You are on page 1of 11

III.

g Stokes Theorem
Stokes Theorem is an extension of Greens Theorem. It states that given a
surface S, in space, with C its boundary, then
_
C
F dr =
__
S
(curl F) ndS
n
n
n
n
C
S
where n is a unit normal to S which always points in the same direction relative
to S and whose direction is related to the direction of travel along C by the right
hand rule: if the ngers of the right hand point along the direction of travel along
C then there is a point P of S such that the thumb points in the direction of n at
P.
This statement, as well as the technical mathematical conditions needed on
S, C and a proof of the Theorem, can be found in precise form in theoretical texts.
We merely point out that the theorem is valid for S, C encountered in practice.
The following should be kept in mind. Suppose we are given rst a curve C
in space. Then we may construct many surfaces S
1
, S
2
, . . . whose boundary is C.
Think of C being the rim of a soap bubble and we blow on the soap lm.
235
S
S
S
3
2
1
C
1
As another example, note that the unit circle x
2
+ y
2
= 1 can be viewed as
the boundary of the ellipsoids: x
2
+y
2
+z
2
/a
2
= 1, z 0, for any a. In such cases,
the theorem holds for the given C and any such S. We pass to examples.
Example 1. Let S be the hemisphere z =
_
1 x
2
y
2
and suppose F = zi
xj + yk. If n is the upward pointing normal to S, verify Stokes Theorem.
Answer. We need to show
__
S
(curl F) ndS =
_
C
F dr
with C traversed as shown.
C
n
x
y
z
It is usually easier to evaluate
_
C
F dr so we start with this. Now
C =
_

_
x = cos
y = sin 0 2
z = 0
.
236
So
_
C
F dr =
_
2
0
_
z
dx
d
x
dy
d
+ y
dz
d
_
d
=
_
2
0
(cos )(cos ) d =
1
2
_
2
0
[1 cos 2] d
=
1
2
2 = .
We pass to the evaluation of
__
S
(curl F) ndS, and calculate the pieces needed rst.
Observe
curl F = det
_

_
i j k
/x /y /z
z x y
_

_
= i[1] j[1] +k[1] = i +j k.
Now we proceed by parametrizing S. We have a choice: we can either use z =
_
1 x
2
y
2
and x, y as parameters, or use spherical coordinates. The former is
easier to set up, but usually the integrals are harder, so we choose the latter option.
Note that once again:
z = cos
x = sin cos
y = sin sin
0 2
0

2
.
So r = sin cos i + sin sin j + cos k and
dS = |r

| d d
with a normal N given by r

. We compute r

and get
r

= det
_

_
i j k
sin sin sin cos 0
cos cos cos sin sin
_

_
= (sin
2
cos i + sin
2
sin j + cos sin k).
237
The next question is if N = r

points the right way (i.e., upwards) or not.


Choose a convenient point say = /4, any and look at the k-component of N.
We nd it is negative, so we must choose
n =
N
|N|
=
r

|r

|
.
So ndS = (r

)d d. (Again: There is no need to actually calculate |r

|!)
We then have:
__
S
(curl F) ndS =
__
B
(i +j k) (sin
2
cos i +sin
2
sin j +cos sin k)dd
where B denotes the rectangle 0 2, 0 /2 in the (, ) plane.

2
2

B
Consequently,
__
S
(curl F) ndS =
_
2
=0
_
/2
=0
[sin
2
cos + sin
2
sin cos sin ] dd
=
_
2
=0
_
/2
=0
_
(cos + sin )
_
1 cos(2)
2
_
cos sin
_
dd
=
_
2
0
_
_
cos + sin
2
_

sin
2

2
0
_
d =
as expected.
Example 2. Verify Stokes Theorem for the same F as in example 1, except now
S is the upper ellipsoid: z = a
_
1 x
2
y
2
(a > 0) with the normal n pointing
238
upward.
Answer. Note that in this case C and the direction of travel are the same as in
example 1.
C
n
x
y
z
z
It follows that
_
C
F dr = /2 regardless of the value of a! We must show that this
is also true of
__
S
(curl F) ndS and since we worked out curl F in example 1, we
need only work out n, dS. Note that now S is the upper half of (z
2
/a
2
)+x
2
+y
2
= 1.
We use the same parametrization as before, except z is replaced by z/a, i.e., we
have:
z = a cos
y = sin sin
x = sin cos
0

2
0 2.
We repeat the earlier calculations and nd
ndS = (r

) d d
= [a sin
2
cos i + a sin
2
sin j + cos sin k] d d
and
__
S
(F) ndS
=
_
2
0
_
/2
0
(a sin
2
cos + a sin
2
sin cos sin ) dd =
239
once again!
Example 3. Evaluate
_
C
Fdr by means of Stokes Theorem if C is the intersection
of the plane z = y + 2 and the cylinder x
2
+ y
2
= 1 traversed counterclockwise as
viewed from above while F = (x
100
+ y)i + (tan
1
y + x)j + (cos(z
2
) + x)k.
Answer. This problem means that we are to evaluate
_
C
F dr by actually calcu-
lating
__
S
curl F ndS. Observe rst that S is not given. We can choose any S
that has C for its boundary, so keep it simple! So we start with a sketch. It seems
reasonable to use the S given by the piece of the plane z = y +2 inside x
2
+y
2
= 1.
z
C
S n
y
x
So,
S =
_

_
z = y + 2
x = x x
2
+ y
2
1
y = y
or
S =
_

_
x = r cos
y = r sin
z = r sin + 2
0 r 1
0 2
240
is also ne. We then have
dS = |r
x
r
y
| dx dy
and
N = r
x
r
y
.
Now
r
x
r
y
= det
_
_
i j k
1 0 0
0 1 1
_
_
= j[1] +k[1].
We check if this N points the right way: Note that as we travel in the given
direction along C thenby the right hand rulen should point upwards. Since
this is true of N (by looking at the k component), we conclude it points the right
way and
ndS = Ndx dy = [j +k] dx dy.
Next,
curl F = det
_

_
i j k
/x /y /z
x
100
+ y tan
1
y + x cos(z
2
) + x
_

_
= i(0) j(1) +k(0) = j
and curl F ndS = 1 dx dy, so
__
S
(curl F) ndS =
__
B
dx dy = ,
since B is the unit circle in the (x, y) plane.
Example 4. Evaluate by Stokes Theorem
__
S
(curl F) ndS if: S is the part of
the paraboloid x = y
2
+ z
2
to the left of x = 1; n points towards decreasing x;
F = yi xj + zk.
241
Answer. In this case we need to evaluate
_
C
F dr where C is the boundary of S
traversed in the correct direction.
n
S
z
x
y
C
C
y
z

Now S is known, and from the picture, we conclude that C must be traversed
clockwise (as shown) looking towards decreasing x. Next on C we have x = 1,
y
2
+ z
2
= 1 so we parametrize
_

_
x = 1
y = cos 0 2,
z = sin
but this is C, since we traverse C the wrong way! Then
_
C
F dr =
_
2
0
[(cos ) 0 + (1)(sin ) + sin cos ]d = 0.
So
__
S
(curl F) ndS =
_
C
F dr = 0 = 0.
To practice, let us also calculate
__
S
(curl F) ndS and see what happens. Since
here F, S are simple this may be possible. Now
curl F = det
_

_
i j k
/x /y /z
y x z
_

_
= k[2]
242
while S is given by
_

_
x = y
2
+ z
2
y = y y
2
+ z
2
1
z = z
and r = (y
2
+ z
2
)i + yj + zk. So
r
y
= 2yi +j, r
z
= 2zi +k
and
r
y
r
z
= det
_
_
i j k
2y 1 0
2z 0 1
_
_
= i 2yj 2zk.
Note that this points the wrong way (look at the i component). Thus
(curl F) ndS = (curl F) (r
y
r
z
)dy dz = (2)(2z)dy dz = 4zdy dz
and
__
S
(curl F) ndS =
__
B
(4z) dy dz =
_
2
0
_
1
0
4(sin )r dr d = 0.
y
z
y + z = 1
2 2
B
243
Further Exercises:
Verify Stokes Theorem.
1) S is the piece of plane x + y + z = 1 in the rst octant, n points downward,
and F = yi + zj + xk.
2) S is the piece of the sphere x
2
+y
2
+z
2
= 1 inside the cone z =
_
1 x
2
y
2
,
n points upward and F = zi + xj + yk.
3) S is the disc given by z = 1, x
2
+y
2
1, n points upward and F = yi +xj +
(z + x)k.
4) S is the piece of the cone z =
_
x
2
+ y
2
below z = 1, n points upward and F
is as in Problem 3.
Use Stokes Theorem to evaluate.
5)
_
C
Fdr if C is the intersection of x
2
+y
2
+z
2
= a
2
and x
2
+y
2
= ax with z 0,
traversed counterclockwise if looking downward, and F = yi + xj + (z + x)k.
6)
_
C
F dr if C is the boundary of the triangle with vertices (0, 0, 0), (1, 0, 0),
(0, 1, 1) traversed counterclockwise if looking downward, and F = xy i +yz j +
xz k.
7)
_
C
F dr if C is obtained by intersecting the plane z = y with the cylinder
x
2
+ z
2
= 4, traversed clockwise if looking towards increasing y, and F =
xyz i + (
x
2
2
z + y + x)j + (
x
2
2
y + z
2
)k.
8)
__
S
( F) ndS if S is the disc: x = 1, y
2
+ z
2
1; n points towards
increasing x and F = (x
3
sin x)i + zj yk.
9) Same as Problem 8 if S is the part of the paraboloid z = x
2
+ y
2
inside the
sphere x
2
+y
2
+z
2
= 2; n points downward and F = (sin
2
z)i+(cos
2
z)j+x
2
yk.
244
10) Same as Problem 8 if S is the part of z = x
2
+y
2
which lies above 0 x 1,
0 y 1, n points downward and F = xy i + x
2
y j + z k.
245