1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Line Integration

  1. Feb 19, 2008 #1
    I'm not exactly sure of this definition, but this seems to be it:
    Line integration is the integration of a field...meaning the path that the field takes shape of and not the path of the object moving in the field. In that sense, the outcome of this integration only depends on the position the particle has at various points in the field.

    Why is it that when integrating the Electric field in terms of electric potential and potential energy, that the displacement vector ds is taken to be a Scalar product with the Electric Field?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2008 #2
    Well that's from the very definition of a potential function. You're looking for a scalar function phi such that E=-grad(phi)

    Then from the definition of the gradient and knowing calculus you can fish out that line integral that defines phi generally
  4. Feb 19, 2008 #3
    oh wait...thanks for reminding me. I'm beginning to understand how it works.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook