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Homework Help: Divergence and Curl of Unit Vectors?

  1. Apr 23, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4218/divergenceandcurl.jpg [Broken]

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Totally confused on what the question's asking. Wouldn't the divergence of say x_hat be the partial of x_hat over x which is just 0? So every answer would just be 0 or something? Same thing goes with the curl? Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    In cartesian coordinates yes,

    But, for example, the r_hat in polar coordinates, written in cartesian coordinates, is
    r_hat = (x/sqrt(x^2 +y^2), y/sqrt(x^2 + y^2), 0)

    which perhaps has a non-trivial divergence and curl.
  4. Apr 23, 2009 #3
    oh i get it

    edit: wait, not really. How can I make theta or phi into into something like r and z in cylindrical?
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
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