Overview of the Student[VectorCalculus] Subpackage

Calling Sequence


Student[VectorCalculus][command](arguments)
command(arguments)


Description


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The Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage is a collection of commands that perform vector
calculus
operations.

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The Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage is designed to help teachers present and students understand the basic concepts of vector calculus. For the purposes of this subpackage, vector calculus refers to the calculus of functions from ${R}^{n}$ to ${R}^{m}$, where $1<m$ and, normally, $n$ and $m$ are at most 3.

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The basic objects on which the commands in the Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage operate are Vectors, VectorFields (or Vectorvalued functions), and scalar functions.


Vectors are the standard vectors of mathematics: they have magnitude and direction, but no position. (The name is capitalized in Maple documentation to distinguish an object built on the newer rtable data structure (introduced in Maple 6)  Vector, Matrix, or Array  from an object built on the older table data structure  vector, matrix, or array.) There are also position Vectors, rooted Vectors, and VectorFields. For details on the differences between these Vectors see VectorCalculus,Details.


The commands in this subpackage keep track of the coordinate system in which Vectors are to be interpreted. You can change this coordinate system with the SetCoordinates command.


A VectorField is a function that assigns a Vector to each point in its domain. You construct a VectorField using the VectorField command.


Note: A Vector that is not a VectorField is not interpreted as a constant VectorField by the Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage commands. VectorFields and the other Vectors cannot be used interchangeably.


By default, Vectors and VectorFields created by commands from the Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage are displayed using basis format, that is, as a sum of scalar multiples of basis vectors. VectorFields are visually distinguished in this format by displaying an overbar above each basis vector. For more information on Vector display formats, see BasisFormat.

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The Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage has a set of predefined coordinate systems, and all computations in the package can be performed in any of these coordinate systems.


For a complete list of the predefined coordinate systems, see the Coordinates.

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The Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage can be thought of as a simplified version of the full VectorCalculus package. The principal differences are (1) only a limited number of coordinate systems are supported; and (2) commands in the Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage often try to guess the intended coordinate system, or coordinate variable names, while the main VectorCalculus package is more strict about requiring that you provide these details.

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Each command in the Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage can be accessed by using either the long form or the short form of the command name in the command calling sequence.


As the underlying implementation of the Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage is a module, it is also possible to use the form Student[VectorCalculus]:command or Student:VectorCalculus:command to access a command. For more information, see Module Members.

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The Maple Command Completion facility is helpful for entering the names of Student package commands.

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Many of the commands in the Student[VectorCalculus] package can be accessed through the contextmenu. These commands are consolidated under the Student[VectorCalculus] name.



Organization



There are three main components of this subpackage: visualization, interactive and computation. These components are described in the following sections.



Visualization


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The visualization routines help with the understanding of the concepts and theorems of vector calculus by displaying plots illustrating the relevant details. These routines can optionally return computed values or formulas representing the underlying computations.


The visualization commands are:



Interactive


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The interactive routines use the Maple Maplet technology to assist you to work through some of the standard problems of vector calculus in a visually directed manner. These Maplets display a plot and allow you to experiment by changing the function being plotted, display the effects of various different vector calculus operations or change underlying parameters.


The interactive commands are:



Computation


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The computation commands implement the standard operations of vector calculus. Note that the commands in this package generally assume that variables are realvalued, so, for example, a dot product computation does not use conjugates.


The computation commands are:



Getting Help with a Command in the Package




Example Worksheets



The VectorCalculus example worksheet offers a more detailed introduction to vector calculus using Maple. Most of the examples covered in that worksheet are also relevant to the Student[VectorCalculus] subpackage. See VectorCalculus Example Worksheet.


