Elastic tensors and their preferred frames of reference

Donald T. Easley, R. James Brown

Even though tensors have an existence independent of what frame we choose to represent them in, it is inevitable that we need to utilize the numbers representing the tensor in a certain frame of reference. The elastic tensor is no exception; if we choose the wrong frame of reference the tensor components will in general be all non-zero, which is cumbersome to work with, even though correct. If we choose the preferred frame we gain two things: minimization of dependent non-zero elements and information as to the symmetry orientation represented by the elastic tensor. We propose to approach the problem in a statistical manner.