What is Vector analysis: Definition and 123 Discussions

Vector Analysis is a textbook by Edwin Bidwell Wilson, first published in 1901 and based on the lectures that Josiah Willard Gibbs had delivered on the subject at Yale University. The book did much to standardize the notation and vocabulary of three-dimensional linear algebra and vector calculus, as used by physicists and mathematicians. It was reprinted by Yale in 1913, 1916, 1922, 1925, 1929, 1931, and 1943. The work is now in the public domain. It was reprinted by Dover Publications in 1960.

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  1. Falgun

    I Equivalence of alternative definitions of conservative vector fields and line integrals in different metric spaces

    I have seen conservative vector fields being defined as satisfying either of the two following conditions: The line integral of the vector field around a closed loop is zero. The line integral of the vector field along a path is the function of the endpoints of the curve. It is apparent to me...
  2. G

    I Trouble with metric. Holonomic basis and the normalised basis

    ##df=\frac {\partial f}{\partial r} dr+\frac {\partial f}{\partial \theta}d\theta\quad \nabla f=\frac{\partial f}{\partial r}\vec{e_r} +\frac{1}{r}\frac{\partial f}{\partial \theta }\vec{e_\theta }## On the other hand ## g_{rr}=1\:g_{r\theta}=0\:g_{\theta r}=0\;g_{\theta\theta}=r^2\;##So...
  3. L

    A Vector analysis question. Laplacian of scalar and vector field

    If we define Laplacian of scalar field in some curvilinear coordinates ## \Delta U## could we then just say what ##\Delta## is in that orthogonal coordinates and then act with the same operator on the vector field ## \Delta \vec{A}##?
  4. S

    Normal vector of an embedding surface

    I will only care about the ##t## and ##x## coordinates so that ##(t, z, x, x_i) \rightarrow (t,x)##. The normal vector is given by, ##n^\mu = g^{\mu\nu} \partial_\nu S ## How do I calculate ##n^\mu## in terms of ##U## given that the surface is written in terms of ##t## and ##x##? Also, after...
  5. L

    A Vector analysis and distributions

    In many books it is just written that ##\Delta(\frac{1}{r})=0##. However it is only the case when ##r \neq 0##. In general case ##\Delta(\frac{1}{r})=-4\pi \delta(\vec{r})##. What abot ##\mbox{div}(\frac{\vec{r}}{r^3})##? What is that in case where we include also point ##0##?
  6. K

    Calculating Angle Between E-Field and Current Vectors in Anisotropic Mat.

    In a certain anisotropic conductive material, the relationship between the current density ##\vec j## and the electric field ##\vec E## is given by: ##\vec j = \sigma_0\vec E + \sigma_1\vec n(\vec n\cdot\vec E)## where ##\vec n## is a constant unit vector. i) Calculate the angle between the...
  7. K

    Atmospheric pressure as a function of altitude

    Summary:: i) Set up a differential equation that describes how the pressure ##p## varies with the distance r from the center of the planet. Hint: You can base your reasoning on static equilibrium and Archimedes' principle. ii)Calculate how the atmospheric pressure p and the density of the...
  8. K

    Curvilinear coordinate system: Determine the standardized base vectors

    How I would have guessed you were supposed to solve it: What you are supposed to do is just take the gradients of all the u:s and divide by the absolute value of the gradient? But what formula is that why is the way I did not the correct way to do it? Thanks in advance!
  9. patric44

    Vector analysis problem about a gradient

    hi guys i saw this problem in my collage textbook on vector calculus , i don't know if the statement is wrong because it don't make sense to me so if anyone can help on getting a hint where to start i will appreciate it , basically it says : $$ \phi =\phi(\lambda x,\lambda y,\lambda...
  10. R

    Divergence of an Electric Field due to an ideal dipole

    Given $$\vec E = -\nabla \phi$$ there $$\vec d \rightarrow 0, \phi(\vec r) = \frac {\vec p \cdot \vec r} {r^3}$$ and ##\vec p## is the dipole moment defined as $$\vec p = q\vec d$$ It's quite trivial to show that ##\nabla \times \vec E = \nabla \times (-\nabla \phi) = 0##. However, I want to...
  11. sams

    I Gauss' Theorem -- Why two different notations are used?

    In Mathematical Methods for Physicists, Sixth Edition, Page 60, Section 1.11, the Gauss' theorem is written as: In Mathematical Methods for Physicists, Fifth Edition, Page 61, Section 1.11, the Gauss' theorem is written as: Kindly I would like to know please: 1. What is the difference between...
  12. sams

    I A Question about Unit Vectors of Cylindrical Coordinates

    I wrote the equations of the Nabla, the divergence, the curl, and the Laplacian operators in cylindrical coordinates ##(ρ,φ,z)##. I was wondering how to define the direction of the unit vector ##\hat{φ}##. Can we obtain ##\hat{φ}## by evaluating the cross-product of ##\hat{ρ}## and ##\hat{z}##...
  13. B

    Force Resultants: Comparing Rules

    I just want to know the difference between those rules: 1. R^2 = F1^2 * F2^2 + 2*F1*F2*COS(the angle between F1 and F2) 2. The second is about the parallelogram rule, it says that the two vectors are added and their summation is the magnitude of the resultant. Which one is correct?
  14. sams

    Why are central force fields irrotational and conservative?

    In Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 6th Edition, page 44, Example 1.8.2, the curl of the central force field is zero. 1. Why are central force fields irrotational? 2. Why are central force fields conservative? Any help is much appreciated...
  15. sams

    I A question about writing the notation of the nabla operator

    I have a simple question about the notation of the nabla operator in Vector Analysis. The nabla operator is a vector differential operator and it is written as: $$\nabla = \hat{x} \frac {∂} {∂x} + \hat{y} \frac {∂} {∂y} + \hat{z} \frac {∂} {∂z}$$ Is it okay if we accented nabla by a right...
  16. sams

    I Vector Diff. Q: Dot & Cross Prod. Differentiation?

    I have a question regarding the dot product and the cross product differentiation. I was wondering whether: $$\frac{d(\vec{A}.\vec{B})}{du} = \vec{A}. \frac{d\vec{B}}{du} + \frac{d\vec{A}}{du} .\vec{B}$$ is the same as $$\frac{d(\vec{A}.\vec{B})}{du} = \frac{d\vec{A}}{du} .\vec{B} + \vec{A}...
  17. sams

    I Explaining Coordinate Rotation in Arfken & Weber Chapter 1

    In Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 6th Edition, by Arfken and Weber, Chapter 1 Vector Analysis, pages 8-9, the authors make the following statement: "If Ax and Ay transform in the same way as x and y, the components of the general two-dimensional coordinate vector r, they are the...
  18. sams

    I Do we consider a point in a coordinate system to be a scalar?

    Knowing that a scalar quantity doesn't change under rotation of a coordinate system. Do we consider a point in a Cartesian coordinate system (i.e. A (4,5)) a scalar quantity? If yes, why do the components of point A change under rotation of the coordinate system? According to my understanding...
  19. CMW328i

    Engineering Help with magnetic field forces in a motor

    Hi all, Not a question about completing homework here, but I'm a teacher looking to create a realistic engineering question for an assignment. I have an engineering scenario I've set for the assignment which is a junior engineer working for a marine engineering company so all of the questions...
  20. Jan Berkhout

    How do I do this trigonometry vector calculation?

    Homework Statement A pilot wishes to fly at maximum speed due north. The plane can fly at 100km/h in still air. A 30km/h wind blows from the south-east. Calculate: a) The direction the plane must head to fly north. b) Its speed relative to the ground. Homework Equations Sine Rule...
  21. maxknrd

    I More elegant way to solve divergence of arbitrary dotproduct

    This is more of a general question, but I've encountered this kind of exercises a lot in my current preperations for my exam: There are two cases but the excercise is pretty much the same: Compute $$(1) \space \operatorname{div}\vec{A}(\vec{r}) \qquad , where \thinspace...
  22. Morbidly_Green

    Using Stoke's theorem on an off-centre sphere

    Homework Statement Homework Equations Stokes theorem $$\int_C \textbf{F} . \textbf{dr} = \int_S \nabla \times \textbf{F} . \textbf{ds}$$ The Attempt at a Solution I have the answer to the problem but mine is missing a factor of$$\sqrt 2 $$ I can't seem to find my error
  23. H

    Find the angle between 2 vectors

    Homework Statement |a| = 2 |b| = ## \sqrt3## |a - 2b| = 2 Angle between a and bHomework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution ##\theta## is angle between a and b So angle between a and -2b is 180-##\theta## [/B] ##|a-2b|^2## = |a|^2 + |2b|^2 -2|a||2b|cos(180-##\theta##) ##2^2## = 2^2 +...
  24. T

    Finding a Piecewise Smooth Parametric Curve for the Astroid

    Homework Statement Find a piecewise smooth parametric curve to the astroid. The astroid, given by $\phi(\theta) = (cos^3(\theta),sin^3(\theta))$, is not smooth, as we see singular points at 0, pi/2, 3pi/2, and 2pi. However is there a piecewise smooth curve? Homework Equations $\phi(\theta) =...
  25. BookWei

    Velocity is a vector in Newtonian mechanics

    I studied the vector analysis in Arfken and Weber's textbook : Mathematical Methods for Physicists 5th edition. In this book they give the definition of vectors in N dimensions as the following: The set of ##N## quantities ##V_{j}## is said to be the components of an N-dimensional vector ##V##...
  26. BookWei

    What is the second-order Born approximation?

    Homework Statement Equation (10.30) in Jackson is the first-order Born approximation. What is the second-order Born approximation? Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution I can get the first-order Born approximation in Jackson's textbook. If I want to obtain the second-order (or n-th...
  27. F

    I A question about Vector Analysis problems

    Why is it difficult to find really challenging vector analysis problems (problems about Green's, Stokes' and Gauss' theorems in a Calculus 3 course) in Calculus books? Most of the problems are elementary, at least that's the impression I have(I could be wrong). Is it really difficult to...
  28. F

    Calculus List of GOOD multivariable calculus book

    Books on multivariable calculus that I often see get good recommendations are, Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms by Hubbard and Hubbard Vector Calculus by Colley What are other good books with some material on differential forms like Hubbard and Colley? Books by Edwards...
  29. W

    Calculus Vector Analysis and Cartesian Tensors by Bourne and Kendall

    I have to do a teaching assistant job on a multivariable calculus class, I have to survey books that can be useful as resources. Has anyone used this book by Bourne and Kendall? I noticed that the treatment of vector analysis seems good and the chapter on Cartesian tensors seem to be a good...
  30. M

    Vector Analysis Problem Involving Divergence

    Homework Statement [/B] Let f and g be scalar functions of position. Show that: \nabla f \cdot \nabla(\nabla ^2 g)-\nabla g \cdot \nabla(\nabla ^2f) Can be written as the divergence of some vector function given in terms of f and g. Homework Equations [/B] All the identities given at...
  31. M

    I Difference between 1-form and gradient

    I have seen and gone through this thread over and over again but still it is not clear. https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/vectors-one-forms-and-gradients.82943/The gradient in different coordinate systems is dependent on a metric But the 1-form is not dependent on a metric. It is a metric...
  32. J

    I Can the Complex Integral Problem Be Solved Using Residue Theorem?

    I have this problem with a complex integral and I'm having a lot of difficulty solving it: Show that for R and U both greater than 2a, \exists C > 0, independent of R,U,k and a, such that $$\int_{L_{-R,U}\cup L_{R,U}} \lvert f(z)\rvert\,\lvert dz\rvert \leqslant \frac{C}{kR}.$$ Where a > 0, k...
  33. E

    Courses What Math Course is Best Paired with Linear Algebra?

    I'm currently an applied math major. I'm creating a schedule for my next semester and I have the choice to take either complex variables or vector analysis with linear algebra and a college geometry course(elective of choice), but I don't know which pairing will be less stressful. I am currently...
  34. Remixex

    About Nabla and index notation

    Homework Statement Can I, for all purposes, say that Nabla, on index notation, is $$\partial_i e_i$$ and treat it like a vector when calculating curl, divergence or gradient? For example, saying that $$\nabla \times \vec{V} = \partial_i \hat{e}_i \times V_j \hat{e}_j = \partial_i V_j (\hat{e}_i...
  35. H

    I Different types of vector fields?

    Vector fields confuses me. What are the differences between (##t## could be any variable, not just time): 1. If the position vector don't have an argument, ##\mathbf{r}=x\mathbf{\hat e}_x+y\mathbf{\hat e}_y+z\mathbf{\hat e}_z=(x,y,z)## so ##\mathbf{E}(\mathbf{r},t)=E_x(\mathbf{r},t)\mathbf{\hat...
  36. F

    Space vector analysis of 3 phase -- stuck on a concept

    I am trying to understand space vectors in 3 phase machines. If you have a balanced 3 phase system, the 3 phasors of voltage, current or whatever... should sum to 0. i<0 + i<-120 + i<-240 = 0. But in this image of a rotating space vector ...
  37. J

    Problem about existence of partial derivatives at a point

    Homework Statement I have the function: f(x,y)=x-y+2x^3/(x^2+y^2) when (x,y) is not equal to (0,0). Otherwise, f(x,y)=0. I need to find the partial derivatives at (0,0). With the use of the definition of the partial derivative as a limit, I get df/dx(0,0)=3 and df/dy(0,0)=-1. However, my...
  38. F

    I Vector components, scalars & coordinate independence

    This question really pertains to motivating why vectors have components whereas scalar functions do not, and why the components of a given vector transform under a coordinate transformation/ change of basis, while scalar functions transform trivially (i.e. ##\phi'(x')=\phi(x)##). In my more...
  39. J

    Geometry is important for vector analysis?

    Hello from Italy I'm switching from CS to Physics BS because i personally find it more various and interesting (and in Rome there is one of the best physics school in the world). Mathematical analysis is a common subject and my credits will be recognised but i didn't study Linear algebra yet...
  40. squelch

    Vector Algebra: Finding a parallel vector

    Homework Statement A line is given by the equation ##x + 2y - 3z = 7##. Find any vector in the direction parallel to this line in the Cartesian coordinate system. Homework Equations I imagine that there are some fundamental relationships I am missing here that would make this more...
  41. debajyoti datta

    Is Electric Current a Scalar, Vector, or Constrained Vector?

    what is electric current...a scaler or vector?? ...well I personally believe that it is somewhere in between the two extremes (what is not 0,need not be an 1 either :oldbiggrin: ) ...particularly because of the strange similarity we see in vector addition and phasor addition)...some people...
  42. V

    I Confusion about Dual Basis Vectors: Why are these two relationships equal?

    Hello all! I've just started to study general relativity and I'm a bit confused about dual basis vectors. If we have a vector space \textbf{V} and a basis \{\textbf{e}_i\}, I can define a dual basis \{\omega^i\} in \textbf{V}^* such that: \omega^i(\textbf{e}_j) = \delta^i_j But in some pdf and...
  43. M

    Second derivatives of magnetic potential

    Hi there! It looks like you are trying to prove that the second derivatives of the magnetic potential function ##\mathbf{A}## belong to the class ##C(\mathbb{R}^3)##. This is a great question and involves some advanced mathematical techniques. One approach you can take is to use the dominated...
  44. ferret_guy

    Calculating if two objects will come within a given distance

    I am having trouble calculating if two objects with initial positions and velocity vectors will come within a given distance of one another and if so calculating where the closest approach is. Can anyone point me in the right direction? My initial thoughts are that both are linear functions...
  45. BenR

    Field of variable charge distribution over all space

    Homework Statement A charge distribution has uniform density in the x-y directions and varies with z according to: ρ(z) = ρ0e−|z|/t where ρ0 and t are constants. (a) Find the potential V (z) and the electric field E(z) (b) Sketch them clearly showing their behaviors in the regions |z| ≪ t...
  46. Jianphys17

    Is there a generalized curl operator for dimensions higher than 3?

    Hi, i now studying vector calculus, and for sheer curiosity i would like know if there exist a direct fashion to generalize the rotor operator, to more than 3 dimensions! On wiki there exist a voice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curl_(mathematics)#Generalizations , but I do not know how you...
  47. F

    Physical motivation for integrals over scalar field?

    I'm looking for good examples of physical motivation for integrals over scalar field. Here is an example I've found: If you want to know the final temperature of an object that travels through a medium described with a temperature field then you'll need a line integral It appears to me that...
  48. arpon

    Geometry Textbook on Co-ordinate Geometry and Vector Analysis

    Could you suggest me any textbook on Co-ordinate Geometry and Vector Analysis?
  49. H

    Vector analysis, calculate path

    Homework Statement I have these vectorfields defined on the specified set. All of them are conservative on their set. Also i have three unit circles C1, C2 and C3 centered respectively on (0,0) , (-2,0) and (-1,0) I need to find the line integrals over all of them on H (beregn = calculate...
  50. J

    Vector Analysis using Basis Vectors

    Hi pf, Having some trouble with basis vectors for expanding a given vector in 3-D space. Any given vector in 3-D space can be given by a sum of component vectors in the form: V = e1V1 + e2V2 + e3V3 (where e1, e2 and e3 are the same as i, j and k unit vectors). Equation 1. I am happy with...