Vector-fields are vector valued functions which define a vector at each point in space. Examples of the vector field include the electric field and the velocity of a fluid.

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Differentiation of a vector with respect to a vector

Does differentiation of a vector with respect to a vector make any sense? Even if it makes sense, how does it make any physical meaning? I mean what is the physical interpretation?
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Curl of a vector

What is the physical interpretation of curl of a vector? Please give some common examples in Physics. Just as divergence implies flux through a surface.
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Calculating the Electric Field at the center of an arc [closed]

A total charge Q is uniformly distributed on a 180ยบ arc of thin, non-conducting rod in a semicircular arrangement with radius a. Calculate the electric field at the center of the arc. I'm not sure ...
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Calculating Trajectory in non-Uniform electric field? [duplicate]

Above is the equation of the electric field. Where k is the electric constant, q is the charge on the particle and m is the mass of particle. The particle q initial position is (0,10) and starts off ...
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If the curl of some vector function = 0, Is it a must that this vector function is the gradient of some other scalar function? [migrated]

I know of course that If the curl of a vector function is equal to zero, then the vector function is the gradient of some other scalar function, but is this a must? if so, please give mathematical ...
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1answer
42 views

Proving that $\vec F$ is conservative field [closed]

I need to prove that $\vec F$ is coservative field: $$\vec F=\underbrace{\bigg(yz+\frac{1}{yz} \bigg)}_{Q} \hat i+\underbrace{\bigg(xz-\frac{x}{y^2z} \bigg)}_{P}\hat ...
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4answers
342 views

Why is $F=-\nabla V$?

I came across this equation $$F=-\nabla V$$ where $V$ is potential energy. I do understand that $$F(r)=-\frac{dV}{dr}.$$ Hence does this mean the nabla operator in this case means derivative? Because ...
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68 views

Deriving gravitational potential energy using vectors

Here is my attempt at derivation: First you must find a vector function for the gravitational force. By the inverse square law, the magnitude of gravitational force between two bodies of mass $m$ ...
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1answer
53 views

Trajectories piecewise smooth?

In my studies of calculus and real analysis I have found the proofs of several theorems, commonly used in physics, such as those concerning the conservativity of fields, for example like If ...
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83 views

Physical meaning of divergence

While reading the section on Hamiltonian mechanics in Taylor's Classical mechanics, I realized that I didn't fully understand what he was saying when he was explaining why ...
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52 views

What is the meaning of this definition of potential energy?

The isolated system of particles is being observed. In the coursebook, $\vec F_\mu$ is by definition the vector sum of forces of all other particles acting on $\mu$-th particle. Usually, potential ...
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Regarding Ampere's Circuital Law

If I am to show that Ampere's Circuital law holds true for any arbitrary closed loop in a plane normal to the straight wire, with its validity already established for the closed loop being a circle of ...
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1answer
180 views

Why are densities not fields?

I have read (in Statistical mechanics of lattice system 2: exact, series and renormalization group methods by D.A. Lavis and G.M. Bell pg 2 ), that intrinsic variables are either fields or densities. ...
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1answer
43 views

Apparent discrepancy between Lagrange field equation and Maxwell equation [closed]

I am deriving Maxwell's equations from a Lagrange field equation and have come across something I can not figure out no matter how hard I try. The problem is in the signs. If we take the Lagrange ...
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1answer
45 views

Differential form of the law of gravitation potential

I have problem understanding transaction (operations and methods applied) for one equation to other equation. It is about gravitational potential. $${\vec F_{grav}=\frac{GMm_{obj}\vec R}{R^3}}$$ If we ...
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1answer
94 views

Difference of connections in the Killing vector equation

For the Killing vector equation, I sometimes see it written in terms of spin connection $\omega$ and other times in terms of the affine connection $\Gamma$. More clearly ...
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2answers
85 views

How to show flat FRW metric has a time-like conformal Killing vector?

I would like to derive the fact that the flat FRW metric has a time-like conformal Killing vector. Is there an easy way to do this? @ValterMoretti showed how one can do this for metrics with a ...
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0answers
48 views

Conformal time-like Killing vector near null geodesics in all spacetimes?

Is it true that in all spacetimes there is some conformal time-like Killing vector $\tau^a$ in the vicinity of null geodesics? If the above statement is true then can one argue that, for all ...
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1answer
51 views

What exactly is conservative vector field?

I'm studying calculus, but since the example involved a physical concept. I will ask here: This is how it goes: This means that in a conservative force field, the amount of work required to ...
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0answers
35 views

Vector fields corresponding to null geodesic congruences in general relativity

I'm working in Minkowski space, and I'm considering some 2D surface, $S$. On each point of the surface, I've computed a null vector, $k^a$, which is orthogonal to it. There will be a unique null ...
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0answers
34 views

Potential (which only depends on the length of a position vector) [closed]

a) A potential $U$ only depends on the length $r=|\vec{r}|$ of the position vector $r$. Show that $$\vec{\nabla}U(r)=U'(r)\frac{\vec{r}}{r}. $$ What properties does this vector field have? ...
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43 views

Books on Liouville Operator

I am looking for a good book doing classical mechanics and statistical mechanics in terms of the Liouville operator. I have not found a lot on this subject and even books like Mathematical Methods of ...
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46 views

Hamiltonian flow?

I was wondering what the Hamiltonian flow actually is? Here is my idea, I just wanted to know if I am correct about this. So let $(x(t),p(t))' = X_{H}(x(t),p(t))$ are the Hamilton's equations and ...
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4answers
477 views

Lie derivative vs. covariant derivative in the context of Killing vectors

Let me start by saying that I understand the definitions of the Lie and covariant derivatives, and their fundamental differences (at least I think I do). However, when learning about Killing vectors I ...
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1answer
46 views

Is the flux through A the same as the flux through B?

In the figure below, the amount of field lines through A is the same as the amount of field lines through B, but can you say the flux through A is the same as the flux through B as well?
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How is the MHD magnetic field time evolution equation transformed to the vector potential time evolution equation?

Starting from the time evolution equation of the magnetic field for incompressible MHD (magnetohydrodynamics) $$\frac{\partial \vec{B}}{\partial t} = \nabla \times (\vec{v} \times \vec{B}) + ...
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Parallel Transported Orthonormal Basis

The following argument results in a conclusion that I find strange, and makes me suspect there is something wrong with the reasoning. First, consider a timelike geodesic $\gamma$ with normalized ...
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1answer
62 views

Show that a solenoidal field is always a curl of a vector field [closed]

Can someone prove that: $$\nabla \cdot \mathbf{B} = 0 \implies \mathbf{B} = \nabla \times \mathbf{A}~?$$ I know that $$\nabla \cdot (\nabla \times \mathbf{A}) = 0$$ identically. But can one prove ...
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75 views

What is the physical cause that circulation on a closed surface is zero?

This is quoted from Feynman's Lectures: We would like to see what happens when the loop shrinks down to a point, so that surface boundary disappears - the surface becomes closed. Now, if the ...
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1answer
153 views

What are the mathematical models for force, acceleration and velocity?

In mechanics, the space can be described as a Riemann manifold. Forces, then, can be defined as vector fields of this manifold. Accelerations are linear functions of forces, so they are covector ...
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SR: vector field and change of reference [closed]

If $U$ and $V$ are vector fields, then the derivative of $U$ along $V$ is the vector field $\nabla _V U$ with components $$\nabla _V U^a=V^b \frac{\partial U^a}{\partial x^b}.$$ I would like to verify ...
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1answer
84 views

Gradient and curl of a field in polar coordinates

How do we determine the gradient and curl of a scalar/vector field in polar coordinates? For instance, if we have the following potential energy function for a force, $$U = ...
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1answer
51 views

If the electric field is not a gradient, can it exist?

We know that the gradient of the electric potential function $V(x,y,z)$ is the electric field. But not all vector fields are gradients, for example $y\hat{i}-x\hat{j}$ is not a gradient. Does this ...
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1answer
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Lagrangian vector field expression

The Lagrangian vector field $X_L$ on the tangent bundle is given in page 4 of Marco Mazzucchelli's "critical Point Theory for Lagrangian systems" to be; \begin{equation} ...
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1answer
59 views

Electric field in a hollow object

I am currently visiting a course about electrodynamics. In my last lecture it was said that if a hollow sphere is inside of a bigger sphere, but only in the bigger sphere there are charges, the ...
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1answer
125 views

What is the Jacobian matrix of Newton's law of gravity? [closed]

I am trying to come up with the gradient of a vector (Jacobian matrix) for Newton's Law of Gravity. In other words, the differential gravitational field in 3-dimension. Here's the initial Law. ...
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1answer
60 views

Can we depict the electric field lines between three or more charges?

Last year we studied in school electric field that was created around charges and we were showed how to depict the electric field lines for one charge or between two charges. Then i wondered how would ...
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Is electromagnetic vector field a sum of E and B?

I have a hard time to fully understand (classical) electromagnetic field theory with respect to Helmholtz's decomposition. Let me start from Helmholtz's theorem: Any vector field of class ...
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1answer
41 views

How to Model Differential Gravitational Field from Vectors?

The tides are caused by differences in the gravitational field of the moon on the near side and far side of the earth. If I set this gravitational field as a vector field using Newton's Law of ...
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1answer
30 views

Force on a dipole

The force exerted by an electric field on a dipole is : $$(\vec{p}.\vec{\nabla})\vec{E}$$ but how exactly do I develop this ? Is it : $$p_x\frac{\partial E}{\partial x}\vec{e_x} + ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Estimating divergence of set of vectors

I have a set of points where directions and intensities of a flow are given (in 3D). Is it possible to estimate the divergence of the flow defined by those vectors? I only need a rough estimate and I ...
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7answers
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How can a set of components fail to make up a vector?

Many books in Physics insist to define vectors are objects with components with the property that the components transform in a proper way under a change of coordinates. Now, in mathematics, on the ...
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1answer
66 views

Lie derivative in this paper [closed]

In this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.2332 it says in (3.19) p. 8 that $$L_{V}z^A =0$$ but I don't know much about Lie derivatives except what I saw now through wikipedia ...
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1answer
84 views

Geodesic equation

I have a technical question about the geodesic equation. Assume we have a frame $(E_{1},E_{2},E_{3},E_{4})$ (not necessarily a coordinate frame). Assume we have a parametrized curve $\gamma(s)\in M$ ...
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1answer
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Understanding the covariant derivative and its relation to parallel transport

I have been reading section 3.1 of Wald's GR book in which he introduces the notion of a covariant derivative. As I understand, this is introduced as the (partial) derivative operators $\partial_{a}$ ...
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2answers
120 views

Divergence of vector potential [closed]

I was given the vector potential $$\vec A (\vec r) = - \vec a \times \nabla \frac{1}{r}$$ with a constant vector $\vec a$. Now, I found the $\vec B$ field which is I think $- \vec a \frac{2}{r^3}$, ...
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Identifying a scalar function

We know that a scalar is invariant under rotations. What about a scalar function? Should it also be invariant under rotations? Therefore, under rotation $\phi(x,y,z)$ must be equal to ...
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147 views

Is a vector field not a vector quantity?

I'm trying to make sense of Poisson bracket relation $$\{L_i,A_k\}_{PB}~=~\epsilon_{ikl}A_l,\tag1$$ where $L_i$ is $i$th component of angular momentum, $A_k$ is $k$th component of an arbitrary ...
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6answers
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Momentum of stationary electron in a curl free vector potential

The essence of this question is simplicity itself: There is an electron in a curl-free $\vec{A}$ field. The electron is stationary so its m$\vec{v}$ momentum is 0. However, it has "momentum" from ...
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1answer
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Vector fields of a physical quantity [closed]

I had this small confusion - The components of a vector field representing a physical quantity must have the same physical dimension right? for example- the radius vector has the unit of length along ...