Student handout: Scalar Surface and Volume Elements

Static Fields 2023

Students use known algebraic expressions for length elements \(d\ell\) to determine all simple scalar area \(dA\) and volume elements \(d\tau\) in cylindrical and spherical coordinates.

This activity is identical to Vector Surface and Volume Elements except uses a scalar approach to find surface, and volume elements.

What students learn
  • How to find area, and volume elements in curvilinear coordinates using geometric methods.

Find the formulas for the differential surface \(dA\) and volume \(d\tau\) elements (little chopped pieces of the surface and/or volume) for a plane, for a finite cylinder (including the top and bottom), and for a hemisphere. Make sure to draw an appropriate figure.

Learning Outcomes