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Chapter6.

VectorCalculus

Reading:

Kreyszig,AdvancedEngineeringMathematics,10thEd.,2011
Selectionfromchapters9and10

Prerequisites:

Kreyszig,AdvancedEngineeringMathematics,10thEd.,2011
1.Vectorquantities.Dotandcrossproducts:Sections9.19.3
2. Doubleintegral:Section10.3
2.Tripleintegral:Section10.7

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Contents
1. Vector physical quantities.
2. Vector calculus: Motivation and applications
3. Linear vector space. Dot, cross, and triple products
4. Scalar and vector fields and their derivatives
5. Curves
6. Surfaces
7. Line integrals of scalar and vector fields
8. Gradient, divergence, and curl
9. Pathindependent line integrals
10. Double integrals
11. Triple integrals
12. Surface integrals of scalar and vector fields
13. Greens theorem for a plane
14. Stokess theorem
15. Gauss divergence theorem

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6.1Vectorphysicalquantities
Notion of a vector is inspired by the existence of physical quantities that are characterized by
both magnitude and direction, e.g., velocity and force. In physics
The scalar is a quantity that is determined by its magnitude (temperature).
The vector is a quantity that is represented by a directed line segment, and thus, has
magnitude | | (absolute value, length, or norm of the vector) and direction (velocity,
Force, angular momentum).
Two vectors and are equal to each other, = , if they have the same length and
direction even if their initial and terminal points are different. We say that any vector is a free
vector if translation (displacement without rotation) does not change the vector.
Two basic operations on vector physical quantities are the vector addition and
scalar multiplication . Since physical vectors are defined geometrically, we introduce
such operations also geometrically as

: | |
Vector addition Scalar multiplication
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6.1Vectorphysicalquantities
And assume that they posses the following properties

, , , 0
(6.1.1)
, , , 1

Here:
is the zero vector, | | 0.
has the same length as , but opposite direction.
Existence of allows one to determine the vector subtraction: .
The unit vector is a vector of unit length, | | 1.

A whole set of objects (vectors) on which we can perform vector addition and scalar
multiplication with properties given by Eqs. (6.1.1) is called the (linear) vector space.

The idea behind the vector calculus is to utilize vectors and their functions for analytical
calculations.
This is possible if any vector is completely represented it terms of numbers, not directed line
segments.

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6.2Vectorcalculus:Motivationandapplications
Motivation:Calculationofworktypequantities
Work=forcexdistance

For general description of the


worktype quantities we
need:
Mathematical description
of curves
Whatifthepathiscomplexand/orforceisnotalignedwith Line integrals
thevelocity?

Line integrals are the ultimate


Trajectoryof generalization of equations
achaotic
Work=forcexdistance
pendulum
for worktype quantities

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6.2Vectorcalculus:Motivationandapplications
Motivation:Calculationoffluxtypequantities
Flux of a physical quantity is the amount of
this quantity transferred through a given area
(surface) per unit time

Surface integral is the ultimate


generalization of equation

for fluxtype quantities

For general description of the fluxtype


quantities we need:
Mathematical description of surfaces
Surface integrals
Relationships between flux and work
type quantities (integral theorems)

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6.2Vectorcalculus:Motivationandapplications
Applications of the vector calculus: All science and engineering fields where problems are
formulated in terms of PDEs or require analysis of vector fields in multidimensional spaces.
Formulation of physical laws in terms of scalar, vector, and tensor fields.
General mathematical properties of such mathematical models .
Fluid mechanics and gas dynamics, combustion

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6.2Vectorcalculus:Motivationandapplications
Solid mechanics Electromagnetic theory

Computer graphics/CAD Mapmaking Optimization

Statistical physics, Quantum mechanics, Rarefied gas dynamics, .............


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6.3Linearvectorspace.Dot,cross,andtripleproducts
The idea behind using the vector quantities in calculus is that any vector can be represented by a
few numbers that are called components of the vector. It allows us to perform all operation on
vectors algebraically, i.e. without any geometrical considerations. Let's consider how we can
introduce components of vectors.

First, let's introduce the geometrical projection of a


vector onto an axis and postulate the existence of
global 3D Cartesian coordinates

Let's consider a vector and some axis (line with


given direction). The direction of the axis can be
characterized by a unit vector placed along the
line and having the same direction. Then we can
geometrically define the vector projection and
scalar projection

(6.3.1) cos , =

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6.3Linearvectorspace.Dot,cross,andtripleproducts
Based on observations and our experience we can postulate that the physical space in the
classical mechanics is Euclidean, i.e. we can introduce the Cartesian coordinate system, which is
composed of three mutually perpendicular axis , , and . Next we can fix an arbitrary
linear scale and introduce three unit vectors , , , directed along every axis, which we call the
(Cartesian) basis.

Then every vector can be uniquely represented in the form of a


sum of its projections onto vectors of the Cartesian basis

where , , and are called Cartesian components of vector


. Now we see that if the Cartesian coordinates are fixed, every
vector (element of the vector space) is just a unique ordered
triple of real numbers
(6.3.2) , ,

Components , , of vector are determined by the


basis , , and if Cartesian coordinates change, the
components or every vector change as well.

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6.3Linearvectorspace.Dot,cross,andtripleproducts
Based on the Pythagorean theorem we see that the
norm or length of the vector is now defined as

(6.3.3)

A vector is called the unit vector if 1.


The cosine of angle between vectors and
(0 ) is equal to the scalar projection of
the unit vector along onto the unit vector
along :
(6.3.4)
cos
| |
where the number cos is called the Properties of the dot product:
dot (inner, scalar) product of vectors and .
Obviously, 1, 0, etc., so 1. 0,
if 0 then
1.
and 2.
3.

Two vectors and are called orthogonal if 0.


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6.3Linearvectorspace.Dot,cross,andtripleproducts
Question:Obviously,thechoiceofthebasisisnotunique.Howcanwechoosethebasis?
Vectors ,, are called linearly independent if 0 is possible only if
0, otherwise they are called linearly dependent.
Obviously, if ,, are linearly independent, then | | 0 for all 1, , .
A maximal number of linearly independent vectors of the vector space is call the dimension
of the vector space, and any linearly independent vectors , , are called the basis of the
vector space.
Theorem:
Any vector can be uniquely represented in the form of a linear combination of the basis vectors:
(6.3.5)
Proof:
Since 1 vectors are linearly dependent, we can write
0
where not all , , , are equal to zero. If 0 then ,, are linearly dependent and,
thus, 0. Then we can write
1

Real numbers , , are called the components of vector in the basis ,, . Thus, if
the basis is fixed, we can consider any vector as a set of numbers
,,
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6.3.Linearvectorspace.Dot,cross,andtripleproducts(optional)
Note 1: In classical mechanics, we assume that in the physical space 3 (physical space is
threedimensional, 3D). This is an assumption based on our experience.
Note 2: In our 3D space, we can use, if necessary, nonorthogonal basis to introduce vector
components and to perform all operations with vectors. In is only important that basis must be
formed by linearly independent vectors. Such basis are used to introduce nonorthogonal
systems of coordinates.
Examples:
1. The vector addition and scalar multiplication now can be defined as follows
,, (6.3.6)
,, (6.3.7)
2. The inner (dot, scalar) product of two vectors and can now be defined as

(6.3.8)

3. Length of vector Theseequationsarevalidfor


arbitrary basis.Theyreduceto
thefamiliarformsfor
orthonormal (Cartesian)basis,
when
(6.3.9) 0

1

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6.3Linearvectorspace.Dot,cross,andtripleproducts
The cross (vector) product of vectors and
is the vector that
1. Is equal to zero vector if | | 0 or
| | 0.
2. Is orthogonal to and .
3. Has the length
| sin | | sin |=areaofparallelogram
where is the angle between and . Righthanded Lefthanded
4. Has such direction that , , and Cartesiancoordinates Cartesiancoordinates
is the righthanded triplet, i.e. rotation
from to from the top of occurs in the
counterclockwise direction.
Then
, ,
... ...

(6.3.10)

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6.3Linearvectorspace.Dot,cross,andtripleproducts
Note:Allpropertiesofthevectorproductcanbederivedfromthedefinition.Itisimportantthat
,
The triple product , , of vectors , , and
is the scalar calculated as

, ,
(6.3.11)

The physical meaning of the triple product:


The triple product is equal to the signed
volume of a parallelepiped with edges
along vectors , , and :

cos

All other properties of the triple product


can be easily derived from properties of dot
and cross products.

Example:Let'sconsideraplanegivenbytwononparallelvectors and lyinginthisplaneand


apointwiththepositionvector .Thentheequationofthisplaneis 0.
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6.4Scalarandvectorfieldsandtheirderivatives
Lets consider 3D physical space. Based on experimental observations, in the classical mechanics
we make the following assumption about properties of the physical space:
The physical space is a Euclidean threedimensional (3D) space that means we can introduce
(global, unique for the whole space) 3D Cartesian coordinates such that the distance
between any two points , , and , , is given by

For every point we can introduce the position vector


starting from the origin of the coordinates and
ending at point .
We can introduce three mutually orthogonal unit basic
vectors , , and connecting the origin with points
(1,0,0), (0,1,0) and (0,0,1) at the axes.
Every position vector can be represented in the form

where , , arecoordinatesandthescalar(dot)productis

Relative position of point with respect to point is characterized by the relative position
vector and distance
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6.4Scalarandvectorfieldsandtheirderivatives
Letsconsidersomedomain ,whichcanbe
1. Onedimensional(1D):setofpointsatthereal axis
2. Twodimensional(2D):Setofpointsin plane
3. Threedimensional(3D):Setofpointsin space.
WeassumethatweintroduceaCartesiancoordinates withtheglobalbasis , ,
Ineverycasewecancharacterizeapoint of withtheposition(radius)vector
In3D,wewillconsideronlyrighthandcoordinates
1D2D3D

Assume that for every point from we define a number


(6.4.1)
The function is called the scalar field.
1D: isafunction
2D: , isa2D(planar)scalarfield
3D: , , isa3Dscalarfield
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6.4Scalarandvectorfieldsandtheirderivatives
The surface , , is called the isosurface of the scalar field .
In 2D case, curve defined by the equation , is called the isoline or contour line.

The isosurfaces and isolines are used to visualize scalar fields.

Example:Sphericallysymmetricgravitationalfield
The potential energy of a point mass in the spherically symmetric field of mass with center
in point , , is equal to

, ,

Isosurfaces aresphereswithcenterat , , .
Contourlinesat planearecircleswithcentersat , .

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6.4Scalarandvectorfieldsandtheirderivatives
Now lets assume that in every point of we define a vector . Then is called
the vector field:
(6.4.2)
1D:
2D: , , ,
3D: , , , , , , , ,
The curve at every point of which the vector field is tangent to the curve is called the field line
of the vector field . Field lines are used for visualization of vector fields.
Example 1: Potential flow field around a cylinder in a crossflow.
, are polar coordinates ( cos , sin )
Scalar field: Velocity potential
, cos
2
Vectorfield:Fluidvelocity
1 sin cos cos sin
Whitecurves:Contourlinesofthevelocitypotentials
Blackcurves:Fieldlinesofthevelocityfields.
Influidmechanics,fieldlinesofthevelocityfieldarecalledthestreamlines.
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6.4Scalarandvectorfieldsandtheirderivatives

Example2:ScalartemperaturefieldExample3:Vectorvelocityfieldintheflowover
acircularcylinder
Localvelocityvectors

Fieldlinesofvelocityfield=streamlines

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6.4Scalarandvectorfieldsandtheirderivatives

Example4:Electricfieldlinesofadipole Example5:MagneticfieldlinesovertheSun

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6.4Scalarandvectorfieldsandtheirderivatives
Wecandefinederivativesofscalarandvectorfields,e.g.,withrespectto
, , , ,
lim (6.4.3)

, , , ,
lim

, , , , , , , , , , , ,
lim

(6.4.4)

Thebasicpropertyofanysuchderivativeisthelinearity( and areconstants):

Many rules valid for ordinary derivatives also hold for derivatives of the dot and cross products,
in particular
Thesepropertiesremainvalidbecause
arerepresentedintheformofsums,
whereeverytermisaproductoftwo
functions,e.g. .

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6.5Curves
Lets consider a 3D space with Cartesian coordinates and a vector in this space, which
every coordinate is a function of some parameter :
, (6.5.1)
is called the vector function of parameter . Functions , , and are called the
coordinate functions of the vector function .
If is the position vector, then Eq. (6.5.1) determines a set of point in 3D space that form a
curve. In this case Eq. (6.5.1) is called the parametric representation of a curve.
Note: In 2D space, e.g., on the plane , we can use the
parametric representation of a plane (2D) curve in the form

Plane curve is a particular case of twisted (3D) curves.
Curve given by Eq. (6.5.1) is called oriented since an
increase of the parameter defines the direction of motion
along , is the initial point, is the terminal point.
Example 1: Parametric representation of a straight line in 3D

Example 2: Parametric representation of a circle in 2D


cos sin
Example 3: Parametric representation of a helix curve
cos sin /2
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6.5Curves
Simple curve is a curve without multiple points, that is, without Curveswithmultiplepoints
points at which the curve intersects or touch itself.
A curve is called smooth in point (or at value of its
parameter), if its coordinate functions have derivatives of any
order in . A curve is called smooth if it is smooth in every point Piecewisesmoothcurve
of , .
A curve is called piecewise smooth if it consists of finitely many
smooth curves, i.e. can be represented as a set of a finite
number of smooth curves and can be divided into a
set of disjoint subintervals and for every subinterval is smooth.
If curve is smooth in point , we can define the vector function
Tangent
vector
lim

(6.5.2)
If | | 0, then vector takes the limiting position with respect
to the chord vector along the tangent to the
curve in point and is called the tangent vector to the curve
in the point .
Theparametricrepresentation
Example: If is time, is the trajectory of a point mass, then ofthetangenttothecurveis
is the velocity of the point mass.
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6.5Curves
Lets consider the arc (part of the curve) that corresponds to the
interval of the parameter , , and divide the arc by
points
, a
into a large set of curves . For every pair of neighbor points,
we can introduce the line segment with the chord vector
, which approximates curve .
Let max | | ). The smaller , the better
approximation of the arc by the broken line of chords with
endpoints . Then it is reasonable to call the following limit


lim | | lim | | (6.5.3)

the arc length. is the curve length.
Definition (6.5.3) shows us that / and

,
i.e. differential of the parameter corresponds to the
increment of the arc length called the linear
element of .
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6.5Curves
Since is an increasing function, then can be used as another parameter. For this purpose,
we can resolve equation with respect to ). Then :
, 0
where , etc. For every curve there is a specific parameterization where
parameter is the arc length. For this parameterization

where
1

Thus,

| | 1

i.e. if the parameter is the arc length, the tangent vector is the unit tangent vector .
Theorem: If a vector function has unit length, 1, then the tangent vector is
orthogonal to , i.e. 0.
Proof: Assume 1. Then differentiation of the this equation results in:
2 2 2
0
2
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6.5Curves(Optional)
Hereallderivativesarecalculated
for ,i.e. ,
Consequence:
If the parameter is the arc length then
0
If | | 0, then is called the principal normal
vector, /| | is called the unit principal
normal vector, and is called the unit
binormal vector.
Vectors , , and form the local trihedron of
mutually orthogonal vectors in a point of a curve.
Planes , , , , and , are called
osculating, normal, and rectifying planes.
Twomajornumericalpropertiesofatwistedcurvearethecurvature andtorsion :
| | | | (6.5.4)
Note: is parallel to , since , i.e. is orthogonal
to both and .
Meaning of curvature: It shows how fast the curve deviates from its tangent direction in the
point (for a straight line and 0; 1/ the radius of a circle).
Meaning of torsion: It shows how fast the curve deviates from a plane curve in the osculating
plane (for a plane curve and 0).
Note:Withexceptionofthefollowingexample,wewillnotusethecurvatureandtorsion.
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6.5Curves(Optional)
Example: Properties of a helix curve.
Parametric representation of the helix curve around axis of radius and pitch :

cos sin
2
sin cos
2

| |
2

cos sin
2
sin cos
2
cos sin sin cos
2 2

cos sin cos sin
| | 2 2
Curvature and torsion of the helix curve:
1 1 /2
,
1
2 2
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6.6Surfaces
Thesurface in3Dspaceisasetofpointsthatcanbegivenbyanequation
, , 0 (6.6.1)
Example: is the sphere of radius with the center in the
point , , .
Locally, we can resolve Eq. (6.6.1) with respect to one of coordinates , , and obtain, e.g.
, (6.6.2)
For instance, at any point of the sphere, where , we can write

Equation in the form (6.6.2) may be not valid, however, for the whole surface, since given and
may correspond to a few different at the surface (e.g., for a sphere given and correspond
to two points on the sphere surface).
, ,
On the other hand, Eq. (6.6.2) shows that locally
the surface can be represented parametrically as
(6.6.3) , ,
where , denotes a radius vector of a point at ,
the surface. Eq. (6.6.3) shows that a surface is a
twodimensional set of points, since we need two
parameters ( and ) to describe it parametrically. ,
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6.6Surfaces
In general, parameters do not need to coincide with Cartesian coordinates, so one can introduce
the general parametric representation of a surface in the form
(6.6.4) , , , ,
where and vary in some region on plane.
Eq. (6.6.4) describes the parametric mapping of the plane region into
3D surface.
Mapping
In order to define any surface parametrically, we need to
1. Introduce three functions: , , , , and , .
2. Define region on plane where and varies.
Example: Parametric representation of a cylinder and a sphere

0 2 0 2
0

cos sin sin cos sin sin cos


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6.6Surfaces
If we fix either or , Eq. (6.6.4) gives the parametric representation of a curve. Thus, the
parametric representation (6.6.4) defines two families of curves on the surface:
curves ( ):
, , ,
curves ( ):
, , ,
and curves are called the grid lines.
If both and have derivatives over and in
point , then we can introduce in this point two vectors , ,
,
, ,

(6.6.5) ,
These vectors are tangents in point to the corresponding
grid lines.
If 0, then we can plot a unique plane, containing
the point and vectors and . This plane is called the
tangent plane to the surface in point .
If tangent plane exists in point , then vector
is called the normal to the surface at point P ( is normal
to both and ). Vector /| | /| |
is called the unit normal.
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6.6Surfaces
Surface is called smooth in a point if in this point the surface has a unique tangent plane (i.e.
and exist and | | 0).
Surface is called smooth if it is smooth in every its point.
Surface is called piecewise smooth if it can be represented as a set of adjoin smooth surfaces.
Physical meaning of the tangent plane: If we perform calculation of surface properties in an
infinitesimal vicinity of point , we can perform all calculation on the tangent plane. Lets use
this rule in order to calculate the area of the surface that corresponds to increments and .
Lets assume that we consider point at the surface when parameters are equal to and and
we give them infinitesimal increments and . These increments correspond to the surface
element of infinitesimal area . Question: How is related to and ?
On the tangent plane, and correspond to the parallelogram of area
(6.6.6) | | | | | |
For the future consideration, we will also need areas of projections of this parallelogram onto
coordinate planes , , , , and , . Lets introduce the direction cosines for the unit
normal cos cos cos , where is an angle between normal and axis
( cos ), etc. Then the are of projection of onto , , , is equal to

cos | | | |
| |
(6.6.7) cos | |
cos | |
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6.6Surfaces
The parametric representation
, , , ,
actually define two surfaces that are different in every
point by the direction of the normal: one surface has
normal , another has normal .
If we choose a unique direction of the normal in every
point of the surface, we say we choose orientation of the
surface.
A smooth surface is called orientable if the normal
direction given at an arbitrary point of can be continued
in a unique and continuous way to the entire surface.
A piecewise smooth surface is called orientable if we
can orient every smooth piece of so that along each
curve , which is a common boundary of two pieces
and , the positive direction of relative to is
opposite to the direction of relative to .

Example: Mbius strip is the nonorientable surface:

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6.7Lineintegralsofscalarandvectorfields
Lets consider an oriented curve given by the parametric
representation:
, a
We assume that is a smooth curve, so / exists
in a any point of and the linear element is
.
The line integral of a scalar field over the curve is
the integral

, , (6.7.1)

The line integral of a vector field over the curve is the integral


(6.7.2)

The curve is called the path of integration. If , then is the closed path and the
line integral of a vector field is called circulation of the vector field and denoted as .

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6.7Lineintegralsofscalarandvectorfields
Note: Direction that corresponds to increasing parameter is called positive.
Example: Lets consider motion of a point mass in a force field (e.g. gravitational field).
Then the line integral over the trajectory is the work done by
force .
Properties of the line integral:
1. Linearity

2. Additivity

3. Additivity allows one to extent definition of the line integral to any piecewise smooth curve

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6.8Lineintegralsofscalarandvectorfields
Theorem:
For a given vector field and curve , all parametric representations of curve that give the
same positive direction on yield the same value of the line integral.
Proof:
Lets consider another parameterization of curve with some parameter :

,
. Since it is the representation of the same curve, . Then






Example 1: 0 0 . Lets calculate line integral over a straight path.
Parametric representation of the path:
, ,
0 1


, ,

2
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6.7Lineintegralsofscalarandvectorfields
Example 2: , Line integral over the helix curve. Radius 1
Parametric representation of a helix curve around axis : Pitch 6
cos sin 3 , 0 2
sin cos 3
3 cos sin t sin cos 3
3 sin cos 3 sin

3 sin cos 3 sin 7

Example 3: If 1, then is the length of curve .

Example 4: if , , , where is the linear density of the curve (mass


per unit length) and is the distance from the point to the axis , then

is the moment of inertia of curve about axis.


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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Gradient
Lets consider a scalar field , , . Gradient of this field is the vector field grad :
grad (6.8.1)

Calculation of grad can be considered as an application of the differential operator (nabla)

(6.8.2)

tothescalarfield .Differentialoperator canbeviewedasasymbolicvector.


Lets consider a 3D scalar field and define some directional vector of unit
length ( 1) and . Then the directional derivative of the scalar field
in the direction of vector is

0
lim lim

The directional derivative indicates the rate of change of the scalar field in the direction of
vector . Lets calculate through partial derivatives / etc. using the chain rule:

(6.8.3)

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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Note: Gradient and directional derivative are easily applied to 2D fields:

grad , (6.8.4)

Properties of gradient and directional derivatives:


1. Direction of indicate the direction of the maximum increase of the scalar field . The
direction of the maximum increase is given by such for which is maximum. From
definition of the dot product
cos cos
where is the angle between and . is maximum, when 0, i.e. is directed
along .
2. If we introduce an isosurface in point , , ,
which is defined by the equation , ,
, , , then in this point is
directed along the surface normal vector.
In order to prove it, lets introduce a curve at the
isosurface going through point , , , which is
given by the vector function
. Since this curve lies on the Thesurfacenormalvector isperpen
isosurface, it should satisfy dicular tothesurfacetangentplane.
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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
, ,
Lets differentiate this equation with respect to in point , , . Then we will have

0 0

where / / / is the tangent to the curve which lies in the


tangent place to the surface. Thus, is orthogonal to any vector lying in the tangent plane,
i.e. it is the surface normal vector.
3. Gradient is the physical vector, which retains its direction and length after any coordinate
transformation. The gradient is normal to the isosurface and its absolute value is equal to
the maximum increase of the scalar field. Since these properties of the scalar field do
not depend on coordinates, the direction and absolute value of also do not depend on
the choice of coordinates.
Example 1: Potential energy and force of the spherically symmetric gravitational field.
The potential energy of a point mass in the spherically symmetric field of mass with center
in a point , , is equal to
, , / , .
Then

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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Note: In 2D, the contour lines of the scalar field , and field lines of its gradient
constitute two families of curves that are locally normal to each other in every point.
Example 2: Electric field of a dipole ,

Contourlinesoftheelectrostatic
Potential

Fieldlinesoftheelectricalfield

Note: Two families of locally orthogonal curves can be used in order to introduce nonCartesian
orthogonal coordinates in 2D.
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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Example 3: Potential fluid flow over a cylinder in the cross flow

cos , sin

, cos

2 Contourlinesoftheflow
potential white

Fieldlinesofthevelocityfield
(streamlines;black)

Thesecurvescanbeusedinordertointroduceorthogonalcoordinates.
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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Example 4: Application of the gradient in the optimization problem
Optimization in , space = finding a maximum of a goal function
,
1. Plotcontourlines ,
2. grad isnormaltocontourlines
3. grad correspondstothe
directionofthefastestincreaseof
thegoalfunction
4. Stepsalonggrad leadtoalocal
maximum

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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Divergence
Lets consider a 3D vector field , , , , , , , , . The
divergence of the vector field is the scalar field div , which value is equal to

(6.8.5) div
Properties of divergence:
1. Lets consider a small parallelepiped of volume
. For any face we can define the flux of
vector field as , where is the unit vector
normal to the face and directed outwards and is the
face area. Then the flux through the whole surface is

, , , , , , , ,

, , , , div
Now we see that

div lim (6.8.6)

Divergence div defines the ratio of the flux of the vector field through the surface of an
(infinitely) small domain to the volume of this domain.
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6.7Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
2. Divergence is the physical scalar, i.e. its value does not change at any coordinate
transformation. Proof is based on Eq. (6.7.6), but also can be performed directly by
calculating div after a coordinate transformation.
Example 1: Divergence of a central vector field. The potential energy of a point mass in the
spherically symmetric gravitational field of mass with center in point , , is equal to
, , / , .
Then

3 /

2
Note: Divergence of any central vector field is a central scalar field.

Example 2: Gradient and divergence of a central field in spherical coordinates.


If , , 0, then the scalar field , , depends only on the distance to the
center of coordinates and, thus, it is spherically symmetric with respect to . Then
, 2 .

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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
The divergence is important for models based on the conservation laws: If is a flux density of
some physical quantity, then div is related density of sources or drains of this quantity.

Example 3: Mass conservation in the fluid flow


= , mass flux density of a fluid
, , , mass flux through the face
, mass flux through the whole surface
, fluid mass inside the parallelepiped
Mass conservation law (no sources or drains for mass):

0

0

div 0
Steadystate flow ( / 0): div 0, which means the absence of internal sources or
drains of mass inside the fluid flow.
Incompressible flow ( ): div 0.
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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Curl
Lets consider a vector field , , . The curl curl of is the vector field

curl (6.7.7)

This definition is valid for righthanded Cartesian coordinates. For lefthanded coordinates, the
definitions includes the negative sign: curl .
Properties of curl:
1. The curl is the physical vector, i.e. it does not change at any coordinate transformation
between any righthanded coordinates.
2. Lets assume that is the velocity field of a rigid body. It is proved in kinematics that the
velocity field in the rigid body with respect to pole at point can be represented in the form

where is the angular velocity vector. Lets use righthanded coordinates where .
Then

1
curl 2 2 curl (6.7.8)
2
0
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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Deformable body: Relative positions of points vary in the course of motion

One can show that for arbitrary deformable body (solid, liquid or gaseous), the kinematic
formula can be generalized in the form:
1
curl
2
where is the deformation velocity which describes the change of relative positions of
points in the body due to its deformation. Thus, for any body, rigid or deformable, the curl of
the velocity field describes the part of the motion that corresponds to the rigid rotation.

Rigidbodyrotation, 0 Deformablebodyrotation, 0

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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
3. Circulation of the vector field on the plane

Lets consider a small rectangle in plane that corresponds to increments and . We can
introduce the circulation of the vector field along the contour of this rectangle:

, , , ,
curl

Nowweseethat

(6.8.9) curl lim

i.e. limit of circulation of a vector field over a small contour to
the area bounded by this contour is equal to the component
of the curl normal to the contour. Righthandsidescrewrule
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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Laplacian
The Laplacian of a scalar field , , is

div grad (6.8.10)

Example:Theheatconductionequationinthemediumwithconstantpropertiesis

Common properties of , , , and :


, , , and are invariant with respect to coordinate transformations.
Linearity, e.g., , where and are constants.

Special scalar and vector fields:


Vector field is called gradient (conservative) field, if there is scalar field , such that
grad . Scalar field is called the potential of the vector field .
Vector field is called irrotational field if curl 0.
Vector field is called divergencefree field if div 0.
Vector field is called central field if | | /| |.

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6.8Gradient,Divergence,andCurl
Properties:
Any gradient field is irrotational, i.e. curl grad 0.
Curl produces divergencefree field: div curl 0.
Any central field is a gradient field with the potential | | , .

Example: Irrotational fluid flow.


Fluid flow is called irrorational (or potential) if its velocity field is irrorational, i.e. curl 0.
Now assume that , then curl curl 0. is called the velocity potential.
If fluid flow is incompressible, when the fluid density is constant, and the velocity field is
divergentfree, 0.
Then the velocity potential in any irrotational incompressible fluid flow should satisfy the
Laplace equation:
0 or 0.

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