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Topic 3

Professor K. E. Oughstun

School of Engineering

College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences

University of Vermont

2014

Motivation

Helmholtz Theorem

Because

21

= 4(R) (1)

R

where R = r r0 with magnitude R = |R| and where

well-behaved vector function F(r) = F(x, y , z) can be represented as

Z Z

0 0 3 0 1 0 1

F(r) = F(r )(r r ) d r = F(r ) 2

d 3r 0

V 4 V R

F(r0 ) 3 0

Z

1 2

= d r, (2)

4 V R

the integration extending over any region V that contains the point r.

Helmholtz Theorem

F(r0 ) 3 0 F(r0 ) 3 0

Z Z

1 1

F(r) = d r d r. (3)

4 V R 4 V R

Because the vector differential operator = 1x x + 1y y + 1z z

does not operate on the primed coordinates r0 = 1x x 0 + 1y y 0 + 1z z 0 ,

then

F(r0 ) 3 0

Z Z

1 1 0 1

d r = F(r ) d 3r 0. (4)

4 V R 4 V R

Helmholtz Theorem

0 1 0 0 1

F(r ) = F(r )

R R

0

F(r ) 1

= 0 + 0 F(r0 ), (5)

R R

primed coordinates alone, viz.

0 = 1x 0

+ 1y 0 + 1z 0

x y z

where 10j = 1j , j = x, y , z.

Helmholtz Theorem

Substitution of Eq. (5) into Eq. (4) and application of the divergence

theorem to the first term then yields

F(r0 ) 3 0

Z Z 0

1 1 0 F(r )

d r = d 3r 0

4 V R 4 V R

0 F(r0 ) 3 0

Z

1

+ d r

4 V R

I

1 1

= F(r0 ) nd 2 r 0

4 S R

0 F(r0 ) 3 0

Z

1

+ d r

4 V R

= (r), (6)

which is the desired form of the scalar potential (r) for the vector

field F(r). Here S is the surface that encloses the regular region V

containing the point r.

Helmholtz Theorem

For the curl term appearing in Eq. (3) one has that

F(r0 ) 3 0

Z Z

1 1 0 1

d r = F(r ) d 3r 0

4 V R 4 R

Z V

1 0 0 1

= F(r ) d 3r 0. (7)

4 V R

Eq. (7) may be expressed as

0 F(r0 )

0

0 0 1 0 F(r )

F(r ) = , (8)

R R R

so that

Helmholtz Theorem

F(r0 ) 3 0 0 F(r0 ) 3 0

Z Z

1 1

d r = d r

4 V R 4 V R

Z 0

1 0 F(r )

d 3r 0

4 V R

0 0

F(r ) 3 0

Z

1

= d r

4 V R

I

1 1

+ F(r0 ) nd 2 r 0

4 S R

= a(r), (9)

Helmholtz Theorem

where the scalar potential (r) is given by Eq. (6) and the vector

potential a(r) by Eq. (9).

Helmholtz Theorem

In the Helmholtz decomposition,

F` (r) = (r)

0 F(r0 ) 3 0 F(r0 )

Z I

1 1

= 0

d r + 0

nd 2 r 0

4 V |r r | 4 S |r r |

(12)

is the longitudinal or irrotational part of the vector field (with

F` (r0 ) = 0), and

F(r0 ) 3 0

Z

1

Ft (r) = a(r) = 0

d r

4 V |r r |

0 F(r0 ) 3 0 F(r0 )

Z I

1 1

= 0|

d r + 0|

nd 2 r 0

4 V |r r 4 S |r r

(13)

is the transverse or solenoidal part of the vector field (with

Ft (r0 ) = 0).

Helmholtz Theorem

regular at infinity, then the surface integrals appearing in Eqs.

(12)(13) vanish and these two equations become

F` (r) = (r)

0 F(r0 ) 3 0

Z

1

= 0

d r, (14)

4 V |r r |

Ft (r) = a(r)

0 F(r0 ) 3 0

Z

1

= d r. (15)

4 V |r r0 |

Helmholtz theorem or the Fundamental Theorem of Vector Calculus.

Helmholtz Theorem

Theorem

Helmholtz Theorem. Let F(r) be any continuous vector field with

continuous first partial derivatives. Then F(r) can be uniquely

expressed in terms of the negative gradient of a scalar potential (r)

& the curl of a vector potential a(r), as embodied in Eqs. (10)(11).

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