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: 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