>Hello, all. Just when I think I've got a good handle on tensors (after >painstakingly reading and working problems in Louis Brand's "Vector and >Tensor Analysis"), I come across the following in Merriam-Webster's >Collegiate Dictionary: > >"A generalized vector with more than three components each of which is a >function of an arbitrary point in space of an appropriate number of >dimensions" > >That definition seems to exclude well-known dyadics (stress tensor, >permeability tensor, etc) having 9-components that are constants (for >the material involved.) That aside, I'm still having a problem grasping >the foregoing definition. Thanks for your time and any comment. Sincerely,
The M-W definition is pretty meanigless, IMHO. I think it was put there by someone who does not understand it.
While there are many ways that people may look at tensors, I am partial to the one that defines vectors (which are really rank 1 tensors!) and tensors in terms of their transformation properties.
Another fallacy that I have come acorss is "a tensor is nothing but a matix".