What is volume element: Definition and 23 Discussions

In mathematics, a volume element provides a means for integrating a function with respect to volume in various coordinate systems such as spherical coordinates and cylindrical coordinates. Thus a volume element is an expression of the form

d
V
=
ρ
(

u

1

,

u

2

,

u

3

)

d

u

1

d

u

2

d

u

3

{\displaystyle dV=\rho (u_{1},u_{2},u_{3})\,du_{1}\,du_{2}\,du_{3}}
where the

u

i

{\displaystyle u_{i}}
are the coordinates, so that the volume of any set

B

{\displaystyle B}
can be computed by

Volume

(
B
)
=

B

ρ
(

u

1

,

u

2

,

u

3

)

d

u

1

d

u

2

d

u

3

.

{\displaystyle \operatorname {Volume} (B)=\int _{B}\rho (u_{1},u_{2},u_{3})\,du_{1}\,du_{2}\,du_{3}.}
For example, in spherical coordinates

d
V
=

u

1

2

sin

u

2

d

u

1

d

u

2

d

u

3

{\displaystyle dV=u_{1}^{2}\sin u_{2}\,du_{1}\,du_{2}\,du_{3}}
, and so

ρ
=

u

1

2

sin

u

2

{\displaystyle \rho =u_{1}^{2}\sin u_{2}}
.
The notion of a volume element is not limited to three dimensions: in two dimensions it is often known as the area element, and in this setting it is useful for doing surface integrals. Under changes of coordinates, the volume element changes by the absolute value of the Jacobian determinant of the coordinate transformation (by the change of variables formula). This fact allows volume elements to be defined as a kind of measure on a manifold. On an orientable differentiable manifold, a volume element typically arises from a volume form: a top degree differential form. On a non-orientable manifold, the volume element is typically the absolute value of a (locally defined) volume form: it defines a 1-density.

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2. A Volume element in Spherical Coordinates

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5. A Is a volume element in relativity represented by a vector?

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8. Doubt regarding volume element in Spherical Coordinate

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17. Volume element in different coordinate system

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