This applet is designed to build intuition about divergence and curl of a vector field.

- The applet has a control window and Vector Field window.
- The Vector Field window shows the the vector field V, and a red hot spot P0 that can be dragged. The divergence at P0 is shown by a horizontal green bar. The curl at P0 is shown by a vertical blue bar.
- The control panel lets you define the vector field V=(p,q). It gives readouts for the value of P0 along with V, and its divergence and curl, all evaluated at P0.
- The control panel lets you set the viewing window along with the density and scaling factor of the vector field.

Things to notice:

- The divergence is connected to sources and sinks. Divergence does not necessarily reach an extrema at a source of sink. The curls is connected to swirling.
- The field (x,y) diverges and does not curl. The field (-y,x) curls but does not diverge.

This applet was designed as by modifying an applet from a demo by Tom Banchoff at Brown University. It is used with permission. Go to the Banchoff Applet Help page.

Return to the Banchoff Applet page.

Return to the SLU Calculus Applet page.

Return to the Saint Louis University Department of Mathematics and Computer Science home page

Last updated By Mike May, S.J. , October 6, 2006.