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# Symbolic vector field

Is it possible to represent a partial differentiation without specifying what the derivative is acting upon? This would be handy in manipulating vector fields symbolically. For ex., suppose we have a vector field Y = y * d/dx and we'd like to compute the pushforward of Y by some diffeomorphism F. Can one express "d/dx" in the usual mathematical partial differential notation and in a way that Sage can handle?

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## Comments

There is a differential forms package now, which might have some useful stuff?

( 2016-04-19 15:38:58 +0200 )edit

Thanks. I'll have a look at the package. For now, I have resorted to positional notation, i.e., representing the field by its vector of coefficients. So Y = y*d/dx above becomes [y,0], etc.

( 2016-04-19 17:14:21 +0200 )edit

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This is implemented in SageManifolds, see for instance here for an example of vector field on the sphere S^2 (in the section "Module of vector fields" of the worksheet).
SageManifolds is not fully implemented in SageMath yet, so you have to install it according to these instructions. Note that SageManifolds is installed in the SageMathCloud (see here for some SMC example including vector vectors fields on S^2).

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Btw, the method pushforward is implemented: see here for an example: the pushforward of a vector field by the standard embedding S^2 --> R^3.

( 2016-04-19 18:25:56 +0200 )edit

Thanks Eric. I have now compiled SageMath 7.1 from source on openSUSE 13.2, After testing, I have installed SageManifolds per instructions given. All tests pass!

( 2016-04-25 04:25:55 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2016-04-19 00:53:11 +0200

Seen: 188 times

Last updated: Apr 19 '16