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

Speaking of curl

  1. Mar 6, 2006 #1
    I didn't want to overload the last topic, "The Meaning of Curl in Electrodynamics", but I have a question so I'll do it as a new thread.

    I'm studying The Feynman Lectures on Physics - Vol 2, Sections 3-5 and 3-6: "The Circulation of a vector field" and "The circulation around a square:Stokes' Theorem". I've include a scan of these two sections at http://home.comcast.net/~perion_666/stuff/feynman1.jpg [Broken] and http://home.comcast.net/~perion_666/stuff/feynman2.jpg [Broken] .

    In the second section, after eq. 3.33, Feynman says:
    My question is - what is "the next approximation" he's referring to. I don't see where any higher order terms like (delta y)^2 terms would come from in this analysis.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2006 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Equation 3.33 is basically a Taylor series, truncated at the linear term. For a function of one variable,

    [tex]f(x) = f(x_0) + f'(x_0)(x - x_0) + \frac{1}{2} f''(x_0) (x - x_0)^2 + ... [/tex]

    For more than one variable, things get messier, but it's the same general idea.
  4. Mar 6, 2006 #3
    Ok, yes - I see it. I wasn't thinking about power series approximation. I guess he had to use that since he used a generalized form for the vector function C(x,y) , so C could be about anything. Thanks.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook