Christina Daniel

I am a research assistant in theoretical physics. This website, derive-it.com, serves to organize my ongoing learning and research as well as to provide a resource to other learners around the world.

Reasoning about Left and Right Handed Coordinate Systems

Arranging Unit Vectors A coordinate system can be defined by three perpendicular unit vectors. If the coordinate system is Cartesian, which direction does the $+x$ axis point? To resolve this problem, I define an orientation–a coordinate system that is oriented in a certain direction in three-dimensional space. How many unique orientations are there? Here, a unique …

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Del is More than an Upside Down Triangle, Part 1

What is Del? In math, the symbol $\vec{\nabla}$ is called “del.” This symbol is defined in terms of Cartesian coordinates. $\vec{\nabla} \equiv \frac{d}{dx}\vec{e}_x + \frac{d}{dy}\vec{e}_y + \frac{d}{dz}\vec{e}_z$ The right side is a sum of unit vectors. So $\vec{\nabla}$ is a vector. This is why I write $\vec{\nabla}$ instead of just $\nabla$. Is it possible to …

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How to Integrate in a Spherical Coordinate System

Review of Integration Integration with Cartesian coordinates is simple. The general form is $\int\int\int f(x,y,z)dxdydz$ in which $f(x,y,z)$ is an arbitrary function of the Cartesian coordinates. However, there may be cases in which integrating with spherical coordinates is more convenient. Given the above, general form for integration with Cartesian coordinates, how can one integrate in a spherical …

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The Jacobian Matrix

Using conclusions from previous posts, the following nine derivatives have been determined. $\frac{dx(r)}{dr}\big|_{r^+}=\sin\theta\cos\phi$ $\frac{dy(r)}{dr}\big|_{r^+} = \sin\theta\sin\phi$ $\frac{dz(r)}{dr}\big|_{r^+} = \cos\theta$ $\frac{dx(\phi)}{d\phi}\big|_{\phi^+} = -r\sin\theta\sin\phi$ $\frac{dy(\phi)}{d\phi}\big|_{\phi^+} = r \sin\theta \cos\phi$ $\frac{dz(\phi)}{d\phi}\big|_{\phi^+} = 0$ $\frac{dx(\theta)}{d\theta} \big|_{\theta^+} = r\cos\theta \cos\phi$ $\frac{d y(\theta)}{d \theta} \big|_{\theta^+} = r \cos\theta \sin\phi $ $\frac{dz(\theta)}{d\theta} \big|_{\theta^+} = -r \sin\theta$ Next, recall the following result from this …

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How to Use the Product Rule

I would like to evaluate two more derivatives. They are $ \frac{dx}{d\phi}\big|_{\phi^+} $ and $ \frac{dz}{d\theta}\big|_{\theta^+} $ given $x = r \sin\theta\cos\phi$ and $z = r\cos\theta$.   Start with $ \frac{dx}{d\phi}\big|_{\phi^+} $. The first step is to substitute $x$ with $r \sin\theta \cos\phi$. $ \frac{dx}{d\phi}\big|_{\phi^+} = \frac{d r \sin\theta \cos \phi}{d\phi}\big|_{\phi^+} $. The next step is …

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Proving the Chain Rule

In this post, the chain rule is proved. This rule frequently appears in Calculus. Recall from this post that: $dx|_{a^+} \equiv \lim_{\Delta x \rightarrow 0^+} \Delta x$ and $df(x)|_{a^+} = \lim_{\Delta x \rightarrow 0^+} \Delta f (\Delta x)$. Suppose a variable $y$ can be written as a function of another variable $u$, and that $u$ can be written …

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