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Homework Help: Divergence theorem requires a conservative vector field?

  1. Feb 21, 2008 #1
    Can anyone tell me whether or not the divergence theorem requires a conservative vector field? On a practice exam my professor gave a vector field that was nonconservative (I checked the curl) and proceeded to perform the divergence theorem to find the flux.

    On one of my homework problems I forgot to check whether the field was conservative and it turns out that field was nonconservative but still got the correct answer. I don't know if that is a fluke or not.

    In short: Do you need a conservative vector field in order to use the divergence theorem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2008 #2

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    No. Only that the vector function have continuous derivatives.
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