Differential Calculus

### “Ordinary” Derivatives

Suppose we have a function o f one variable: f i x ) then the derivative, d f kix tells us how rapidly the function fix) varies when we change the argument x by a tiny amount, dx:

In words: If we change x by an amount dx, then f changes by an amount df the derivative is the proportionality factor. For example in figure (a), the function varies slowly with x, and the derivative is correspondingly small. In figure (b), f increases rapidly with x, and the derivative is large, as we move away from x = 0.
Geometrical Interpretation: The derivative d f ! dx is the slope o f the graph off versus x.

Suppose that we have a function of three variables-say, V(x, y, z) in a

This tells us how V changes when we alter all three variables by the infinitesimal amounts dx, dy, dz. Notice that we do not require an infinite number o f derivatives-three will suffice: the partial derivatives along each of the three coordinate directions.
Thus
where is the gradient of V .
is a vector quantity, with three components.

Like any vector, the gradient has magnitude and direction. To determine its geometrical meaning, let’s rewrite

where θ is the angle between  and. Now, i f we fix the magnitudeand search around in various directions (that is, varyθ), the maximum change in V evidently occurs when θ = 0(for then cos θ = 1). That is, for a fixed distancedT is greatest when one move in the same direction asThus:
The gradient  points in the direction of maximum increase of the function F.
Moreover:
The magnitudegives the slope (rate o f increase) along this maximal direction.
Gradient in Spherical polar coordinates V (r,θ,∅)

Gradient in cylindrical coordinates V (r,∅,z)

Example 4: Find the gradient of a scalar function of position V where V(x,y, z) = x2y + e2. Calculate the magnitude of the gradient at point P(1, 5,-2).

Example 5: Find the unit vector normal to the curve = x2 at the point (2, 4, 1).

The equation of curve in the form of surface is given by
x2 - y = 0
A constant scalar function V on the surface is given by V (x,y,z) =x2 -y

The value of the gradient at point (2, 4, 1),
The unit vector, as required

Example 6: Find the unit vector normal to the surface xy3z2 = 4 at a point (-1, -1, 2).

Unit vector normal to the surface

Example 7: In electrostatic field problems, the electric field is given b y , where F V s the scalar field potential. If V = r2∅ - 2θ in spherical coordinates, then find

F = r2∅ - 2θ
In spherical coordinate,
Substituting the suitable values,

### The Operator

The gradient has the formal appearance of a vector,, “multiplying” a scalar V:
The term in parentheses is called “del”:

We should say that  is a vector operator that acts upon V, not a vector that multiplies V.There are three ways the operatorcan act:
1. on a scalar function V:(the gradient);
2. on a vector function via the dot product: (the divergence),
3. on a vector function  via the cross product: (the curl).

### The Divergence

From the definition of  we construct the divergence:

Observe that the divergence of a vector function is itself a scalar (You can't have the divergence of a scalar: that’s meaningless.)

Geometrical Interpretation
is a measure of how much the vector spreads out (diverges) from the point in question. For example, the vector function in figure (a) has a large (positive) divergence (if the arrows pointed in, it would be a large negative divergence), the function in figure (b) has zero divergence, and the function in figure (c) again has a positive divergence. (Please understand that here is a function-there’s a different vector associated with every point in space.)
(a)

(b)

(c)

Divergence in Spherical polar coordinates

Divergence in cylindrical coordinates

Example 8: Suppose the function sketched in above figure are and Calculate their divergences.

Example 9: Given
(i)
(ii)
(iii)

(i) In Cartesian coordinates,
(ii) In cylindrical coordinates

(iii) In spherical coordinates,

### The Curl

From the definition of  we construct the curl

Notice that the curl of a vector function  is, like any cross product, a vector. (You cannot have the curl of a scalar; that’s meaningless.)

Geometrical Interpretation
is a measure of how much the vector  ‘‘curls around” the point in question. Figure shown below have a substantial curl, pointing in the z-direction, as the natural right-hand rule would suggest.
(a)

(b)

Curl in Spherical polar coordinates
Curl in cylindrical coordinates

Example 10: Suppose the function sketched in above figure are  and

Calculate their curls.

As expected, these curls point in the +z direction. (Incidentally, they both have zero divergence, as you might guess from the pictures: nothing is “spreading out”.... it just “curls around.”)

Example 11: Given a vector function
(a) Calculate the value of constants c1,c2,c3 if  is irrotational.
(b) Determine the constant c4 if  is also solenoidal.
(c) Determine the scalar potential function V, whose negative gradient equals.

(a) If A is irrotational then,

(b) Ifis solenoidal,

(c)

Examination of above expressions of V gives a general value of

Example 12: Find the curl of the vector = (e-r/r)

= (e-r/r)⇒A= 0, Aθ = (e-r/r), AФ =0

Example 13: Find the nature of the following fields by determining divergence and curl.

(i)
(ii)  (Cylindrical coordinates)

(i)
Divergence exists, so the field is non-solenoidal.
The field has a curl so it is rotational.
(ii)
In cylindrical coordinates, Divergence The field is non-solenoid.

### Product Rules

The calculation of ordinary derivatives is facilitated by a number of general rules, such as
the sum rule:

the rule for multiplying by a constant:

the product rule:

and the quotient rule:

Similar relations hold for the vector derivatives. Thus,

and

as you can check for yourself. The product rules are not quite so simple. There are two ways to construct a scalar as the product of two functions:
f g (product of two scalar functions),
(Dot product of two vectors),
and two ways to make a vector:
(Scalar time’s vector),
(Cross product of two vectors),
Accordingly, there are six product rules,
(i)
(ii)

Two for divergences
(iii)
(iv)
And two for curls
(v)
(vi)
It is also possible to formulate three quotient rules:

### Second Derivatives

The gradient, the divergence, and the curl are the only first derivatives we can make with by applyingtwice we can construct five species of second derivatives. The gradient  is a vector, so we can take the divergence and curl of it:
This object, which we write  for short, is called the Laplacian of V. Notice that the Laplacian o f a scalar V is a scalar.
Laplacian in Spherical polar coordinates

Laplacian in cylindrical coordinates

Occasionally, we shall speak o f the Laplacian o f a vector, By this we mean a vector quantity whose x-component is the Laplacian of Ax, and so on:

This is nothing more than a convenient extension of the meaning of .
The divergence A is a scalar-all we can do is taking its gradient.
The curl of a gradient is always zero:
The curl  A is a vector, so we can take its divergence and curl.
Notice thatis not the same as the Laplacian of a vector:

(4) Divergence of curl:
The divergence of a curl, like the curl of a gradient, is always zero:

(5) Curl of curl:
As you can check from the definition of
So curl-of-curl gives nothing new; the first term is just number (3) and the second is the Laplacian (of a vector).

The document Differential Calculus | Mathematical Methods - Physics is a part of the Physics Course Mathematical Methods.
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## Mathematical Methods

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## FAQs on Differential Calculus - Mathematical Methods - Physics

 1. What is differential calculus?
Ans. Differential calculus is a branch of mathematics that deals with the study of rates of change and slopes of curves. It focuses on understanding how quantities change with respect to independent variables. It involves concepts such as derivatives, differentiation, and finding the rate of change of a function at a specific point.
 2. What is the IIT JAM exam?
Ans. The IIT JAM (Joint Admission Test for M.Sc.) is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for admission to various postgraduate programs in science. It is a highly competitive exam that tests the candidates' knowledge and understanding of subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biotechnology, etc.
 3. How can I prepare for differential calculus in the IIT JAM exam?
Ans. To prepare for differential calculus in the IIT JAM exam, it is essential to have a strong understanding of the fundamental concepts and techniques. Here are a few tips to prepare effectively: - Start by thoroughly studying the basic concepts of differential calculus, such as limits, derivatives, and their properties. - Practice solving a variety of problems from textbooks, previous year question papers, and online resources to enhance your problem-solving skills. - Understand the application of differential calculus in real-life scenarios, such as optimization problems and rates of change. - Take mock tests and solve sample papers to get familiar with the exam pattern and time management.
 4. What are some important topics in differential calculus for the IIT JAM exam?
Ans. Some important topics in differential calculus for the IIT JAM exam include: - Limits and continuity - Differentiation of algebraic, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions - Chain rule and implicit differentiation - Higher-order derivatives and Leibnitz theorem - Applications of derivatives, such as maxima and minima, tangents, and normals
 5. Are there any recommended books or study materials for differential calculus in the IIT JAM exam?
Ans. Yes, there are several recommended books and study materials for differential calculus in the IIT JAM exam. Some popular choices include: - "Calculus" by Michael Spivak - "Differential Calculus" by Shanti Narayan - "Differential Calculus" by Amit M. Agarwal - "Differential Calculus for IIT JAM" by Sanjay Mishra - Practice sets and solved papers by Arihant Publications and Wiley Publications.

## Mathematical Methods

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