Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
0 of .
Results for:
P. 1
Physical Applications of Vector Calculus

# Physical Applications of Vector Calculus

Ratings:
(0)
|Views: 402|Likes:
An excellent handout on Physical Applications of Vector Calculus
An excellent handout on Physical Applications of Vector Calculus

### Availability:

See more
See less

06/18/2013

pdf

text

original

SOME PHYSICAL APPLICATIONS OF VECTOR CALCULUS
1.
Fundamental Theorems of Vector Calculus
Let us ﬁrst recall the fundamental theorems of vector calculus. They will beused many times in what follows.
Theorem 1.1.
Let
γ
be an oriented curve in
R
3
with initial and ﬁnal points
p
0
and
p
1
, respectively. Let
h
(
x,y,z
)
be a scalar function. Then
(1.1)

γ
h
·
d
r
=
h
(
p
1
)
h
(
p
0
)
Theorem 1.2.
Let
be a oriented surface in
R
3
with boundary given by the closed curve
γ
, with orientation induced from that of
. Let
F
(
x,y,z
)
be a vector ﬁeld.Then
(1.2)

(
×
F
)
·
n
dS
=

γ
F
·
d
rTheorem 1.3.
Let
be a bounded solid region in
R
3
with boundary given by theclosed surface
, with the outward pointing orientation. Let
F
(
x,y,z
)
be a vector  ﬁeld. Then
(1.3)

E
(
·
F
)
dV
=

F
·
n
dS
We also have the following two theorems which characterize
conservative
and
solendoidal
ﬁelds, respectively:
Theorem 1.4.
A vector ﬁeld
F
in
R
3
is said to be
conservative
or
irrotational
if any of the following equivalent conditions hold:
×
F
=
0
at every point.

γ
F
·
d
r
is independent of the path joining the same two endpoints.

γ
F
·
d
r
= 0
for any
closed
path
γ
.
F
=
h
for some scalar potential
h
.
In fact this theorem is true for vector ﬁelds deﬁned in any region where all closed
paths
can be shrunk to a point without leaving the region.
1

2 SOME PHYSICAL APPLICATIONS OF VECTOR CALCULUS
Theorem 1.5.
A vector ﬁeld
F
in
R
3
is said to be
solenoidal
or
incompressible
if any of the following equivalent conditions hold:
·
F
= 0
at every point.

F
·
n
dS
is independent of the surface
having the same boundary curve.

F
·
n
dS
= 0
for any
closed
surface
.
F
=
×
A
for some vector potential
A
.
Similarly, this theorem is actually true for vector ﬁelds deﬁned in any regionwhere all closed
surfaces
can be shrunk to a point without leaving the region.The above two theorems should look very similar. Everything is shifted up byone dimension and the curl is replaced by the divergence, but the theorems areidentical in form.2.
Fluid Dynamics
Let
v
(
x,y,z,t
) be a time dependent vector ﬁeld whose value at any point givesthe
velocity
of a ﬂuid at that point in space and time. Note that since ﬂuids (liquidsand gases) are not rigid like solids, diﬀerent parts of the ﬂuid can be moving atdiﬀerent velocities. Similarly let
ρ
(
x,y,z,t
) denote the density of the ﬂuid, a scalarquantity. We can compute the total mass
m
(
t
) of a three dimensional boundedsolid region
R
of the ﬂuid by integrating the density over
R
:
m
(
t
) =

R
ρ
(
x,y,z
)
dxdydz
The rate of change of the mass of the ﬂuid in the region
R
is given by the timederivative of this expression:
dmdt
=
ddt

R
ρdxdydz
=

R
∂ρ∂tdxdydz
where we can diﬀerentiate under the integral sign since we are assuming that theregion
R
in question is not changing with time. Now the mass of the ﬂuid inthe region
R
can change only because of ﬂuid entering or leaving
R
through itsboundary surface
. The rate of ﬂow of ﬂuid out through the surface
is givenby the ﬂux integral of
ρ
v
over
. Note that the ﬂux of
v
gives the rate of volumeﬂow, and we need to multiply by the density at each point to get a rate of massﬂow. Now the mass
m
(
t
) will
decrease
if ﬂuid is ﬂowing
outward
, so we need aminus sign:
dmdt
=

ρ
v
·
n
dS
Setting equal the two expressions for the rate of change of mass ﬂow, and using thedivergence theorem 1.3, we obtain:(2.1)

R
∂ρ∂tdxdydz
+

ρ
v
·
n
dS
=

R
∂ρ∂t
+
·
(
ρ
v
)
dxdydz
= 0Since this must hold for
any
region
R
, the integrand must be identically zero.This yields the
equation of continuity
:(2.2)
∂ρ∂t
+
·
(
ρ
v
) = 0

SOME PHYSICAL APPLICATIONS OF VECTOR CALCULUS 3
This is the mathematical formulation of
conservation of mass
.If the ﬂuid is incompressible, then the density
ρ
is a constant, independent of po-sition and time, and equation 2.2 reduces to
·
v
= 0, which is the historical reasonfor calling such vector ﬁelds incompressible. In this case, applying the divergencetheorem to
·
v
= 0 tells us that the ﬂux through any
closed
surface
is zero.This makes sense physically because since the ﬂuid is incompressible, it cannot bepiling up inside the region, so whatever volume of ﬂuid goes in must come out andhence the total ﬂux must be zero.We can also use Stokes’ Theorem 1.2 to calculate the
circulation
of the ﬂuidabout a closed curve
γ
. This is just the line integral of
v
over
γ
, which we canrewrite as

(
×
v
)
·
n
dS
for any surface
which has
γ
as boundary. Thisis a measure of the ﬂuid’s tendency to circulate around this path. If the ﬂuid isirrotational,
×
v
= 0, and the circulation is zero. Hence we see here the reasonfor calling such ﬁelds irrotational.We can also use vector calculus to determine the equation of motion for theﬂuid, which is governed by Newton’s second law. The time rate of change of thetotal momentum of the ﬂuid must equal the total force acting on the ﬂuid. Themomentum in a solid bounded region can change due to ﬂow of the ﬂuid out of the region, due to the pressure exerted on the ﬂuid inside by the rest of the ﬂuidexterior to the region, and by various external forces such as gravity or electricityand magnetism, in the case of charged ﬂuids. This situation occurs in the interiorsof stars, for example. An analysis that is similar to that which led to equation 2.2but somewhat more involved yields the classical equation of motion for ﬂuids:(2.3)
ρ∂
v
∂t
+
ρ
(
v
·
)
v
=
−∇
+
ρ
F
where
is the pressure of the ﬂuid and
F
is the external force density. This isthe
Navier-Stokes equation
. This is an example of a nonlinear diﬀerential equation.Even today, we know very little about the behaviour of solutions to this equation,which is part of the reason why the weather is so diﬃcult to predict. Phenomenalike turbulence, tornadoes, and whirlpools are mathematical consequences of thenonlinearity of this equation.3.
Electricity and Magnetism
We begin by stating
Maxwell’s equations
of electromagnetism. We will not con-cern ourselves here with the physical derivations of these equations and insteadexamine their mathematical consequences. Let
E
(
x,y,z,t
) and
B
(
x,y,z,t
) denotethe electric and magnetic ﬁelds in space, respectively. These depend on both po-sition and time, in general. Further, we denote by
ρ
(
x,y,z,t
) the
charge density
and
J
(
x,y,z,t
) the
current density
in space. Note the current density is a vectorﬁeld, since a current is given by both a magnitude and a direction. Here are theequations: