# What does this notation mean?

1. Jul 8, 2006

### island-boy

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. Jul 8, 2006

### nrqed

The divergence operator in Cartesian coordinates is
$${\vec \nabla} = {\hat i} {\partial \over \partial x} + {\hat j} {\partial \over \partial y}+{\hat k} {\partial \over \partial z}$$

3. Jul 8, 2006

### island-boy

so $$div \rightharpoonup$$ = $${\vec \nabla}$$ right?
hmm, makes sense. Thanks!

4. Jul 8, 2006

### HallsofIvy

Staff Emeritus
Yes- since div f is a vector-valued function, many (but not all) texts use
$${\vec \nabla}$$
to represent it. Other texts use just $\nabla$.