Einstein notation
In mathematics, especially in applications of linear algebra to physics, the Einstein notation or Einstein summation convention is a notational convention that implies summation over a set of indexed terms in a formula, thus achieving notational brevity. As part of mathematics it is a notational subset of Ricci calculus; however, it is often used in applications in physics that do not distinguish between tangent and cotangent spaces. It was introduced to physics by Albert Einstein in 1916.^{1}
Contents
Introduction
Statement of convention
According to this convention, when an index variable appears twice in a single term it implies summation of that term over all the values of the index. So where the indices can range over the set {1, 2, 3},
is reduced by the convention to:
The upper indices are not exponents but are indices of coordinates, coefficients or basis vectors. For example, x^{2} should be read as "xtwo", not "x squared", and typically (x^{1}, x^{2}, x^{3}) would be equivalent to the traditional (x, y, z).
In general relativity, a common convention is that
 the Greek alphabet is used for space and time components, where indices take values 0,1,2,3 (frequently used letters are μ, ν, ...),
 the Latin alphabet is used for spatial components only, where indices take values 1,2,3 (frequently used letters are i, j, ...),
In general, indices can range over any indexing set, including an infinite set. This should not be confused with a typographically similar convention used to distinguish between tensor index notation and the closely related but distinct basisindependent abstract index notation.
An index that is summed over is a summation index, in this case i. It is also called a dummy index since any symbol can replace i without changing the meaning of the expression, provided that it does not collide with index symbols in the same term.
An index that is not summed over is a free index and should be found in each term of the equation or formula if it appears in any term. Compare dummy indices and free indices with free variables and bound variables.
Application
Einstein notation can be applied in slightly different ways. Typically, each index occurs once in an upper (superscript) and once in a lower (subscript) position in a term; however, the convention can be applied more generally to any repeated indices within a term.^{2} When dealing with covariant and contravariant vectors, where the position of an index also indicates the type of vector, the first case usually applies; a covariant vector can only be contracted with a contravariant vector, corresponding to summation of the products of coefficients. On the other hand, when there is a fixed coordinate basis (or when not considering coordinate vectors), one may choose to use only subscripts; see below.
Vector representations
Superscripts and subscripts vs. only subscripts
In terms of covariance and contravariance of vectors,
 upper indices represent components of contravariant vectors (vectors),
 lower indices represent components of covariant vectors (covectors): they transform covariantly (resp., contravariantly) with respect to change of basis.
In recognition of this fact, the following notation uses the same symbol both for a (co)vector and its components, as in:
where v is the vector and v^{i} are its components (not the ith covector v) w is the covector and w_{i} are its components.
In the presence of a nondegenerate form (an isomorphism , for instance a Riemannian metric or Minkowski metric), one can raise and lower indices.
A basis gives such a form (via the dual basis), hence when working on R^{n} with a Euclidian metric and a fixed orthonormal basis, one can work with only subscripts.
However, if one changes coordinates, the way that coefficients change depends on the variance of the object, and one cannot ignore the distinction; see covariance and contravariance of vectors.
Mnemonics
In the above example, vectors are represented as n×1 matrices (column vectors), while covectors are represented as 1×n matrices (row covectors).
When using the column vector convention
 "Upper indices go up to down; lower indices go left to right"
 "COvariant tensors are ROW vectors that have indices that are belOW. Cobelowrow
 Vectors can be stacked (column matrices) sidebyside:
 Hence the lower index indicates which column you are in.
 You can stack covectors (row matrices) toptobottom:
 Hence the upper index indicates which row you are in.
Abstract description
The virtue of Einstein notation is that it represents the invariant quantities with a simple notation.
Any scalar is invariant under transformations of basis; the individual terms in the sum are not. When the basis is changed, the components of a vector change by a linear transformation described by a matrix. This led Einstein to propose the convention that repeated indices imply the summation is to be done.
As for covectors, they change by the inverse matrix. This is designed to guarantee that the linear function associated with the covector, the sum above, is the same no matter what the basis is.
The value of the Einstein convention is that it applies to other vector spaces built from V using the tensor product and duality. For example, , the tensor product of V with itself, has a basis consisting of tensors of the form . Any tensor in can be written as:
 .
, the dual of , has a basis e^{1}, e^{2}, ..., e^{n} which obeys the rule
where δ is the Kronecker delta. As
the rowcolumn coordinates on a matrix correspond to the upperlower indices on the tensor product.
Common operations in this notation
In Einstein notation, the usual element reference for the mth row and nth column of matrix A becomes . We can then write the following operations in Einstein notation as follows.
 Inner product (hence also Vector dot product)
Using an orthogonal basis, the inner product is the sum of corresponding components multiplied together:
This can also be calculated by multiplying the covector on the vector.
Again using an orthogonal basis (in 3d) the cross product intrisically involves summations over permutations of components:
where
and is the LeviCivita symbol.
The matrix product of two matrices and is:
equivalent to
For a square matrix , the trace is the sum of the diagonal elements, hence the sum over a common index .
The outer product of the column vector by the row vector yields an m×n matrix A:
Since i and j represent two different indices, there is no summation and the indices are not eliminated by the multiplication.
The contraction of a tensor with the metric tensor, , is a common operation used to raise or lower indices (typically for convenience) on a tensor. For example, the index in superscript of , can be lowered like so:
In this case, only summation over the "" index is implied.
See also
The Wikibook General relativity has a page on the topic of: Einstein Summation Notation 
 Ricci calculus
 Tensor
 Abstract index notation
 Bra–ket notation
 Penrose graphical notation
 Kronecker delta
 LeviCivita symbol
Notes
 This applies only for numerical indices. The situation is the opposite for abstract indices. Then, vectors themselves carry upper abstract indices and covectors carry lower abstract indices, as per the example in the introduction of this article. Elements of a basis of vectors may carry a lower numerical index and an upper abstract index.
References
 ^ Einstein, Albert (1916). "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity" (PDF). Annalen der Physik. Bibcode:1916AnP...354..769E. doi:10.1002/andp.19163540702. Archived from the original on 20060829. Retrieved 20060903.
 ^ "Einstein Summation". Wolfram Mathworld. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
Bibliography
 Kuptsov, L.P. (2001), "Einstein rule", in Hazewinkel, Michiel, Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Springer, ISBN 9781556080104.
External links
 Rawlings, Steve (20070201). "Lecture 10  Einstein Summation Convention and Vector Identities". Oxford University.

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