Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Derivation of the Laplacian in Spherical Coordinates

  1. Jun 12, 2017 #1
    Hi all,

    Sorry if this is the wrong section to post this.

    For some time, I have wanted to derive the Laplacian in spherical coordinates for myself using what some people call the "brute force" method. I knew it would take several sheets of paper and could quickly become disorganized, so I decided to type it out and present it in what I hope is a logical and obvious manner.

    It took me about four days of working in my spare time, but I just finished and thought it might be worth sharing. The Laplacian is something that comes up a lot in textbooks, but never really gets a good explanation of why it is has its final form.

    Anyways, here it is. Please excuse any spelling errors. I do think the math is all correct though.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2017 #2
    it would be better if you study tensor calculus and get familiar with invariant definition of the Laplace operator: ##\Delta=g^{ij}\nabla_i\nabla_j##
  4. Jun 12, 2017 #3
    I agree. This was just a for fun exercise to pass the time.
  5. Jun 13, 2017 #4
    I found a major mistake on page one, of all places. Corrected version is attached.

    Attached Files:

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Derivation of the Laplacian in Spherical Coordinates
  1. Spherical Coordinates (Replies: 4)