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Notation issue: Grad with a vector subscript

by Hoplite
Tags: grad, issue, notation, subscript, vector
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Apr11-09, 07:23 AM
P: 40
I'm reading a journal article at the moment which uses a piece of notation which they dont actually define. It looks like this:

[tex]\nabla_{\vec Q}[/tex]

(As it happens, [tex]\vec Q[/tex] is an ordinary vector indicating the orientation of a polymer.)

I've never seen vector subscript on the gradient symbol "[tex]\nabla[/tex]" before.

Could anyone please tell me what [tex]\nabla[/tex] with a vector subscript usually means?
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Apr11-09, 07:31 AM
Sci Advisor
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P: 39,552
First, since you mention polymers, I am inclined to think the symbol has more to do with chemistry than mathematics. If it really is purely mathematics then I would be inclined to think "the derivative in the direction of [itex]\vec{Q}[/itex]".
Apr12-09, 05:39 AM
P: 40
Thanks, the derivative in the direction of the vector makes sense in context.

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