Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Fluid MechanicsA Geometrical Point of View$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

S. G. Rajeev

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805021

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805021.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 September 2020

Vector Fields

Vector Fields

(p.1) 1 Vector Fields
Fluid Mechanics

S. G. Rajeev

Oxford University Press

The velocity of a fluid at each point of space-time is a vector field (or flow). It is best to think of it in terms of the effect of fluid flow on some scalar field. A vector field is thus a first order partial differential operator, called the material derivative in fluid mechanics. The path of a speck of dust carried along (advected) by the fluid is the integral curve of the velocity field. Even simple vector fields can have quite complicated integral curves: a manifestation of chaos. Of special interest are incompressible (with zero divergence) and irrotational (with zero curl) flows. A fixed point of a vector field is a point at which it vanishes. The derivative of a vector field at a fixed point is a matrix (the Jacobi matrix) whose spectrum is independent of the choice of coordinates.

Keywords:   Vector field, material derivative, advection, integral curve, irrotational flow, incompressible flow, Jacobi matrix

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .