Curvilinear Coordinates

  • Paul C. Matthews
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series book series (SUMS)


So far in this book we have used rectangular Cartesian coordinates. In many physical problems, however, these are not the most convenient coordinates to use. Consider, for example, the problem of finding the electric field produced by a charged sphere. In this chapter the general theory of non-Cartesian coordinate systems is introduced. Formulae for grad, div and curl in these coordinate systems are developed and the two most important examples, cylindrical and spherical polar coordinates are described.


Volume Element Curvilinear Coordinate System Coordinate Surface Vector Calculus Orthogonal Curvilinear 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul C. Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of NottinghamUniversity ParkUK

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