Who coined the name tensor and why? - MathOverflow most recent 30 from http://mathoverflow.net 2013-05-24T03:58:30Z http://mathoverflow.net/feeds/question/75765 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/rdf http://mathoverflow.net/questions/75765/who-coined-the-name-tensor-and-why Who coined the name tensor and why? Meseret Tiruye 2011-09-18T16:59:29Z 2011-09-18T18:57:25Z <p>Who coined the name "tensor" and why? What does the word "tensor" really mean, not the mathematical definition?</p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/75765/who-coined-the-name-tensor-and-why/75768#75768 Answer by Charles for Who coined the name tensor and why? Charles 2011-09-18T17:14:33Z 2011-09-18T17:14:33Z <p>A tensor muscle is a muscle that stretches some part of the body, e.g. the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensor_veli_palatini_muscle" rel="nofollow">tensor veli palatini</a> or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensor_tympani_muscle" rel="nofollow">tensor tympani</a>. The word ultimately derives from the Latin <em>tendere</em> meaning "to stretch", see <a href="http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=tensor" rel="nofollow">Douglas Harper's etymonline</a>.</p> <p>Hamilton first introduced the term to mathematics; see <a href="http://jeff560.tripod.com/t.html" rel="nofollow">its entry in "Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics"</a>.</p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/75765/who-coined-the-name-tensor-and-why/75770#75770 Answer by Thomas Sauvaget for Who coined the name tensor and why? Thomas Sauvaget 2011-09-18T17:21:16Z 2011-09-18T17:21:16Z <p>I think the OP referes to the modern meaning of the word, in which case, according to that website, it first appeared in german physicist Woldemar Voigt's paper <em>Die fundamentalen physikalischen Eigenschaften der Krystalle in elementarer Darstellung</em> published in 1898. (I do not have access to this paper, but probably this deals with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deformation_tensor" rel="nofollow">deformation tensors</a> in crystals).</p>