Vector calculus is a field of mathematics which is depicted most commonly in three dimensional spaces and involves utilizing both the operations of differentiation and integration. Scalar fields and vector fields are the typical objects of vector calculus which are manipulated and transformed using different operations.
In comparison to a vector field, a scalar field is a value representing a particular point in space, but is coordinate-independent. This means that this value is not associated with a direction. A scalar field can be either a physical quantity or just a number. For example, 5 humans is an example of a scalar field.
A vector field involves not only a numerical value, but one which is directed somewhere. A subset of Euclidean space can be represented utilizing a vector. An example of a vector is the speed and direction of a fluid, such as 5 liters of orange juice. This quantity must be flowing in a particular direction.
When vector calculus becomes more advanced, scalar and vector quantities turn into pseudoscalar and pseudovector quantities. This means that the sign of the value changes with orientation.
In vector calculus, various algebraic operations are practiced and defined for a vector space. Some of these algebraic operations include:
- The dot product: This involves multiplying two vector fields and equals a scalar field.
- Vector addition: This operation produces a vector field since two vector fields are added together.
- Cross product: This operation involves multiplying two vector fields and produces a vector field.
Furthermore, vector calculus has multiple applications in the fields of engineering and physics. For example, when dealing with fluid dynamics such as fluid flow in civil engineering, the use of vectors is important.