### Classification of second order symmetric tensors on manifolds through an associated fourth order tensor

#### Abstract

For a manifold M admitting a metric g and given a second order symmetric tensor T on M one can construct from g and (the trace-free part of) T a fourth order tensor E on M which is related in a one-to-one way with T and from which T may be readily obtained algebraically. In the case when dimM=4 this leads to an interesting relationship between the Jordan-Segre algebraic classification of T, viewed as a linear map on the tangent space to M with respect to g, and the Jordan-Segre classification of E, viewed as a linear map on the 6-dimensional vector space of 2-forms to itself (with respect to the usual metric on 2-forms). This paper explores this relationship for each of the three possible signatures for g.

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