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

What does this notation mean?

  1. Jul 8, 2006 #1
    I encountered this notation in my PDE studies, but I was confused by what it meant. What does the notation Div with an arrow on top (of the word) mean? I figured meant the divergence of something...but am curious about its exact meaning.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The divergence operator in Cartesian coordinates is
    [tex] {\vec \nabla} = {\hat i} {\partial \over \partial x} + {\hat j} {\partial \over \partial y}+{\hat k} {\partial \over \partial z} [/tex]
  4. Jul 8, 2006 #3
    so [tex]div \rightharpoonup [/tex] = [tex]{\vec \nabla} [/tex] right?
    hmm, makes sense. Thanks!
  5. Jul 8, 2006 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes- since div f is a vector-valued function, many (but not all) texts use
    [tex]{\vec \nabla} [/tex]
    to represent it. Other texts use just [itex]\nabla[/itex].
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook