Unformatted text preview: or taken away from the system (a spring or a sinkhole). Recall from electric forces and fields that the divergence of an electric field at a given point is nonzero only if there is some charge density at that point. Point charges cause divergence, as they are a "source" of field lines. Divergence is mathematically significant because it allows us to relate volume integrals and surface integrals, through Gauss' Theorem. Given a closed surface that encompasses a certain volume, this theorem states that: · da = dv where the left side is a surface integral over a and the right side is a volume integral. We don't really deal with volume integrals in electricity and magnetism, so some of this theorem is irrelevant. However, when the divergence of a vector field is zero, this equation tells us that the integral through any surface in the field must also be zero....
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 Fall '10
 DavidJudd
 Physics, Vector Calculus, Force, Magnetic Field, Vector field

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