For questions about tensors, tensor computation and specific tensors (e.g.curvature tensor, stress tensor). Tensor calculus is a technique that can be regarded as a follow-up on linear algebra. It is a generalisation of classical linear algebra. In classical linear algebra one deals with vectors and matrices.

Tensors, are arrays of numbers, or functions, that transform according to certain rules under a change of coordinates. In physics, tensors characterize the properties of a physical system.

A tensor may be defined at a single point or collection of isolated points of space (or space-time), or it may be defined over a continuum of points. In the latter case, the elements of the tensor are functions of position and the tensor forms what is called a tensor field. This just means that the tensor is defined at every point within a region of space (or space-time), rather than just at a point, or collection of isolated points.

Tensor is a geometric object that maps in a multi-linear manner geometric vectors, scalars, and other tensors to a resulting tensor. Vectors and scalars which are often used in elementary physics and engineering applications, are considered as the simplest tensors. Vectors from the dual space of the vector space, which supplies the geometric vectors, are also included as tensors.

Tensors were conceived in $1900$ by Tullio Levi-Civita and Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro, who continued the earlier work of Bernhard Riemann and Elwin Bruno Christoffel and others, as part of the absolute differential calculus. The concept enabled an alternative formulation of the intrinsic differential geometry of a manifold in the form of the Riemann curvature tensor.

Tensors are important in physics because they provide a concise mathematical framework for formulating and solving physics problems in areas such as mechanics (stress, elasticity, fluid mechanics, moment of inertia, ...), electrodynamics (electromagnetic tensor, Maxwell tensor, permittivity, magnetic susceptibility, ...), or general relativity (stress–energy tensor, curvature tensor, ... ) and others.


What are the Differences Between a Matrix and a Tensor?

An Introduction to Tensors