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Differentiation and

Integration of vectors

15.7

Introduction
The area known as vector calculus is used to model mathematically a vast range of engineering
phenomena including electrostatics, electromagnetic elds, air ow around aircraft and heat ow
in nuclear reactors. In this Block we introduce briey the dierential and integral calculus of
vectors.

have a knowledge of vectors, in cartesian


form

Prerequisites
Before starting this Block you should . . .

be able to calculate the scalar and vector


products of two vectors
be able to dierentiate and integrate scalar
functions.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Style

After completing this Block you should be able To achieve what is expected of you . . .
to . . .
dierentiate and integrate vectors
allocate sucient study time

briey revise the prerequisite material


attempt every guided exercise and most
of the other exercises

1. Differentiation of Vectors
Consider the following gure.
y

r
C

If r represents the position vector of an object which is moving along a curve C, then the position
vector will be dependent upon the time, t. We write r = r(t) to show the dependence upon
time. Suppose that the object is at the point P with position vector r at time t and at the point
Q with position vector r(t + t) at the later time t + t as shown in the next gure.
y

PQ

r(t)
Q
r(t + t)
x

Then P Q represents the displacement vector of the object during the interval of time t. The
length of the displacement vector represents the distance travelled while its direction gives the
direction of motion. The average velocity during the time from t to t + t is dened as the
displacement vector divided by the time interval t, that is,

PQ
r(t + t) r(t)
average velocity =
=
t
t
If we now take the limit as the interval of time t tends to zero then the expression on the right
hand side is the derivative of r with respect to t. Not surprisingly we refer to this derivative as
the instantaneous velocity, v. By its very construction we see that the velocity vector is always
tangential to the curve as the object moves along it. We have:
dr
r(t + t) r(t)
=
t0
t
dt

v = lim

Now, since the x and y coordinates of the object depend upon the time, we can write the position
vector r in cartesian coordinates as:
r(t) = x(t)i + y(t)j
Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1
15.7: Applications of Integration

Therefore,
r(t + t) = x(t + t)i + y(t + t)j
so that,
x(t + t)i + y(t + t)j x(t)i y(t)j
t0
t


y(t + t) y(t)
x(t + t) x(t)
i+
j
= lim
t0
t
t
dy
dx
i+ j
=
dt
dt

v(t) = lim

This is often abbreviated to v = r = xi


+ yj
using notation for derivatives with respect to time.
So the velocity vector is the derivative of the position vector with respect to time.
This result generalizes in an obvious way to three dimensions. If,
r(t) = x(t)i + y(t)j + z(t)k
then the velocity vector is

+ y(t)j

+ z(t)k

v = r (t) = x(t)i
The magnitude of the velocity vector gives the speed of the object.
We can dene the acceleration vector in a similar way, as the rate of change (i.e. the derivative)
of the velocity with respect to the time:
a=

dv
d2 r
= 2 = r = xi + yj + zk
dt
dt

Example If w = 3t2 i + cos 2tj, nd


dw
(a)
dt

 
 dw 
(b)  
dt

(c)

d2 w
dt2

Solution
1. (a) If w = 3t2 i + cos 2tj, then dierentiation with respect to t yields:
 

 dw  
(b)   = (6t)2 + (2 sin 2t)2 = 36t2 + 4 sin2 2t
dt
(c)

dw
= 6ti 2 sin 2tj
dt

d2 w
= 6i 4 cos 2tj
dt2

It is possible to dierentiate more complicated expressions involving vectors provided certain


rules are adhered to. If w and z are vectors and c is a scalar, all these being functions of time
t, then:
3

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1


15.7: Applications of Integration

Key Point
dw dc
d
(cw) = c
+ w
dt
dt
dt

d
dw dz
(w + z) =
+
dt
dt
dt
d
dz dw
(w z) = w
+
z
dt
dt
dt

d
dz dw
(w z) = w
+
z
dt
dt
dt

Example If w = 3ti t2 j and z = 2t2 i + 3j, verify the results


(a)

d
dz dw
(w z) = w
+
z
dt
dt
dt

(b)

d
dz dw
(w z) = w
+
z
dt
dt
dt

Solution
(a) w z = (3ti t2 j) (2t2 i + 3j) = 6t3 3t2 . Then
d
(w z) = 18t2 6t
dt
Also

dz
= 4ti
dt

dw
= 3i 2tj
dt

so
w

dz
dw
+z
= (3ti t2 j) (4ti) + (2t2 i + 3j) (3i 2tj)
dt
dt
= 12t2 + 6t2 6t = 18t2 6t

d
(w z) = w
dt
 i
j k

(b) w z =  3t t2 0
 2t2 3 0
Also,

We have veried

dz dw
+
z
dt
dt



 = (9t + 2t4 )k



implying

d
(w z) = (9 + 8t3 )k
dt




 i
j
k


dz
2

=  3t t 0 
w
dt
 4t 0 0 
= 4t3 k

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1


15.7: Applications of Integration

Solution (continued)

 i
j k

dw

z =  3 2t 0
dt
 2t2 3 0








= (9 + 4t3 )k
and so,
w

dz dw
d
+
z = 4t3 k + (9 + 4t3 )k = (9 + 8t3 )k = (w z)
dt
dt
dt

as required.
More exercises for you to try
1. If r = 3ti + 2t2 j + t3 k, nd
(a)

dr
dt

(b)

d2 r
dt2

2. Given B = tet i + cos t j nd


(a)

dB
dt

(b)

d2 B
dt2

3. If r = 4t2 i + 2tj 7k evaluate r and

dr
dt

when t = 1.

4. If w = t3 i 7tk, and z = (2 + t)i + t2 j 2k


(a) nd wz,

(b) nd

dw
,
dt

(c) nd

dz
,
dt

(d) show that

d
(wz)
dt

= w dz
+ dw
z
dt
dt

5. Given r = sin t i + cos t j nd


(a) r ,

(b) r,

(c) |r|

Show also that the position vector and velocity vector are perpendicular.
Answer

2. Integration of Vectors
If a vector depends upon time t, it is often necessary to integrate it with respect to time. Recall
that i, j and k are constant vectors and must be treated thus in any integration. Hence the
integral,

I = (f (t)i + g(t)j + h(t)k) dt
is simply evaluated as three scalar integrals i.e.






I=
f (t)dt i +
g(t)dt j +
h(t)dt k

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1


15.7: Applications of Integration

Example If r = 3ti + t j + (1 + 2t)k, evaluate


2

rdt.
0

Solution




rdt =
0



3t dt i +

2 1

3t
2



t dt j +


1 + 2t dt k

3
1

1
t
3
1
i+
j + t + t2 0 k = i + j + 2k
3 0
2
3
0

More exercises for you to try



1. Given r = 3 sin t i cos t j + (2 t)k, evaluate

r dt.
0

2. Given v = i 3j + k, evaluate:


v dt,

(a)

(b)

v dt
0

3. The vector, a, is dened by a = t2 i + et j + tk. Evaluate




a dt,

(a)
0

(b)

a dt,

(c)

a dt
1

4. Let a and b be two three-dimensional vectors. Is the following result true?


 t2
 t2
 t2
a dt
b dt =
a b dt
t1

t1

t1

where denotes the vector product.


Answer

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1


15.7: Applications of Integration

End of Block 15.7

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1


15.7: Applications of Integration

1. (a) 3i + 4tj + 3t2 k

(b) 4j + 6tk

2. (a) (tet + et )i sin tj

(b) et (t 2)i cos tj

3. 4i + 2j 7k, 8i + 2j
4. (a) t(t3 + 2t2 + 14)
5. (a) cos ti sin tj

(b) 3t2 i 7k

(c) i + 2tj

(b) sin ti cos tj

(c) 1.

Back to the theory

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1


15.7: Applications of Integration

1. 6i + 1.348k
2. (a) i 3j + k

(b) 2i 6j + 2k

3. (a) 0.333i + 0.632j + 0.5k

(b) 6.333i + 0.0855j + 2.5k

(c) 21i + 0.3496j + 7.5k

4. no.
Back to the theory

Engineering Mathematics: Open Learning Unit Level 1


15.7: Applications of Integration