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**Theorem 1 Let F(X) be a continuously diﬀerentiable vector ﬁeld in
**

a domain D ⊂ R

n

. Let R ⊂ D be a closed, bounded region whose

boundary is a smooth surface, Σ ⊂ D. For each point x ∈ Σ let ν(X) be

the unit outward, or “exterior”, normal to Σ with respect to the region

R. Then, with dX ≡ dx

1

dx

2

...dx

n

and with dσ indicating integration

with respect to surface area on Σ,

_

R

∇· F(X) dX =

_

Σ

F(X) · ν(X) dσ.

Proof We will give the proof for the case n = 3; much the same

proof can be given in the general n-dimensional situation. Supposing

that

F(X) = F(x, y, z) =

_

_

_

_

f(x, y, z)

g(x, y, z)

h(x, y, z)

_

_

_

_

,

we have

∇· F(X) =

_

∂f

∂x

+

∂g

∂y

+

∂h

∂z

_

(x, y, z).

Thus

_

R

∇· F(X) dX =

_

R

∂f

∂x

dX +

_

R

∂g

∂y

dX +

_

R

∂h

∂z

dX.

Initially we will concentrate our attention on the last integral appearing

here.

We will also initially suppose (see ﬁgure on page 5) that the bounding

surface Σ for R consists of an “upper” surface and a “lower” surface:

Σ

τ

: φ(x, y, z) = z − τ(x, y) = 0; Σ

ρ

: ψ(x, y, z) = z − ρ(x, y) = 0,

together with some possible surface components parallel to the z-axis

which we will denote collectively by Σ

z

.

1

If we take a point on the upper surface, namely (x, y, τ(x, y)), the unit

normal vector there is

ν

τ

(X) =

−i

∂τ

∂x

− j

∂τ

∂y

+ k

¸

_

∂τ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂τ

∂y

_

2

+ 1

.

On the lower surface the unit outward normal vector is

ν

ρ

(X) =

i

∂ρ

∂x

+ j

∂ρ

∂y

− k

¸

_

∂ρ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂ρ

∂y

_

2

+ 1

.

On the upper surface, z = τ(x, y), the element of surface area is

dσ =

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

∂τ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂τ

∂y

_

2

+ 1 dxdy,

while on the lower surface the corresponding surface area element is

dσ =

¸

¸

¸

¸

_

_

∂ρ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂ρ

∂y

_

2

+ 1 dxdy.

Therefore, with R

xy

denoting the projection of R onto the x, y plane,

_

R

∂h

∂z

(x, y, z) dxdy dz =

_

R

xy

_

_

z=τ(x,y)

z=ρ(x,y)

∂h

∂z

(x, y, z) dz

_

dxdy

=

_

R

xy

(h(x, y, τ(x, y)) − h(x, y, ρ(x, y))) dxdy

=

_

Σ

τ

h(x, y, τ(x, y))

dσ

¸

_

∂τ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂τ

∂y

_

2

+ 1

−

_

Σ

ρ

h(x, y, ρ(x, y))

dσ

¸

_

∂ρ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂ρ

∂y

_

2

+ 1

.

2

But we clearly have

1

¸

_

∂τ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂τ

∂y

_

2

+ 1

= k · ν

τ

(X),

−1

¸

_

∂ρ

∂x

_

2

+

_

∂ρ

∂y

_

2

+ 1

= k · ν

ρ

(X).

Consequently

_

R

∂h

∂z

(x, y, z) dxdy dz

=

_

Σ

τ

h(x, y, z) k · ν

τ

(X) dσ +

_

Σ

ρ

h(x, y, z) k · ν

ρ

(X) dσ.

On Σ

z

we have k · ν(X) ≡ 0, so the above can be extended to

_

R

∂h

∂z

(x, y, z) dxdy dz =

_

Σ

h(x, y, z) k · ν(X) dσ.

Complicated regions R can be reduced, by means of cuts parallel to the

z-axis to regions satisfying the hypothesis above. So we may assume

the result obtained so far is not limited with respect to the geometry

of R. (See ﬁgure on p. 5.)

In the same way we can see that

_

R

∂f

∂x

(x, y, z) dxdy dz =

_

Σ

f(x, y, z) i · ν(X) dσ;

_

R

∂g

∂y

(x, y, z) dxdy dz =

_

Σ

g(x, y, z) j · ν(X) dσ.

Adding the three results separately obtained for f, g and h we have

_

R

∇·F(X) dX =

_

R

_

∂f

∂x

(x, y, z) +

∂g

∂y

(x, y, z) +

∂h

∂z

(x, y, z)

_

dxdy dz

=

_

Σ

(f(x, y, z) i + g(x, y, z) j + h(x, y, z) k) · ν(X) dσ

=

_

Σ

F(X) · ν(X) dσ

and the theorem is proved.

3

Example 1 Let F(x, y, z) = xi + y j + z k and let Σ be the sphere

of radius 1 in R

3

. We ﬁrst compute =

_

Σ

F(X) · ν(X) dσ. Here we

have

ν(X) =

1

√

x

2

+ y

2

+ z

2

_

_

_

_

x

y

z

_

_

_

_

−→ F(X) · ν(X) =

x

2

+ y

2

+ z

2

√

x

2

+ y

2

+ z

2

=

_

x

2

+ y

2

+ z

2

≡ 1 on Σ.

So we have

_

Σ

F(X) · ν(X) dσ = 1 ·

_

Σ

dσ = 4π.

On the other hand, with R denoting the unit ball inside the unit sphere

Σ as described above, we have

_

R

∇· F(X) dX =

_

R

∇·

_

_

_

_

x

y

z

_

_

_

_

dxdy dz =

_

R

3 dxdy dz

= 3

_

R

dxdy dz = 3 ·

4

3

π = 4π.

The Divergence Theorem equates two diﬀerent integrals; one over

the region R and one over Σ, the boundary of R. It can happen that

one or the other of these integrals is substantially easier to calculate

than the other, so it may be advantageous to switch from one integral

to the other to facilitate computation.

Example 2 Let R and Σ be as in the preceding example, but now

F(X) = F(x, y, z) =

_

_

_

_

x

3

y

3

z

3

_

_

_

_

.

Then

F(X) · ν(X) =

x

4

+ y

4

+ z

4

√

x

2

+ y

2

+ z

2

‘.

4

In this case the surface integral,

_

Σ

x

4

+ y

4

+ z

4

√

x

2

+ y

2

+ z

2

dσ

is not easy to compute. But ∇ · F(x, y, z) = 3

_

x

2

+ y

2

+ z

2

_

and

thus, using spherical coordinates,

_

R

∇· F(x, y, z) dxdy dz =

_

2π

0

_

π

0

_

1

0

3r

2

r

2

sin φdr dφdθ

= 2π

_

π

0

sin φdφ

_

1

0

3r

4

dr = 12π

_

1

0

r

4

dr = 12π

r

5

5

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

1

0

=

12π

5

.

5

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