- Green's theorem
physicsand mathematics, Green's theorem gives the relationship between a line integralaround a simple closed curve "C" and a double integralover the plane region "D" bounded by "C". It is the two-dimensional special case of the more general Stokes' theorem, and is named after British scientist George Green.
Let "C" be a positively oriented,
piecewise smooth, simple closed curvein the plane R2, and let "D" be the region bounded by "C". If "L" and "M" are functions of ("x", "y") defined on an open region containing "D" and have continuous partial derivativesthere, then
Sometimes a small circle is placed on the integral symbol to indicate that the curve "C" is closed. For positive orientation, an arrow pointing in the
counterclockwisedirection may be drawn in this circle.
In physics, Green's theorem is mostly used to solve two-dimensional flow integrals, stating that the sum of fluid outflows at any point inside a volume is equal to the total outflow summed about an enclosing area.
Proof when "D" is a simple region
The following is a proof of the theorem for the simplified area "D", a type I region where "C"2 and "C"4 are vertical lines. A similar proof exists for when "D" is a type II region where "C"1 and "C"3 are straight lines.
If it can be shown that
are true, then Green's theorem is proven in the first case.
Define the type I region "D" as pictured on the right by:
where "g"1 and "g"2 are
continuous functions on ["a", "b"] . Compute the double integral in (1):
Now compute the line integral in (1). "C" can be rewritten as the union of four curves: "C"1, "C"2, "C"3, "C"4.
With "C"1, use the
parametric equations: "x" = "x", "y" = "g"1("x"), "a" ≤ "x" ≤ "b". Then
With "C"3, use the parametric equations: "x" = "x", "y" = "g"2("x"), "a" ≤ "x" ≤ "b". Then
The integral over "C"3 is negated because it goes in the negative direction from "b" to "a", as "C" is oriented positively (counterclockwise). On "C"2 and "C"4, "x" remains constant, meaning
Combining (3) with (4), we get (1). Similar computations give (2).
Relationship to the divergence theorem
Green's theorem is equivalent to the following two-dimensional analogue of the
divergence theorem::where is the outward-pointing unit normal vector on the boundary.
To see this, consider the unit normal in the right side of the equation. Since is a vector pointing tangential along a curve, and the curve C is the positively-oriented (i.e. counterclockwise) curve along the boundary, an outward normal would be a vector which points 90° to the right, which would be . The length of this vector is . So .
Now let the components of . Then the right hand side becomes:which by Green's theorem becomes:
Method of image charges- A method used in electrostatics that takes strong advantage of the uniqueness theorem (derived from Green's theorem)
* [http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GreensTheorem.html Green's Theorem on MathWorld]
* [http://www.mechanisms101.com/greens_theorem_demo.html A flash demo for Green's Theorem]
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