assignment Homework

Cross Triangle
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

Use the cross product to find the components of the unit vector \(\mathbf{\boldsymbol{\hat n}}\) perpendicular to the plane shown in the figure below, i.e.  the plane joining the points \(\{(1,0,0),(0,1,0),(0,0,1)\}\).

assignment Homework

Vectors
vector geometry Static Fields 2023 (4 years)

Let \begin{align} \boldsymbol{\vec a} &= \boldsymbol{\hat x}-3\boldsymbol{\hat y}-\boldsymbol{\hat z}\\ \boldsymbol{\vec b} &= \boldsymbol{\hat x}+\boldsymbol{\hat y}+2\boldsymbol{\hat z}\\ {\boldsymbol{\vec c}} &= -2\boldsymbol{\hat x}-\boldsymbol{\hat y}+\boldsymbol{\hat z}\\ \boldsymbol{\vec d} &= -\boldsymbol{\hat x}-\boldsymbol{\hat y}+\boldsymbol{\hat z} \end{align}

Which pairs (if any) of these vectors

  1. Are perpendicular?
  2. Are parallel?
  3. Have an angle less than \(\pi/2\) between them?
  4. Have an angle of more than \(\pi/2\) between them?

assignment Homework

Electric Field from a Rod
Static Fields 2023 (5 years) Consider a thin charged rod of length \(L\) standing along the \(z\)-axis with the bottom end on the \(xy\)-plane. The charge density \(\lambda\) is constant. Find the electric field at the point \((0,0,2L)\).

assignment_ind Small White Board Question

10 min.

Vector Differential--Rectangular
Vector Calculus II 23 (8 years)

vector differential rectangular coordinates math

Integration Sequence

In this introductory lecture/SWBQ, students are given a picture as a guide. They then write down an algebraic expression for the vector differential in rectangular coordinates for coordinate equals constant paths.

This activity can be done as a mini-lecture/SWBQ as an introduction to Vector Differential--Curvilinear where students find the vector differential in cylindrical and spherical coordinates..

assignment Homework

Vector Sketch (Rectangular Coordinates)
vector fields Static Fields 2023 (4 years) Sketch each of the vector fields below.
  1. \(\boldsymbol{\vec F} =-y\,\boldsymbol{\hat x} + x\,\boldsymbol{\hat y}\)
  2. \(\boldsymbol{\vec G} = x\,\boldsymbol{\hat x} + y\,\boldsymbol{\hat y}\)
  3. \(\boldsymbol{\vec H} = y\,\boldsymbol{\hat x} + x\,\boldsymbol{\hat y}\)

assignment Homework

Curl
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

Shown above is a two-dimensional cross-section of a vector field. All the parallel cross-sections of this field look exactly the same. Determine the direction of the curl at points A, B, and C.

assignment Homework

Flux through a Plane
Static Fields 2023 (4 years) Find the upward pointing flux of the vector field \(\boldsymbol{\vec{H}}=2z\,\boldsymbol{\hat{x}} +\frac{1}{x^2+1}\boldsymbol{\hat{y}}+(3+2z)\boldsymbol{\hat{z}}\) through the rectangle \(R\) with one edge along the \(y\) axis and the other in the \(xz\)-plane along the line \(z=x\), with \(0\le y\le2\) and \(0\le x\le3\).

group Small Group Activity

5 min.

Acting Out Flux
Static Fields 2023 (4 years)

flux electrostatics vector fields

Students hold rulers and meter sticks to represent a vector field. The instructor holds a hula hoop to represent a small area element. Students are asked to describe the flux of the vector field through the area element.

assignment Homework

Divergence
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

Shown above is a two-dimensional vector field.

Determine whether the divergence at point A and at point C is positive, negative, or zero.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Vector Differential--Curvilinear
Vector Calculus II 23 (9 years)

vector calculus coordinate systems curvilinear coordinates

Integration Sequence

In this small group activity, students are given a picture as a guide. They then write down an algebraic expression for the vector differential in different coordinate systems (cartesian, cylindrical, spherical).

Use Vector Differential--Rectangular as an introduction. This activity can be done simultaneously with Pineapples and Pumpkins where students or the instructor cut volume elements out of pineapples and/or pumpkins to show the geometry.

computer Mathematica Activity

30 min.

Visualising the Gradient
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

Gradient Sequence

Students use prepared Sage code to predict the gradient from contour graphs of 2D scalar fields.

accessibility_new Kinesthetic

10 min.

Acting Out the Gradient
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

gradient vector fields electrostatics

Gradient Sequence

Students are shown a topographic map of an oval hill and imagine that the classroom is on the hill. They are asked to point in the direction of the gradient vector appropriate to the point on the hill where they are "standing".

assignment Homework

Tetrahedron
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

Using a dot product, find the angle between any two line segments that join the center of a regular tetrahedron to its vertices. Hint: Think of the vertices of the tetrahedron as sitting at the vertices of a cube (at coordinates (0,0,0), (1,1,0), (1,0,1) and (0,1,1)---you may need to build a model and play with it to see how this works!)

assignment Homework

Undo Formulas for Reduced Mass (Geometry)
Central Forces 2023 (3 years)

The figure below shows the position vector \(\vec r\) and the orbit of a “fictitious” reduced mass \(\mu\).

  1. Suppose \(m_1=m_2\), Sketch the position vectors and orbits for \(m_1\) and \(m_2\) corresponding to \(\vec{r}\). Describe a common physics example of central force motion for which \(m_1=m_2\).
  2. Repeat, for \(m_2>m_1\).

assignment Homework

Graphs Involving the Distance Formula
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

Learn more about the geometry of \(\vert \vec{r}-\vec{r'}\vert\) in two dimensions.

  1. Make sketches of the following functions, by hand, on the same axes: \begin{align} y &= \sin x\\ y &= \sin(2+x) \end{align} Briefly describe the role that the number 2 plays in the shape of the second graph
  2. Make a sketch of the graph \begin{equation} \vert \vec{r} - \vec{a} \vert = 2 \end{equation}

    for each of the following values of \(\vec a\): \begin{align} \vec a &= \vec 0\\ \vec a &= 2 \hat x- 3 \hat y\\ \vec a &= \text{points due east and is 2 units long} \end{align}

  3. Derive a more familiar equation equivalent to \begin{equation} \vert \vec r - \vec a \vert = 2 \end{equation} for arbitrary \(\vec a\), by expanding \(\vec r\) and \(\vec a\) in rectangular coordinates. Simplify as much as possible. (Ok, ok, I know this is a terribly worded question. What do I mean by “more familiar"? What do I mean by “simplify as much as possible"? Why am I making you read my mind? Try it anyway. Real life is not full of carefully worded problems. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out a better way of wording the question that doesn't give the point away.)
  4. Write a brief description of the geometric meaning of the equation \begin{equation} \vert \vec r - \vec a \vert = 2 \end{equation}

assignment Homework

Divergence through a Prism
Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

Consider the vector field \(\vec F=(x+2)\hat{x} +(z+2)\hat{z}\).

  1. Calculate the divergence of \(\vec F\).
  2. In which direction does the vector field \(\vec F\) point on the plane \(z=x\)? What is the value of \(\vec F\cdot \hat n\) on this plane where \(\hat n\) is the unit normal to the plane?
  3. Verify the divergence theorem for this vector field where the volume involved is drawn below. (“Verify” means calculate both sides of the divergence theorem, separately, for this example and show that they are the same.)

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Electric Field Due to a Ring of Charge
Static Fields 2023 (8 years)

coulomb's law electric field charge ring symmetry integral power series superposition

Power Series Sequence (E&M)

Ring Cycle Sequence

Students work in small groups to use Coulomb's Law \[\vec{E}(\vec{r}) =\frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}\int\frac{\rho(\vec{r}^{\,\prime})\left(\vec{r}-\vec{r}^{\,\prime}\right)}{\vert \vec{r}-\vec{r}^{\,\prime}\vert^3} \, d\tau^{\prime}\] to find an integral expression for the electric field, \(\vec{E}(\vec{r})\), everywhere in space, due to a ring of charge.

In an optional extension, students find a series expansion for \(\vec{E}(\vec{r})\) either on the axis or in the plane of the ring, for either small or large values of the relevant geometric variable. Add an extra half hour or more to the time estimate for the optional extension.

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Visualization of Divergence
Vector Calculus II 23 (9 years) Students predict from graphs of simple 2-d vector fields whether the divergence is positive, negative, or zero in various regions of the domain using the definition of the divergence of a vector field at a point: The divergence of a vector field at a point is flux per unit volume through an infinitesimal box surrounding that point. Optionally, students can use a Mathematica notebook to verify their predictions.

assignment Homework

Directional Derivative

Gradient Sequence

Static Fields 2023 (6 years)

You are on a hike. The altitude nearby is described by the function \(f(x, y)= k x^{2}y\), where \(k=20 \mathrm{\frac{m}{km^3}}\) is a constant, \(x\) and \(y\) are east and north coordinates, respectively, with units of kilometers. You're standing at the spot \((3~\mathrm{km},2~\mathrm{km})\) and there is a cottage located at \((1~\mathrm{km}, 2~\mathrm{km})\). You drop your water bottle and the water spills out.

  1. Plot the function \(f(x, y)\) and also its level curves in your favorite plotting software. Include images of these graphs. Special note: If you use a computer program written by someone else, you must reference that appropriately.
  2. In which direction in space does the water flow?
  3. At the spot you're standing, what is the slope of the ground in the direction of the cottage?
  4. Does your result to part (c) make sense from the graph?

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

Vector Surface and Volume Elements
Static Fields 2023 (4 years)

Integration Sequence

Students use known algebraic expressions for vector line elements \(d\vec{r}\) to determine all simple vector area \(d\vec{A}\) and volume elements \(d\tau\) in cylindrical and spherical coordinates.

This activity is identical to Scalar Surface and Volume Elements except uses a vector approach to find directed surface and volume elements.