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What is the Divergence Theorem?

Divergence Theorem

The Divergence theorem, also known as Gauss’s theorem or Ostrogradsky’s theorem, is a fundamental theorem in vector calculus that relates the divergence of a vector field to the flux of the vector field through a closed surface. The theorem states that the net outward flux of a vector field through a closed surface is equal to the volume integral of the divergence of the vector field over the volume enclosed by the surface.

Mathematically, the Divergence theorem is expressed as:

∮S F⋅dS = ∫∫∫V (∇⋅F)dV

where F is a vector field, ∇⋅F is the divergence of F, S is the closed surface, dS is the outward-pointing surface element, V is the volume enclosed by S, and dV is the volume element.

The Divergence theorem is applicable to various areas of physics and engineering, such as fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, and heat conduction. It is an essential tool for simplifying calculations and deriving more specific theorems, like Gauss’s law in electrostatics, and plays a significant role in understanding the properties of divergence and curl in vector fields.

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