{12} e^{\gamma_{21}\alpha} \\
&=
\frac{\rho^2 \gamma_{20}}{2} e^{\gamma_{21}\alpha}.
\end{aligned}

Because $$F$$ and $$G$$ were both vectors, the resulting integral could only have been a multivector with grades 0,2,4. As it happens, there were no scalar nor pseudoscalar grades in the end result, and we ended up with the spacetime plane between $$\gamma_0$$, and $$\gamma_2 e^{\gamma_{21}\alpha}$$, which are rotations of $$\gamma_2$$ in the x,y plane. This is illustrated in fig. 1 (omitting scale and sign factors.)

fig. 1. Spacetime plane.

Fundamental theorem for surfaces.

For line integrals we saw that $$d\Bx \cdot \grad = \gpgradezero{ d\Bx \partial }$$, and obtained the fundamental theorem for multivector line integrals by omitting the grade selection and using the multivector operator $$d\Bx \partial$$ in the integrand directly. We have the same situation for surface integrals. In particular, we know that the $$\mathbb{R}^3$$ Stokes theorem can be expressed in terms of $$d^2 \Bx \cdot \spacegrad$$

Problem: GA form of 3D Stokes’ theorem integrand.

Given an $$\mathbb{R}^3$$ vector field $$\Bf$$, show that
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:180}
\int dA \ncap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad \cross \Bf }
=
-\int \lr{d^2\Bx \cdot \spacegrad } \cdot \Bf.

Let $$d^2 \Bx = I \ncap dA$$, implicitly fixing the relative orientation of the bivector area element compared to the chosen surface normal direction.
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:200}
\begin{aligned}
\int \lr{d^2\Bx \cdot \spacegrad } \cdot \Bf
&=
&=
\int dA \lr{ I \lr{ \ncap \wedge \spacegrad} } \cdot \Bf \\
&=
&=
-\int dA \lr{ \ncap \cross \spacegrad} \cdot \Bf \\
&=
-\int dA \ncap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad \cross \Bf }.
\end{aligned}

The moral of the story is that the conventional dual form of the $$\mathbb{R}^3$$ Stokes’ theorem can be written directly by projecting the gradient onto the surface area element. Geometrically, this projection operation has a rotational effect as well, since for bivector $$B$$, and vector $$x$$, the bivector-vector dot product $$B \cdot x$$ is the component of $$x$$ that lies in the plane $$B \wedge x = 0$$, but also rotated 90 degrees.

For multivector integration, we do not want an integral operator that includes such dot products. In the line integral case, we were able to achieve the same projective operation by using vector derivative instead of a dot product, and can do the same for the surface integral case. In particular

Theorem 1.1: Projection of gradient onto the tangent space.

Given a curvilinear representation of the gradient with respect to parameters $$u^0, u^1, u^2, u^3$$
\begin{equation*}
\end{equation*}
the surface projection onto the tangent space associated with any two of those parameters, satisfies
\begin{equation*}
\end{equation*}

Start proof:

Without loss of generality, we may pick $$u^0, u^1$$ as the parameters associated with the tangent space. The area element for the surface is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:100}
d^2 \Bx = \Bx_0 \wedge \Bx_1 \,
du^0 du^1.

Dotting this with the gradient gives
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:120}
\begin{aligned}
&=
du^0 du^1
\lr{ \Bx_0 \wedge \Bx_1 } \cdot \Bx^\mu \PD{u^\mu}{} \\
&=
du^0 du^1
\lr{
\Bx_0
\lr{\Bx_1 \cdot \Bx^\mu }

\Bx_1
\lr{\Bx_0 \cdot \Bx^\mu }
}
\PD{u^\mu}{} \\
&=
du^0 du^1
\lr{
\Bx_0 \PD{u^1}{}

\Bx_0 \PD{u^1}{}
}.
\end{aligned}

On the other hand, the vector derivative for this surface is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:140}
\partial
=
\Bx^0 \PD{u^0}{}
+
\Bx^1 \PD{u^1}{},

so
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:160}
\begin{aligned}
&=
du^0 du^1\,
\lr{ \Bx_0 \wedge \Bx_1 } \cdot
\lr{
\Bx^0 \PD{u^0}{}
+
\Bx^1 \PD{u^1}{}
} \\
&=
du^0 du^1
\lr{
\Bx_0 \PD{u^1}{}

\Bx_1 \PD{u^0}{}
}.
\end{aligned}

End proof.

We now want to formulate the geometric algebra form of the fundamental theorem for surface integrals.

Theorem 1.2: Fundamental theorem for surface integrals.

Given multivector functions $$F, G$$, and surface area element $$d^2 \Bx = \lr{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v }\, du dv$$, associated with a two parameter curve $$x(u,v)$$, then
\begin{equation*}
\int_S F d^2\Bx \lrpartial G = \int_{\partial S} F d^1\Bx G,
\end{equation*}
where $$S$$ is the integration surface, and $$\partial S$$ designates its boundary, and the line integral on the RHS is really short hand for
\begin{equation*}
\int
\evalbar{ \lr{ F (-d\Bx_v) G } }{\Delta u}
+
\int
\evalbar{ \lr{ F (d\Bx_u) G } }{\Delta v},
\end{equation*}
which is a line integral that traverses the boundary of the surface with the opposite orientation to the circulation of the area element.

Start proof:

The vector derivative for this surface is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:220}
\partial =
\Bx^u \PD{u}{}
+
\Bx^v \PD{v}{},

so
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:240}
F d^2\Bx \lrpartial G
=
\PD{u}{} \lr{ F d^2\Bx\, \Bx^u G }
+
\PD{v}{} \lr{ F d^2\Bx\, \Bx^v G },

where $$d^2\Bx\, \Bx^u$$ is held constant with respect to $$u$$, and $$d^2\Bx\, \Bx^v$$ is held constant with respect to $$v$$ (since the partials of the vector derivative act on $$F, G$$, but not on the area element, nor on the reciprocal vectors of $$\lrpartial$$ itself.) Note that
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:260}
d^2\Bx \wedge \Bx^u
=
du dv\, \lr{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v } \wedge \Bx^u = 0,

since $$\Bx^u \in sectionpan \setlr{ \Bx_u\, \Bx_v }$$, so
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:280}
\begin{aligned}
d^2\Bx\, \Bx^u
&=
d^2\Bx \cdot \Bx^u
+
d^2\Bx \wedge \Bx^u \\
&=
d^2\Bx \cdot \Bx^u \\
&=
du dv\, \lr{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v } \cdot \Bx^u \\
&=
-du dv\, \Bx_v.
\end{aligned}

Similarly
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:300}
\begin{aligned}
d^2\Bx\, \Bx^v
&=
d^2\Bx \cdot \Bx^v \\
&=
du dv\, \lr{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v } \cdot \Bx^v \\
&=
du dv\, \Bx_u.
\end{aligned}

This leaves us with
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:320}
F d^2\Bx \lrpartial G
=
-du dv\,
\PD{u}{} \lr{ F \Bx_v G }
+
du dv\,
\PD{v}{} \lr{ F \Bx_u G },

where $$\Bx_v, \Bx_u$$ are held constant with respect to $$u,v$$ respectively. Fortuitously, this constant condition can be dropped, since the antisymmetry of the wedge in the area element results in perfect cancellation. If these line elements are not held constant then
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:340}
\PD{u}{} \lr{ F \Bx_v G }

\PD{v}{} \lr{ F \Bx_u G }
=
F \lr{
\PD{v}{\Bx_u}

\PD{u}{\Bx_v}
} G
+
\lr{
\PD{u}{F} \Bx_v G
+
F \Bx_v \PD{u}{G}
}
+
\lr{
\PD{v}{F} \Bx_u G
+
F \Bx_u \PD{v}{G}
}
,

but the mixed partial contribution is zero
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:360}
\begin{aligned}
\PD{v}{\Bx_u}

\PD{u}{\Bx_v}
&=
\PD{v}{} \PD{u}{x}

\PD{u}{} \PD{v}{x} \\
&=
0,
\end{aligned}

by equality of mixed partials. We have two perfect differentials, and can evaluate each of these integrals
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:380}
\begin{aligned}
\int F d^2\Bx \lrpartial G
&=
-\int
du dv\,
\PD{u}{} \lr{ F \Bx_v G }
+
\int
du dv\,
\PD{v}{} \lr{ F \Bx_u G } \\
&=
-\int
dv\,
\evalbar{ \lr{ F \Bx_v G } }{\Delta u}
+
\int
du\,
\evalbar{ \lr{ F \Bx_u G } }{\Delta v} \\
&=
\int
\evalbar{ \lr{ F (-d\Bx_v) G } }{\Delta u}
+
\int
\evalbar{ \lr{ F (d\Bx_u) G } }{\Delta v}.
\end{aligned}

We use the shorthand $$d^1 \Bx = d\Bx_u – d\Bx_v$$ to write
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:400}
\int_S F d^2\Bx \lrpartial G = \int_{\partial S} F d^1\Bx G,

with the understanding that this is really instructions to evaluate the line integrals in the last step of \ref{eqn:relativisticSurface:380}.

Problem: Integration in the t,y plane.

Let $$x(t,y) = c t \gamma_0 + y \gamma_2$$. Write out both sides of the fundamental theorem explicitly.

Let’s designate the tangent basis vectors as
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:420}
\Bx_0 = \PD{t}{x} = c \gamma_0,

and
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:440}
\Bx_2 = \PD{y}{x} = \gamma_2,

so the vector derivative is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:460}
\partial
= \inv{c} \gamma^0 \PD{t}{}
+ \gamma^2 \PD{y}{},

and the area element is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:480}
d^2 \Bx = c \gamma_0 \gamma_2.

The fundamental theorem of surface integrals is just a statement that
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:500}
\int_{t_0}^{t_1} c dt
\int_{y_0}^{y_1} dy
F \gamma_0 \gamma_2 \lr{
\inv{c} \gamma^0 \PD{t}{}
+ \gamma^2 \PD{y}{}
} G
=
\int F \lr{ c \gamma_0 dt – \gamma_2 dy } G,

where the RHS, when stated explicitly, really means
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:520}
\begin{aligned}
\int &F \lr{ c \gamma_0 dt – \gamma_2 dy } G
=
\int_{t_0}^{t_1} c dt \lr{ F(t,y_1) \gamma_0 G(t, y_1) – F(t,y_0) \gamma_0 G(t, y_0) } \\
\int_{y_0}^{y_1} dy \lr{ F(t_1,y) \gamma_2 G(t_1, y) – F(t_0,y) \gamma_0 G(t_0, y) }.
\end{aligned}

In this particular case, since $$\Bx_0 = c \gamma_0, \Bx_2 = \gamma_2$$ are both constant functions that depend on neither $$t$$ nor $$y$$, it is easy to derive the full expansion of \ref{eqn:relativisticSurface:520} directly from the LHS of \ref{eqn:relativisticSurface:500}.

Problem: A cylindrical hyperbolic surface.

Generalizing the example surface integral from \ref{eqn:relativisticSurface:40}, let
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:540}
x(\rho, \alpha) = \rho e^{-\vcap \alpha/2} x(0,1) e^{\vcap \alpha/2},

where $$\rho$$ is a scalar, and $$\vcap = \cos\theta_k\gamma_{k0}$$ is a unit spatial bivector, and $$\cos\theta_k$$ are direction cosines of that vector. This is a composite transformation, where the $$\alpha$$ variation boosts the $$x(0,1)$$ four-vector, and the $$\rho$$ parameter contracts or increases the magnitude of this vector, resulting in $$x$$ spanning a hyperbolic region of spacetime.

Compute the tangent and reciprocal basis, the area element for the surface, and explicitly state both sides of the fundamental theorem.

For the tangent basis vectors we have
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:560}
\Bx_\rho = \PD{\rho}{x} =
e^{-\vcap \alpha/2} x(0,1) e^{\vcap \alpha/2} = \frac{x}{\rho},

and
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:580}
\Bx_\alpha = \PD{\alpha}{x} =
\lr{-\vcap/2} x
+
x \lr{ \vcap/2 }
=
x \cdot \vcap.

These vectors $$\Bx_\rho, \Bx_\alpha$$ are orthogonal, as $$x \cdot \vcap$$ is the projection of $$x$$ onto the spacetime plane $$x \wedge \vcap = 0$$, but rotated so that $$x \cdot \lr{ x \cdot \vcap } = 0$$. Because of this orthogonality, the vector derivative for this tangent space is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:600}
\partial =
\inv{x \cdot \vcap} \PD{\alpha}{}
+
\frac{\rho}{x}
\PD{\rho}{}
.

The area element is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:620}
\begin{aligned}
d^2 \Bx
&=
d\rho d\alpha\,
\frac{x}{\rho} \wedge \lr{ x \cdot \vcap } \\
&=
\inv{\rho} d\rho d\alpha\,
x \lr{ x \cdot \vcap }
.
\end{aligned}

The full statement of the fundamental theorem for this surface is
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:640}
\int_S
d\rho d\alpha\,
F
\lr{
\inv{\rho} x \lr{ x \cdot \vcap }
}
\lr{
\inv{x \cdot \vcap} \PD{\alpha}{}
+
\frac{\rho}{x}
\PD{\rho}{}
}
G
=
\int_{\partial S}
F \lr{ d\rho \frac{x}{\rho} – d\alpha \lr{ x \cdot \vcap } } G.

As in the previous example, due to the orthogonality of the tangent basis vectors, it’s easy to show find the RHS directly from the LHS.

Problem: Simple example with non-orthogonal tangent space basis vectors.

Let $$x(u,v) = u a + v b$$, where $$u,v$$ are scalar parameters, and $$a, b$$ are non-null and non-colinear constant four-vectors. Write out the fundamental theorem for surfaces with respect to this parameterization.

The tangent basis vectors are just $$\Bx_u = a, \Bx_v = b$$, with reciprocals
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:660}
\Bx^u = \Bx_v \cdot \inv{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v } = b \cdot \inv{ a \wedge b },

and
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:680}
\Bx^v = -\Bx_u \cdot \inv{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v } = -a \cdot \inv{ a \wedge b }.

The fundamental theorem, with respect to this surface, when written out explicitly takes the form
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:700}
\int F \, du dv\, \lr{ a \wedge b } \inv{ a \wedge b } \cdot \lr{ a \PD{u}{} – b \PD{v}{} } G
=
\int F \lr{ a du – b dv } G.

This is a good example to illustrate the geometry of the line integral circulation.
Suppose that we are integrating over $$u \in [0,1], v \in [0,1]$$. In this case, the line integral really means
\label{eqn:relativisticSurface:720}
\begin{aligned}
\int &F \lr{ a du – b dv } G
=
+
\int F(u,1) (+a du) G(u,1)
+
\int F(u,0) (-a du) G(u,0) \\
\int F(1,v) (-b dv) G(1,v)
+
\int F(0,v) (+b dv) G(0,v),
\end{aligned}

which is a path around the spacetime parallelogram spanned by $$u, v$$, as illustrated in fig. 1, which illustrates the orientation of the bivector area element with the arrows around the exterior of the parallelogram: $$0 \rightarrow a \rightarrow a + b \rightarrow b \rightarrow 0$$.

fig. 2. Line integral orientation.

Fundamental theorem of geometric calculus for line integrals (relativistic.)

[This post is best viewed in PDF form, due to latex elements that I could not format with wordpress mathjax.]

Background for this particular post can be found in

Motivation.

I’ve been slowly working my way towards a statement of the fundamental theorem of integral calculus, where the functions being integrated are elements of the Dirac algebra (space time multivectors in the geometric algebra parlance.)

This is interesting because we want to be able to do line, surface, 3-volume and 4-volume space time integrals. We have many $$\mathbb{R}^3$$ integral theorems
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:40a}
\int_A^B d\Bl \cdot \spacegrad f = f(B) – f(A),

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:60a}
\int_S dA\, \ncap \cross \spacegrad f = \int_{\partial S} d\Bx\, f,

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:80a}
\int_S dA\, \ncap \cdot \lr{ \spacegrad \cross \Bf} = \int_{\partial S} d\Bx \cdot \Bf,

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:100a}
\int_S dx dy \lr{ \PD{y}{P} – \PD{x}{Q} }
=
\int_{\partial S} P dx + Q dy,

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:120a}
\int_V dV\, \spacegrad f = \int_{\partial V} dA\, \ncap f,

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:140a}
\int_V dV\, \spacegrad \cross \Bf = \int_{\partial V} dA\, \ncap \cross \Bf,

\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:160a}
\int_V dV\, \spacegrad \cdot \Bf = \int_{\partial V} dA\, \ncap \cdot \Bf,

and want to know how to generalize these to four dimensions and also make sure that we are handling the relativistic mixed signature correctly. If our starting point was the mess of equations above, we’d be in trouble, since it is not obvious how these generalize. All the theorems with unit normals have to be handled completely differently in four dimensions since we don’t have a unique normal to any given spacetime plane.
What comes to our rescue is the Fundamental Theorem of Geometric Calculus (FTGC), which has the form
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:40}
\int F d^n \Bx\, \lrpartial G = \int F d^{n-1} \Bx\, G,

where $$F,G$$ are multivectors functions (i.e. sums of products of vectors.) We’ve seen ([2], [1]) that all the identities above are special cases of the fundamental theorem.

Do we need any special care to state the FTGC correctly for our relativistic case? It turns out that the answer is no! Tangent and reciprocal frame vectors do all the heavy lifting, and we can use the fundamental theorem as is, even in our mixed signature space. The only real change that we need to make is use spacetime gradient and vector derivative operators instead of their spatial equivalents. We will see how this works below. Note that instead of starting with \ref{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:40} directly, I will attempt to build up to that point in a progressive fashion that is hopefully does not require the reader to make too many unjustified mental leaps.

Multivector line integrals.

We want to define multivector line integrals to start with. Recall that in $$\mathbb{R}^3$$ we would say that for scalar functions $$f$$, the integral
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:180b}
\int d\Bx\, f = \int f d\Bx,

is a line integral. Also, for vector functions $$\Bf$$ we call
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:200}
\int d\Bx \cdot \Bf = \inv{2} \int d\Bx\, \Bf + \Bf d\Bx.

a line integral. In order to generalize line integrals to multivector functions, we will allow our multivector functions to be placed on either or both sides of the differential.

Definition 1.1: Line integral.

Given a single variable parameterization $$x = x(u)$$, we write $$d^1\Bx = \Bx_u du$$, and call
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:220a}
\int F d^1\Bx\, G,

a line integral, where $$F,G$$ are arbitrary multivector functions.

We must be careful not to reorder any of the factors in the integrand, since the differential may not commute with either $$F$$ or $$G$$. Here is a simple example where the integrand has a product of a vector and differential.

Problem: Circular parameterization.

Given a circular parameterization $$x(\theta) = \gamma_1 e^{-i\theta}$$, where $$i = \gamma_1 \gamma_2$$, the unit bivector for the $$x,y$$ plane. Compute the line integral
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:100}
\int_0^{\pi/4} F(\theta)\, d^1 \Bx\, G(\theta),

where $$F(\theta) = \Bx^\theta + \gamma_3 + \gamma_1 \gamma_0$$ is a multivector valued function, and $$G(\theta) = \gamma_0$$ is vector valued.

The tangent vector for the curve is
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:60}
\Bx_\theta
= -\gamma_1 \gamma_1 \gamma_2 e^{-i\theta}
= \gamma_2 e^{-i\theta},

with reciprocal vector $$\Bx^\theta = e^{i \theta} \gamma^2$$. The differential element is $$d^1 \Bx = \gamma_2 e^{-i\theta} d\theta$$, so the integrand is
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:80}
\begin{aligned}
\int_0^{\pi/4} \lr{ \Bx^\theta + \gamma_3 + \gamma_1 \gamma_0 } d^1 \Bx\, \gamma_0
&=
\int_0^{\pi/4} \lr{ e^{i\theta} \gamma^2 + \gamma_3 + \gamma_1 \gamma_0 } \gamma_2 e^{-i\theta} d\theta\, \gamma_0 \\
&=
\frac{\pi}{4} \gamma_0 + \lr{ \gamma_{32} + \gamma_{102} } \inv{-i} \lr{ e^{-i\pi/4} – 1 } \gamma_0 \\
&=
\frac{\pi}{4} \gamma_0 + \inv{\sqrt{2}} \lr{ \gamma_{32} + \gamma_{102} } \gamma_{120} \lr{ 1 – \gamma_{12} } \\
&=
\frac{\pi}{4} \gamma_0 + \inv{\sqrt{2}} \lr{ \gamma_{310} + 1 } \lr{ 1 – \gamma_{12} }.
\end{aligned}

Observe how care is required not to reorder any terms. This particular end result is a multivector with scalar, vector, bivector, and trivector grades, but no pseudoscalar component. The grades in the end result depend on both the function in the integrand and on the path. For example, had we integrated all the way around the circle, the end result would have been the vector $$2 \pi \gamma_0$$ (i.e. a $$\gamma_0$$ weighted unit circle circumference), as all the other grades would have been killed by the complex exponential integrated over a full period.

Problem: Line integral for boosted time direction vector.

Let $$x = e^{\vcap \alpha/2} \gamma_0 e^{-\vcap \alpha/2}$$ represent the spacetime curve of all the boosts of $$\gamma_0$$ along a specific velocity direction vector, where $$\vcap = (v \wedge \gamma_0)/\Norm{v \wedge \gamma_0}$$ is a unit spatial bivector for any constant vector $$v$$. Compute the line integral
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:240}
\int x\, d^1 \Bx.

Observe that $$\vcap$$ and $$\gamma_0$$ anticommute, so we may write our boost as a one sided exponential
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:260}
x(\alpha) = \gamma_0 e^{-\vcap \alpha} = e^{\vcap \alpha} \gamma_0 = \lr{ \cosh\alpha + \vcap \sinh\alpha } \gamma_0.

The tangent vector is just
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:280}
\Bx_\alpha = \PD{\alpha}{x} = e^{\vcap\alpha} \vcap \gamma_0.

Let’s get a bit of intuition about the nature of this vector. It’s square is
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:300}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_\alpha^2
&=
e^{\vcap\alpha} \vcap \gamma_0
e^{\vcap\alpha} \vcap \gamma_0 \\
&=
-e^{\vcap\alpha} \vcap e^{-\vcap\alpha} \vcap (\gamma_0)^2 \\
&=
-1,
\end{aligned}

so we see that the tangent vector is a spacelike unit vector. As the vector representing points on the curve is necessarily timelike (due to Lorentz invariance), these two must be orthogonal at all points. Let’s confirm this algebraically
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:320}
\begin{aligned}
x \cdot \Bx_\alpha
&=
\gpgradezero{ e^{\vcap \alpha} \gamma_0 e^{\vcap \alpha} \vcap \gamma_0 } \\
&=
\gpgradezero{ e^{-\vcap \alpha} e^{\vcap \alpha} \vcap (\gamma_0)^2 } \\
&=
&= 0.
\end{aligned}

Here we used $$e^{\vcap \alpha} \gamma_0 = \gamma_0 e^{-\vcap \alpha}$$, and $$\gpgradezero{A B} = \gpgradezero{B A}$$. Geometrically, we have the curious fact that the direction vectors to points on the curve are perpendicular (with respect to our relativistic dot product) to the tangent vectors on the curve, as illustrated in fig. 1.

fig. 1. Tangent perpendicularity in mixed metric.

Perfect differentials.

Having seen a couple examples of multivector line integrals, let’s now move on to figure out the structure of a line integral that has a “perfect” differential integrand. We can take a hint from the $$\mathbb{R}^3$$ vector result that we already know, namely
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:120}
\int_A^B d\Bl \cdot \spacegrad f = f(B) – f(A).

It seems reasonable to guess that the relativistic generalization of this is
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:140}
\int_A^B dx \cdot \grad f = f(B) – f(A).

Let’s check that, by expanding in coordinates
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:160}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\int_A^B d\tau \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} \partial_\mu f \\
&=
\int_A^B d\tau \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} \PD{x^\mu}{f} \\
&=
\int_A^B d\tau \frac{df}{d\tau} \\
&=
f(B) – f(A).
\end{aligned}

If we drop the dot product, will we have such a nice result? Let’s see:
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:180}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\int_A^B d\tau \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} \gamma_\mu \gamma^\nu \partial_\nu f \\
&=
\int_A^B d\tau \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} \PD{x^\mu}{f}
+
\int_A^B
d\tau
\sum_{\mu \ne \nu} \gamma_\mu \gamma^\nu
\frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} \PD{x^\nu}{f}.
\end{aligned}

This scalar component of this integrand is a perfect differential, but the bivector part of the integrand is a complete mess, that we have no hope of generally integrating. It happens that if we consider one of the simplest parameterization examples, we can get a strong hint of how to generalize the differential operator to one that ends up providing a perfect differential. In particular, let’s integrate over a linear constant path, such as $$x(\tau) = \tau \gamma_0$$. For this path, we have
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:200a}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\int_A^B \gamma_0 d\tau \lr{
\gamma^0 \partial_0 +
\gamma^1 \partial_1 +
\gamma^2 \partial_2 +
\gamma^3 \partial_3 } f \\
&=
\int_A^B d\tau \lr{
\PD{\tau}{f} +
\gamma_0 \gamma^1 \PD{x^1}{f} +
\gamma_0 \gamma^2 \PD{x^2}{f} +
\gamma_0 \gamma^3 \PD{x^3}{f}
}.
\end{aligned}

Just because the path does not have any $$x^1, x^2, x^3$$ component dependencies does not mean that these last three partials are neccessarily zero. For example $$f = f(x(\tau)) = \lr{ x^0 }^2 \gamma_0 + x^1 \gamma_1$$ will have a non-zero contribution from the $$\partial_1$$ operator. In that particular case, we can easily integrate $$f$$, but we have to know the specifics of the function to do the integral. However, if we had a differential operator that did not include any component off the integration path, we would ahve a perfect differential. That is, if we were to replace the gradient with the projection of the gradient onto the tangent space, we would have a perfect differential. We see that the function of the dot product in \ref{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:140} has the same effect, as it rejects any component of the gradient that does not lie on the tangent space.

Definition 1.2: Vector derivative.

Given a spacetime manifold parameterized by $$x = x(u^0, \cdots u^{N-1})$$, with tangent vectors $$\Bx_\mu = \PDi{u^\mu}{x}$$, and reciprocal vectors $$\Bx^\mu \in \textrm{Span}\setlr{\Bx_\nu}$$, such that $$\Bx^\mu \cdot \Bx_\nu = {\delta^\mu}_\nu$$, the vector derivative is defined as
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:240a}
\partial = \sum_{\mu = 0}^{N-1} \Bx^\mu \PD{u^\mu}{}.

Observe that if this is a full parameterization of the space ($$N = 4$$), then the vector derivative is identical to the gradient. The vector derivative is the projection of the gradient onto the tangent space at the point of evaluation.Furthermore, we designate $$\lrpartial$$ as the vector derivative allowed to act bidirectionally, as follows
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:260a}
R \lrpartial S
=
R \Bx^\mu \PD{u^\mu}{S}
+
\PD{u^\mu}{R} \Bx^\mu S,

where $$R, S$$ are multivectors, and summation convention is implied. In this bidirectional action,
the vector factors of the vector derivative must stay in place (as they do not neccessarily commute with $$R,S$$), but the derivative operators apply in a chain rule like fashion to both functions.

Noting that $$\Bx_u \cdot \grad = \Bx_u \cdot \partial$$, we may rewrite the scalar line integral identity \ref{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:140} as
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:220}
\int_A^B dx \cdot \partial f = f(B) – f(A).

However, as our example hinted at, the fundamental theorem for line integrals has a multivector generalization that does not rely on a dot product to do the tangent space filtering, and is more powerful. That generalization has the following form.

Theorem 1.1: Fundamental theorem for line integrals.

Given multivector functions $$F, G$$, and a single parameter curve $$x(u)$$ with line element $$d^1 \Bx = \Bx_u du$$, then
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:280a}
\int_A^B F d^1\Bx \lrpartial G = F(B) G(B) – F(A) G(A).

Start proof:

Writing out the integrand explicitly, we find
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:340}
\int_A^B F d^1\Bx \lrpartial G
=
\int_A^B \lr{
\PD{\alpha}{F} d\alpha\, \Bx_\alpha \Bx^\alpha G
+
F d\alpha\, \Bx_\alpha \Bx^\alpha \PD{\alpha}{G }
}

However for a single parameter curve, we have $$\Bx^\alpha = 1/\Bx_\alpha$$, so we are left with
\label{eqn:fundamentalTheoremOfGC:360}
\begin{aligned}
\int_A^B F d^1\Bx \lrpartial G
&=
\int_A^B d\alpha\, \PD{\alpha}{(F G)} \\
&=
\evalbar{F G}{B}

\evalbar{F G}{A}.
\end{aligned}

More to come.

In the next installment we will explore surface integrals in spacetime, and the generalization of the fundamental theorem to multivector space time integrals.

References

[1] Peeter Joot. Geometric Algebra for Electrical Engineers. Kindle Direct Publishing, 2019.

[2] A. Macdonald. Vector and Geometric Calculus. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

A couple more reciprocal frame examples.

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This post logically follows both of the following:

The PDF linked above above contains all the content from this post plus (1.) above [to be edited later into a more logical sequence.]

More examples.

Here are a few additional examples of reciprocal frame calculations.

Problem: Unidirectional arbitrary functional dependence.

Let
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2540}
x = a f(u),

where $$a$$ is a constant vector and $$f(u)$$ is some arbitrary differentiable function with a non-zero derivative in the region of interest.

Here we have just a single tangent space direction (a line in spacetime) with tangent vector
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2400}
\Bx_u = a \PD{u}{f} = a f_u,

so we see that the tangent space vectors are just rescaled values of the direction vector $$a$$.
This is a simple enough parameterization that we can compute the reciprocal frame vector explicitly using the gradient. We expect that $$\Bx^u = 1/\Bx_u$$, and find
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2420}
\inv{a} \cdot x = f(u),

but for constant $$a$$, we know that $$\grad a \cdot x = a$$, so taking gradients of both sides we find
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2440}

so the reciprocal vector is
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2460}
\Bx^u = \grad u = \inv{a f_u},

as expected.

Problem: Linear two variable parameterization.

Let $$x = a u + b v$$, where $$x \wedge a \wedge b = 0$$ represents spacetime plane (also the tangent space.) Find the curvilinear coordinates and their reciprocals.

The frame vectors are easy to compute, as they are just
\label{eqn:reciprocal:1960}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_u &= \PD{u}{x} = a \\
\Bx_v &= \PD{v}{x} = b.
\end{aligned}

This is an example of a parametric equation that we can easily invert, as we have
\label{eqn:reciprocal:1980}
\begin{aligned}
x \wedge a &= – v \lr{ a \wedge b } \\
x \wedge b &= u \lr{ a \wedge b },
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2000}
\begin{aligned}
u
&= \inv{ a \wedge b } \cdot \lr{ x \wedge b } \\
&= \inv{ \lr{a \wedge b}^2 } \lr{ a \wedge b } \cdot \lr{ x \wedge b } \\
&=
\frac{
\lr{b \cdot x} \lr{ a \cdot b }

\lr{a \cdot x} \lr{ b \cdot b }
}{ \lr{a \wedge b}^2 }
\end{aligned}

\label{eqn:reciprocal:2020}
\begin{aligned}
v &= -\inv{ a \wedge b } \cdot \lr{ x \wedge a } \\
&= -\inv{ \lr{a \wedge b}^2 } \lr{ a \wedge b } \cdot \lr{ x \wedge a } \\
&=
-\frac{
\lr{b \cdot x} \lr{ a \cdot a }

\lr{a \cdot x} \lr{ a \cdot b }
}{ \lr{a \wedge b}^2 }
\end{aligned}

Recall that $$\grad \lr{ a \cdot x} = a$$, if $$a$$ is a constant, so our gradients are just
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2040}
\begin{aligned}
&=
\frac{
b \lr{ a \cdot b }

a
\lr{ b \cdot b }
}{ \lr{a \wedge b}^2 } \\
&=
b \cdot \inv{ a \wedge b },
\end{aligned}

and
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2060}
\begin{aligned}
&=
-\frac{
b \lr{ a \cdot a }

a \lr{ a \cdot b }
}{ \lr{a \wedge b}^2 } \\
&=
-a \cdot \inv{ a \wedge b }.
\end{aligned}

Expressed in terms of the frame vectors, this is just
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2080}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx^u &= \Bx_v \cdot \inv{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v } \\
\Bx^v &= -\Bx_u \cdot \inv{ \Bx_u \wedge \Bx_v },
\end{aligned}

so we were able to show, for this special two parameter linear case, that the explicit evaluation of the gradients has the exact structure that we intuited that the reciprocals must have, provided they are constrained to the spacetime plane $$a \wedge b$$. It is interesting to observe how this structure falls out of the linear system solution so directly. Also note that these reciprocals are not defined at the origin of the $$(u,v)$$ parameter space.

Now consider a variation of the previous problem, with $$x = a u^2 + b v^2$$. Find the curvilinear coordinates and their reciprocals.

\label{eqn:reciprocal:2100}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_u &= \PD{u}{x} = 2 u a \\
\Bx_v &= \PD{v}{x} = 2 v b.
\end{aligned}

Our tangent space is still the $$a \wedge b$$ plane (as is the surface itself), but the spacing of the cells starts getting wider in proportion to $$u, v$$.
Utilizing the work from the previous problem, we have
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2120}
\begin{aligned}
b \cdot \inv{ a \wedge b } \\
-a \cdot \inv{ a \wedge b }.
\end{aligned}

A bit of rearrangement can show that this is equivalent to the reciprocal frame identities. This is a second demonstration that the gradient and the algebraic formulations for the reciprocals match, at least for these special cases of linear non-coupled parameterizations.

Problem: Reciprocal frame for generalized cylindrical parameterization.

Let the vector parameterization be $$x(\rho,\theta) = \rho e^{-i\theta/2} x(\rho_0, \theta_0) e^{i \theta}$$, where $$i^2 = \pm 1$$ is a unit bivector ($$+1$$ for a boost, and $$-1$$ for a rotation), and where $$\theta, \rho$$ are scalars. Find the tangent space vectors and their reciprocals.

fig. 1. “Cylindrical” boost parameterization.

Note that this is cylindrical parameterization for the rotation case, and traces out hyperbolic regions for the boost case. The boost case is illustrated in fig. 1 where hyperbolas in the light cone are found for boosts of $$\gamma_0$$ with various values of $$\rho$$, and the spacelike hyperbolas are boosts of $$\gamma_1$$, again for various values of $$\rho$$.

The tangent space vectors are
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2480}
\Bx_\rho = \frac{x}{\rho},

and

\label{eqn:reciprocal:2500}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_\theta
&= -\frac{i}{2} x + x \frac{i}{2} \\
&= x \cdot i.
\end{aligned}

Recall that $$x \cdot i$$ lies perpendicular to $$x$$ (in the plane $$i$$), as illustrated in fig. 2. This means that $$\Bx_\rho$$ and $$\Bx_\theta$$ are orthogonal, so we can find the reciprocal vectors by just inverting them
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2520}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx^\rho &= \frac{\rho}{x} \\
\Bx^\theta &= \frac{1}{x \cdot i}.
\end{aligned}

fig. 2. Projection and rejection geometry.

Parameterization of a general linear transformation.

Given $$N$$ parameters $$u^0, u^1, \cdots u^{N-1}$$, a general linear transformation from the parameter space to the vector space has the form
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2160}
x =
{a^\alpha}_\beta \gamma_\alpha u^\beta,

where $$\beta \in [0, \cdots, N-1]$$ and $$\alpha \in [0,3]$$.
For such a general transformation, observe that the curvilinear basis vectors are
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2180}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_\mu
&= \PD{u^\mu}{x} \\
&= \PD{u^\mu}{}
{a^\alpha}_\beta \gamma_\alpha u^\beta \\
&=
{a^\alpha}_\mu \gamma_\alpha.
\end{aligned}

We find an interpretation of $${a^\alpha}_\mu$$ by dotting $$\Bx_\mu$$ with the reciprocal frame vectors of the standard basis
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2200}
\begin{aligned}
\Bx_\mu \cdot \gamma^\nu
&=
{a^\alpha}_\mu \lr{ \gamma_\alpha \cdot \gamma^\nu } \\
&=
{a^\nu}_\mu,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2220}
x = \Bx_\mu u^\mu.

We are able to reinterpret \ref{eqn:reciprocal:2160} as a contraction of the tangent space vectors with the parameters, scaling and summing these direction vectors to characterize all the points in the tangent plane.

Theorem 1.1: Projecting onto the tangent space.

Let $$T$$ represent the tangent space. The projection of a vector onto the tangent space has the form
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2560}
\textrm{Proj}_{\textrm{T}} y = \lr{ y \cdot \Bx^\mu } \Bx_\mu = \lr{ y \cdot \Bx_\mu } \Bx^\mu.

Start proof:

Let’s designate $$a$$ as the portion of the vector $$y$$ that lies outside of the tangent space
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2260}
y = y^\mu \Bx_\mu + a.

If we knew the coordinates $$y^\mu$$, we would have a recipe for the projection.
Algebraically, requiring that $$a$$ lies outside of the tangent space, is equivalent to stating $$a \cdot \Bx_\mu = a \cdot \Bx^\mu = 0$$. We use that fact, and then take dot products
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2280}
\begin{aligned}
y \cdot \Bx^\nu
&= \lr{ y^\mu \Bx_\mu + a } \cdot \Bx^\nu \\
&= y^\nu,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2300}
y = \lr{ y \cdot \Bx^\mu } \Bx_\mu + a.

Similarly, the tangent space projection can be expressed as a linear combination of reciprocal basis elements
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2320}
y = y_\mu \Bx^\mu + a.

Dotting with $$\Bx_\mu$$, we have
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2340}
\begin{aligned}
y \cdot \Bx^\mu
&= \lr{ y_\alpha \Bx^\alpha + a } \cdot \Bx_\mu \\
&= y_\mu,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2360}
y = \lr{ y \cdot \Bx^\mu } \Bx_\mu + a.

We find the two stated ways of computing the projection.

Observe that, for the special case that all of $$\setlr{ \Bx_\mu }$$ are orthogonal, the equivalence of these two projection methods follows directly, since
\label{eqn:reciprocal:2380}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ y \cdot \Bx^\mu } \Bx_\mu
&=
\lr{ y \cdot \inv{\Bx_\mu} } \inv{\Bx^\mu} \\
&=
\lr{ y \cdot \frac{\Bx_\mu}{\lr{\Bx_\mu}^2 } } \frac{\Bx^\mu}{\lr{\Bx^\mu}^2} \\
&=
\lr{ y \cdot \Bx_\mu } \Bx^\mu.
\end{aligned}

Lorentz transformations in Space Time Algebra (STA)

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Motivation.

One of the remarkable features of geometric algebra are the complex exponential sandwiches that can be used to encode rotations in any dimension, or rotation like operations like Lorentz transformations in Minkowski spaces. In this post, we show some examples that unpack the geometric algebra expressions for Lorentz transformations operations of this sort. In particular, we will look at the exponential sandwich operations for spatial rotations and Lorentz boosts in the Dirac algebra, known as Space Time Algebra (STA) in geometric algebra circles, and demonstrate that these sandwiches do have the desired effects.

Theorem 1.1: Lorentz transformation.

The transformation
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:580}
x \rightarrow e^{B} x e^{-B} = x’,

where $$B = a \wedge b$$, is an STA 2-blade for any two linearly independent four-vectors $$a, b$$, is a norm preserving, that is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:600}
x^2 = {x’}^2.

Start proof:

The proof is disturbingly trivial in this geometric algebra form
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:40}
\begin{aligned}
{x’}^2
&=
e^{B} x e^{-B} e^{B} x e^{-B} \\
&=
e^{B} x x e^{-B} \\
&=
x^2 e^{B} e^{-B} \\
&=
x^2.
\end{aligned}

End proof.

In particular, observe that we did not need to construct the usual infinitesimal representations of rotation and boost transformation matrices or tensors in order to demonstrate that we have spacetime invariance for the transformations. The rough idea of such a transformation is that the exponential commutes with components of the four-vector that lie off the spacetime plane specified by the bivector $$B$$, and anticommutes with components of the four-vector that lie in the plane. The end result is that the sandwich operation simplifies to
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:60}
x’ = x_\parallel e^{-B} + x_\perp,

where $$x = x_\perp + x_\parallel$$ and $$x_\perp \cdot B = 0$$, and $$x_\parallel \wedge B = 0$$. In particular, using $$x = x B B^{-1} = \lr{ x \cdot B + x \wedge B } B^{-1}$$, we find that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:80}
\begin{aligned}
x_\parallel &= \lr{ x \cdot B } B^{-1} \\
x_\perp &= \lr{ x \wedge B } B^{-1}.
\end{aligned}

When $$B$$ is a spacetime plane $$B = b \wedge \gamma_0$$, then this exponential has a hyperbolic nature, and we end up with a Lorentz boost. When $$B$$ is a spatial bivector, we end up with a single complex exponential, encoding our plane old 3D rotation. More general $$B$$’s that encode composite boosts and rotations are also possible, but $$B$$ must be invertible (it should have no lightlike factors.) The rough geometry of these projections is illustrated in fig 1, where the spacetime plane is represented by $$B$$.

fig 1. Projection and rejection geometry.

What is not so obvious is how to pick $$B$$’s that correspond to specific rotation axes or boost directions. Let’s consider each of those cases in turn.

Theorem 1.2: Boost.

The boost along a direction vector $$\vcap$$ and rapidity $$\alpha$$ is given by
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:620}
x’ = e^{-\vcap \alpha/2} x e^{\vcap \alpha/2},

where $$\vcap = \gamma_{k0} \cos\theta^k$$ is an STA bivector representing a spatial direction with direction cosines $$\cos\theta^k$$.

Start proof:

We want to demonstrate that this is equivalent to the usual boost formulation. We can start with decomposition of the four-vector $$x$$ into components that lie in and off of the spacetime plane $$\vcap$$.
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:100}
\begin{aligned}
x
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx \vcap^2 } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap + \lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

where $$\Bx = x \wedge \gamma_0$$. The first two components lie in the boost plane, whereas the last is the spatial component of the vector that lies perpendicular to the boost plane. Observe that $$\vcap$$ anticommutes with the dot product term and commutes with he wedge product term, so we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:120}
\begin{aligned}
x’
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap } \vcap } \gamma_0
e^{\vcap \alpha/2 }
e^{\vcap \alpha/2 }
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap } \vcap \gamma_0
e^{-\vcap \alpha/2 }
e^{\vcap \alpha/2 } \\
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap } \vcap } \gamma_0
e^{\vcap \alpha }
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap } \vcap \gamma_0.
\end{aligned}

Noting that $$\vcap^2 = 1$$, we may expand the exponential in hyperbolic functions, and find that the boosted portion of the vector expands as
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:260}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0 e^{\vcap \alpha}
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0 \lr{ \cosh\alpha + \vcap \sinh \alpha} \\
&=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \lr{ \cosh\alpha – \vcap \sinh \alpha} \gamma_0 \\
&=
\lr{ x^0 \cosh\alpha – \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \sinh \alpha} \gamma_0
+
\lr{ -x^0 \sinh \alpha + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \cosh \alpha } \vcap \gamma_0.
\end{aligned}

We are left with
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:320}
\begin{aligned}
x’
&=
\lr{ x^0 \cosh\alpha – \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \sinh \alpha} \gamma_0
+
\lr{ \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \cosh \alpha -x^0 \sinh \alpha } \vcap \gamma_0
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0 \\
&=
\begin{bmatrix}
\gamma_0 & \vcap \gamma_0
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cosh\alpha & – \sinh\alpha \\
-\sinh\alpha & \cosh\alpha
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
x^0 \\
\Bx \cdot \vcap
\end{bmatrix}
+
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

which has the desired Lorentz boost structure. Of course, this is usually seen with $$\vcap = \gamma_{10}$$ so that the components in the coordinate column vector are $$(ct, x)$$.

Theorem 1.3: Spatial rotation.

Given two linearly independent spatial bivectors $$\Ba = a^k \gamma_{k0}, \Bb = b^k \gamma_{k0}$$, a rotation of $$\theta$$ radians in the plane of $$\Ba, \Bb$$ from $$\Ba$$ towards $$\Bb$$, is given by
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:640}
x’ = e^{-i\theta} x e^{i\theta},

where $$i = (\Ba \wedge \Bb)/\Abs{\Ba \wedge \Bb}$$, is a unit (spatial) bivector.

Start proof:

Without loss of generality, we may pick $$i = \acap \bcap$$, where $$\acap^2 = \bcap^2 = 1$$, and $$\acap \cdot \bcap = 0$$. With such an orthonormal basis for the plane, we can decompose our four vector into portions that lie in and off the plane
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:400}
\begin{aligned}
x
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \Bx i i^{-1} } \gamma_0 \\
&= \lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1} + \lr{ \Bx \wedge i } i^{-1} } \gamma_0.
\end{aligned}

The projective term lies in the plane of rotation, whereas the timelike and spatial rejection term are perpendicular. That is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:420}
\begin{aligned}
x_\parallel &= \lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1} \gamma_0 \\
x_\perp &= \lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \wedge i } i^{-1} } \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

where $$x_\parallel \wedge i = 0$$, and $$x_\perp \cdot i = 0$$. The plane pseudoscalar $$i$$ anticommutes with $$x_\parallel$$, and commutes with $$x_\perp$$, so
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:440}
\begin{aligned}
x’
&= e^{-i\theta/2} \lr{ x_\parallel + x_\perp } e^{i\theta/2} \\
&= x_\parallel e^{i\theta} + x_\perp.
\end{aligned}

However
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:460}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1}
&=
\lr{ \Bx \cdot \lr{ \acap \wedge \bcap } } \bcap \acap \\
&=
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \bcap \bcap \acap
-\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \acap \bcap \acap \\
&=
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \acap
+\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \bcap,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:480}
\begin{aligned}
x_\parallel e^{i\theta}
&=
\lr{
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \acap
+
\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \bcap
}
\gamma_0
\lr{
\cos\theta + \acap \bcap \sin\theta
} \\
&=
\acap \lr{
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \cos\theta

\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \sin\theta
}
\gamma_0
+
\bcap \lr{
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap} \sin\theta
+
\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap} \cos\theta
}
\gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

so
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:500}
x’
=
\begin{bmatrix}
\acap & \bcap
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\cos\theta & – \sin\theta \\
\sin\theta & \cos\theta
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
\Bx \cdot \acap \\
\Bx \cdot \bcap \\
\end{bmatrix}
\gamma_0
+
\lr{ x \wedge i} i^{-1} \gamma_0.

Observe that this rejection term can be explicitly expanded to
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:520}
\lr{ \Bx \wedge i} i^{-1} \gamma_0 =
x –
\lr{ \Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0

\lr{ \Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0.

This is the timelike component of the vector, plus the spatial component that is normal to the plane. This exponential sandwich transformation rotates only the portion of the vector that lies in the plane, and leaves the rest (timelike and normal) untouched.

Problem: Verify components relative to boost direction.

In the proof of thm. 1.2, the vector $$x$$ was expanded in terms of the spacetime split. An alternate approach, is to expand as
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:340}
\begin{aligned}
x
&= x \vcap^2 \\
&= \lr{ x \cdot \vcap + x \wedge \vcap } \vcap \\
&= \lr{ x \cdot \vcap } \vcap + \lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \vcap.
\end{aligned}

Show that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:360}
\lr{ x \cdot \vcap } \vcap
=
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0,

and
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:380}
\lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \vcap
=
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0.

Let $$x = x^\mu \gamma_\mu$$, so that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:160}
\begin{aligned}
x \cdot \vcap
&=
\gpgradeone{ x^\mu \gamma_\mu \cos\theta^b \gamma_{b 0} } \\
&=
x^\mu \cos\theta^b \gpgradeone{ \gamma_\mu \gamma_{b 0} }
.
\end{aligned}

The $$\mu = 0$$ component of this grade selection is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:180}
=
-\gamma_b,

and for $$\mu = a \ne 0$$, we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:200}
=
-\delta_{a b} \gamma_0,

so we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:220}
\begin{aligned}
x \cdot \vcap
&=
x^0 \cos\theta^b (-\gamma_b)
+
x^a \cos\theta^b (-\delta_{ab} \gamma_0 ) \\
&=
-x^0 \vcap \gamma_0

x^b \cos\theta^b \gamma_0 \\
&=
– \lr{ x^0 \vcap + \Bx \cdot \vcap } \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

where $$\Bx = x \wedge \gamma_0$$ is the spatial portion of the four vector $$x$$ relative to the stationary observer frame. Since $$\vcap$$ anticommutes with $$\gamma_0$$, the component of $$x$$ in the spacetime plane $$\vcap$$ is
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:240}
\lr{ x \cdot \vcap } \vcap =
\lr{ x^0 + \lr{ \Bx \cdot \vcap} \vcap } \gamma_0,

as expected.

For the rejection term, we have
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:280}
x \wedge \vcap
=
x^\mu \cos\theta^s \gpgradethree{ \gamma_\mu \gamma_{s 0} }.

The $$\mu = 0$$ term clearly contributes nothing, leaving us with:
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:300}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \vcap
&=
\lr{ x \wedge \vcap } \cdot \vcap \\
&=
x^r \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \lr{ \lr{ \gamma_r \wedge \gamma_{s}} \gamma_0 } \cdot \lr{ \gamma_{t0} } \\
&=
\lr{ \gamma_r \wedge \gamma_{s} } \gamma_0 \gamma_{t0}
} \\
&=
-x^r \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \lr{ \gamma_r \wedge \gamma_{s}} \cdot \gamma_t \\
&=
-x^r \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \lr{ -\gamma_r \delta_{st} + \gamma_s \delta_{rt} } \\
&=
x^r \cos\theta^t \cos\theta^t \gamma_r

x^t \cos\theta^s \cos\theta^t \gamma_s \\
&=
\Bx \gamma_0
– (\Bx \cdot \vcap) \vcap \gamma_0 \\
&=
\lr{ \Bx \wedge \vcap} \vcap \gamma_0,
\end{aligned}

as expected. Is there a clever way to demonstrate this without resorting to coordinates?

Problem: Rotation transformation components.

Given a unit spatial bivector $$i = \acap \bcap$$, where $$\acap \cdot \bcap = 0$$ and $$i^2 = -1$$, show that
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:540}
\lr{ x \cdot i } i^{-1}
=
\lr{ \Bx \cdot i } i^{-1} \gamma_0
=
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0
+
\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap } \bcap \gamma_0,

and
\label{eqn:lorentzTransform:560}
\lr{ x \wedge i } i^{-1}
=
\lr{ \Bx \wedge i } i^{-1} \gamma_0
=
x –
\lr{\Bx \cdot \acap } \acap \gamma_0

\lr{\Bx \cdot \bcap } \bcap \gamma_0.

Also show that $$i$$ anticommutes with $$\lr{ x \cdot i } i^{-1}$$ and commutes with $$\lr{ x \wedge i } i^{-1}$$.

This problem is left for the reader, as I don’t feel like typing out my solution.

The first part of this problem can be done in the tedious coordinate approach used above, but hopefully there is a better way.

For the last (commutation) part of the problem, here is a hint. Let $$x \wedge i = n i$$, where $$n \cdot i = 0$$. The result then follows easily.

Dirac spinor relations after rest frame boost

December 18, 2018 phy2403 , , , , ,

In [1], Prof Osmond explicitly boosts a $$u^s(p_0)$$ Dirac spinor from the rest frame with rest frame energy $$p_0$$.
After doing so he claims the identification
\label{eqn:squarerootpsigma:20}
\begin{aligned}
\sqrt{m} e^{-\inv{2} \eta \sigma^3} &= \sqrt{ p \cdot \sigma } \\
\sqrt{m} e^{\inv{2} \eta \sigma^3} &= \sqrt{ p \cdot \overline{\sigma} },
\end{aligned}

for the components of $$u^s(\Lambda p_0)$$.

Let’s verify this by squaring. First
\label{eqn:squarerootpsigma:40}
e^{\pm \inv{2} \eta \sigma^3 }
=
\cosh\lr{ \inv{2} \eta \sigma^3 }
\pm
\sinh\lr{ \inv{2} \eta \sigma^3 } \sigma^3,

which squares to (FIXME: link to uvspinor.nb)
\label{eqn:squarerootpsigma:60}
\lr{ e^{\pm \inv{2} \eta \sigma^3 } }^2
=
\begin{bmatrix}
e^{\pm \eta} & 0 \\
0 & e^{\mp \eta}
\end{bmatrix}.

Explicitly boosting the rest energy $$p_0$$ gives
\label{eqn:squarerootpsigma:80}
\begin{bmatrix}
p_0 \\
0
\end{bmatrix}
\rightarrow
\begin{bmatrix}
\cosh\eta & \sinh\eta \\
\sinh\eta & \cosh\eta \\
\end{bmatrix}
\begin{bmatrix}
p_0 \\
0
\end{bmatrix}
=
p_0
\begin{bmatrix}
\cosh\eta \\
\sinh\eta
\end{bmatrix},

so after the boost
\label{eqn:squarerootpsigma:100}
\begin{aligned}
p \cdot \sigma
&\rightarrow
p_0 \lr{ \cosh \eta – \sinh \eta \sigma^3 } \\
&= p_0
\begin{bmatrix}
\cosh\eta – \sinh\eta & 0 \\
0 & \cosh\eta + \sinh\eta
\end{bmatrix} \\
&=
p_0
\begin{bmatrix}
e^{-\eta} & 0 \\
0 & e^{\eta}
\end{bmatrix},
\end{aligned}

where $$p_0 = m$$ is still the rest frame energy. However, according to \ref{eqn:squarerootpsigma:60} this is exactly
\label{eqn:squarerootpsigma:120}
\lr{\sqrt{m} e^{-\inv{2} \eta \sigma^3 }}^2

Since $$p \cdot \overline{\sigma}$$ flips the signs of the spatial momentum, we have shown that
\label{eqn:squarerootpsigma:140}
\begin{aligned}
\lr{\sqrt{m} e^{-\inv{2} \eta \sigma^3 }}^2 &= p \cdot \sigma \\
\lr{\sqrt{m} e^{\inv{2} \eta \sigma^3 }}^2 &= p \cdot \overline{\sigma},
\end{aligned}

which isn’t a full proof of the claimed result (i.e. the most general orientation isn’t considered), but at least validates the claim.

References

[1] Dr. Tobias Osborne. Qft lecture 15, dirac equation, boost from stationary frame. Youtube. URL https://youtu.be/J2lV8uNx0LU?list=PLDfPUNusx1EpRs-wku83aqYSKfR5fFmfS&t=4328. [Online; accessed 18-December-2018].